Microsoft Teams in the classroom for primary schools
If you have Office 365, you have access to Microsoft Teams and, specifically, Microsoft teams for Education. If you are not already familiar, Microsoft Teams is a “digital hub that brings conversations, content, and apps together in one place”, maximising communication and teamwork in your school.
Teams can be a really simple and engaging classroom resource for primary schools.
Staff can structure their Team to be user and subject specific e.g a team solely for Senior Management to discuss and collaborate on matters pertaining to that. Channels can be created within the team to further collaboration. A Senior Management team, may have channels for finance, SEN, safeguarding etc.
It can also bring a lot of value in the classroom. Teachers can create a topic-specific Team and then make channels within that topic for smaller group/table learning. Children can add their research to their channel, gather data and explore things together. From there they can create or display their findings in any other Microsoft platform, making a PowerPoint presentation or graphs in Excel, for example.
Robyn Feeney, in her final year of teacher training says:
“I took a module on digital education last year at uni which was what inspired me to use Teams within the classroom. The children were learning how to code using scratch and I wanted them to self assess their learning and progress at the end of each lesson. As they were already on the computers I thought it would be a good to do this self assessment digitally.
I set up a class Team and showed all the children how to join this in the first coding lesson. The children accessed Microsoft Teams after every lesson and were asked to comment with one thing they had learned and one thing they found challenging. I read through these comments and could adapt the plan for my next lesson based on their feedback.
Using Teams in the classroom was a great experience both for me and the class. I was able to receive feedback from them instantly and they enjoyed giving feedback in this way as it was something new to them and they felt like they were almost being allowed to use a form of “social media” in school. I used this with Primary 7 (Year 6 in England) however I plan to use a similar strategy this year with P5/6 (Year 4/5) and believe it can be adapted to suit any age or stage.“
Microsoft Teams can be used as a really effective tool to learn about safe and proper use of social media, demonstrating appropriate ways to interact with their peers online whilst being moderated and directed by the class teacher.