One of the things that I found difficult last year, when using O365 (office 365) was finding away to tie everything together. Teams looks like it’s going to solve that problem for me. I spoke to IDS services on site, last year about being able to use it this year (lots of notice) and it seems that we’ve now got the full Education version of teams across our tenant. This is fantastic news as it gives me the opportunity to use it with my students for the ICT portion of EDUC9404 in July.
I’ve spent some time today going through the TEAMs training resource on the Education portal at Microsoft. I have used Teams alot as a business but have little experience with the newer EDU tools. I’m very impressed with what i’ve seen and i’m looking forward to experimenting and growing with this new tool.
Pedagogically speaking, I’m looking for ways to deseminate and monitor content consumption (yes consumption) leaving the workshop time for deeper development of concepts. I spent a lot of last year going over things that were in readings and I’ve decided I won’t be doing that this year at all. Teams will be my way of ensuring that students have what they need, when they need it and can share their thinking. I’m going to use it to make their reading and their thinking more visible. Visible not just to me but to each other. I’m hoping that the “Conversations” tab will be a virtual equivalent of the classroom. I’m hoping that the conversations I had (last year) in the workshop about readings will happen in this space prior, during and beyond the workshop.
I’m also keen to see how the workflow will improve. One Note was sometimes a barrier for us as it took time to load and we learnt, the hard way, that we all needed to be in the browser version for maximum success. I’m planning on using Teams only in the browser and to add the key resources (word docs, presentations etc) into the tabs so they won’t need to keep swapping from one app to another. It looks like this should improve workflow for us.
As I can’t use Teams for the main assessments this semester – assignments will be handed up via FLO – I am keen to use it as a way to disseminate scaffolded digital documents (Like the 4 versions of PowerPoint template I created last year for small group presentations) to students when they’re working in the group tasks. I will simply set the deadline for submission to the end of their workshop. They will upload their completed response via assignments and I can continue to give and receive some great feedback. This might save me having to use Collaborative spaces in One Note quite so much. It was hard work sometimes getting the collaborative spaces locked down for smaller groups – especially when trying to be flexible with who was in attendance. I might choose to leave the collaboration space purely for whole group feedback.
Things to create before we get started:
I’ve decided to make a learning mat for Teams and OneNote. One tool on each side. The learning mat will contain tips for each service to help overcome the inital teething problems I saw amongst students last year. The Mats will include tips about:
|What version are you in? Browser version and how to get there||How to use @mentions|
|How to move from Pen to Point and Click||What are Tabs|
|Where to find your own private notesand my feedback||What are Channels|
|How this connects to OneDrive and the Cloud||What are the assignments?|
|How to change notification settings and Favourites|
|How to email in a post for the Discussion board|
|How to start a private conversation with your tutor or a small group of pals.|
I will also need to give them a basic understanding of 365 and how it all works so that they can conceptulaise the digital security and personal security protocols required to set up and use this space with their own students. I can use some of the resources on Microsoft Education’s site, including the the video about collaboration with the students so they understand it from both sides of the table.
Useful Settings/Points I’ve discovered:
Each Team can have a personalised image and theme. This makes it much easier for me to recognise each of the classes! To change this, left click on the team you want to edit and then choose the three dots which appear after the team’s title. In the list which appears choose “Manage Teams” and then Settings. You will see the ability to choose your theme here. You will also find the settings for things like which sticker/Gifs etc are displayed. It also contains the ability to mute students. I’m hoping I won’t need to do that… but it would be handy in other contexts.
If you want to change Team’s language from American to Australian English you do so by clicking on your profile image and choosing settings. This is also the space where you choose how Teams notifies you and the frequency of emails you’d like to receive. I’ve changed mine to one report every 8 hours. I can’t imagine it being very efficient if I receive an email every time someone posts.
I’ve also discovered that your Team’s Conversations tab has an email address assigned to it. This means that outside parties can email into the board and their message will appear in the feed. It places the email address the message was sent into the thread also which may help with digital security. I’m thinking that this feature maybe useful if we work with outside contacts (i’m hoping to bring in some guest speakers via skype) or the students wish to ask a quick question and find it difficult (for any reason) to access Teams.
I’ve set up one team for each of my workshop groups. Each group will work through the same content. Some in a different order from others. I thought that I would have to manually re-create each team with the same details and spent some time searching for a “duplicate team” button. It doesn’t exist. What does however, is the ability to create a new team using the old one as a template. Click “Join or create a team” and then click the link which says “Create a team using an existing team as a template”. Select the team you want it to be based on and it’s done for you. You’ll just need to go in and add your tabs and Class notebook for that team.
It can take 15-30 minutes for some changes to appear. For example, when I create the class notebook in the “General” Tab it took a long time for it to appear. Sometimes you also seem to need to refresh the browser to see some changes (like theme changes)
Once the Class Note Book is set up, the teachers and students don’t need to use One Note separately, it’s all sat there waiting. Every channel I created inside the teams creates a new section in the Collaboration portion of the Class Note Book. There is a “Notes” tab in each channel which shows this section only. This means that when using Notes we’re all collaborating inside a Class Note Book. As I can now use “Assignments” for group, individual and paired work, this will mean that we can complete whole class interactions in this space. A definite improvement in work flow there!
When students want to see content libraries or their own private sections of the Class Notebook they will need to access this through the Class Notebook tab in the General Channel.
One Drive is integrated into Teams and has it’s own section in the left menu bar. Again, removing the need to navigate to “my documents” or the One Drive app itself.