Microsoft has announced that it has integrated Teams, which is a unified collaboration and communication platform to a number of learning management systems (LMSs). This is with a view of enabling Teams meetings for educators and their students from within their preferred LMSs, including Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology, Brightspace, and itsLearning.
Schools and universities are currently making use of LSMs to manage and present learning content such as coursework, assignments, and tests through a virtual learning environment. However, it can be quite challenging to effectively teach learners through the transfer of content alone. With Teams, teachers will be able to talk students through the content they are teaching in much the same way they would within the physical classroom. Students will also be able to speak to educators to ask questions around a particular subject or idea they are struggling to understand or get clarification on an assignment.
Africa is expected to be one of the biggest beneficiary as it has the fewest number of, virtual schools compared to the rest of the world according to this report. This means that making this mass shift to distance learning as easy as possible will be key to ensuring the continuation of quality education and learning.
Educational institutions or educators who have Office 365 accounts will be able to create Teams meetings for free in Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology, and Brightspace by following a few quick and easy steps. Those who make use of itsLearning will be able to create a Microsoft Teams meeting anywhere within the tool through its rich text editor. Microsoft has also made it possible for other LSMs to install the Teams app inside their platform and has created a guide for developers to do so.
Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, had this to say, “As we see many educational institutions move towards distance learning, we know that both educators and students are going to go through some difficult adjustments. Microsoft wanted to help ease this transition as much as possible while also supporting a truly connected environment that would enable quality learning. By partnering with these LSMs and bringing the collaborative power of Teams to their platforms, I believe we will be able to do so.”