These unprecedented times may have sped up its adoption, but remote learning is something that has been on a gradual rise for years. Market Research’s 2019 annual report found that the Asia-Pacific Region is the fastest growing area of learning management system adopters. The compound annual growth rate is predicted to be at 19.75% from 2019 to 2027. Due to the sudden shifts these past few months, however, these numbers could be much higher.
Online education is booming in the region. As a result, plenty of educational institutions are investing in certain tools to make remote learning more effective. One of the most important is communication software used to replicate the classroom experience online. That’s where Microsoft Teams comes in.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based collaboration platform that’s used by a lot of organizations to centralize their communication lines. News 18 reports that it has 75 million active users to date, which is 70% more than what they had before the lockdown.
It used to be a popular tool in businesses, but recent demands for remote learning has led to Microsoft finding a new demographic in those who need it for educational purposes. Indeed, as one of the free options in HP’s list of the best screencasting software, Teams enables teachers to build collaborative classrooms with background blur features as well as an integrated whiteboard app. A OneNote class notebook is even built into every team. This allows teachers to organize and deliver personalized lessons directly from the platform.
What’s more, Microsoft recently introduced new features to make the remote learning experience more engaging.
Teams for Education
Just last month, Microsoft announced its ‘Teams for Education’ update to support hybrid learning in the upcoming school year. The update includes but is not limited to: an expanded audience of up to 49 participants (for big classes), class insights, and virtual breakout rooms. The latter is used when teachers need to divide their students into smaller groups, so they can work on a project or activity separately.
It has other features that can help replicate the interactivity of a traditional classroom. Students can digitally ‘raise their hands’ whenever they’re asked to participate or need a question answered. The newly added Attendance Report makes it easier for teachers to do headcounts.
Finally, the Class Insight tool breaks down an individual student’s engagement in class to see if they need extra help. It informs teachers the rate of assignments they’ve turned in, for example, activity metrics, grades, and more.
Finally, Microsoft partnered with a lot of e-learning businesses like Kahoot, Gaggle, Moodle, Canvas, Nearpod, Prezi, GO1, and others to seamlessly integrate their tools into the platform.
Paving the road to access remote education
Teams for Learning is not only made for engaging learning but more accessible and inclusive education, too. Built-in learning tools like Microsoft Word and Flipgrid are useful for those who suffer from dyslexia, dysgraphia, and other illnesses that make it hard to understand normal talkative lectures.
While not directly related to Teams, Microsoft also has a translator app that teachers can use if they want to engage with students in their native language or those who require assistive technology.
Remote learning is the new normal, and Microsoft is providing educational institutions with the tools they need to implement it effectively.