Field of activity – formal/informal/non-formal:
Free platform included with Microsoft 365
Implementing organization/lead organization:
The Intercultural Centre of the city of Turin
Challenge or social need:
Remotely, in the classroom or in hybrid mode, Microsoft Teams helps to simplify and organise the everyday digital learning environment of schools and universities, integrating seamlessly with all solutions already in use (hybrid didactics).
Teams is a digital hub offering meetings, content, and apps in one location. Teachers can create collaborative classes, interact in professional learning communities, and communicate with school staff.
Microsoft Teams includes a range of built-in accessibility features to simplify lessons and homework for students, including those with different abilities, students with visual or hearing impairments, and English language learners.
The main accessibility features of Teams are:
- the immersive reading tool built into Teams that helps students improve reading and comprehension, including those with dyslexia or other learning disabilities;
- real-time subtitles (Teams detects what is being said in a class session or meeting and displays subtitles in real time with an indication of who is speaking) useful for students with hearing, dyslexia or concentration problems concentration;
- translation of messages in over 35 languages;
- the Together Mode that brings the class or participants together in a virtual space, thus helping students feel closer and reducing cognitive load;
- Highlight mode that locks the camera feed of a specific participant to the top for all class members, so that everyone can see the same screen;
- the integrated Reading Assessment tool that helps students learn to read and write through personalised, independent reading experiences;
- the simplified revision process that saves teachers time as Teams collects and analyses data via Insights;
- the Dictation mode for transcribing speech;
- Dark Mode, which helps reduce eye fatigue;
- Accessibility Check tool, which helps ensure that content is accessible to parents and blind students.
Benefits/success factors/ measurement of success:
- Teams is characterised by its ability to facilitate collaboration and achieve shared goals. In distance or classroom teaching, Teams simplifies file sharing with students and between colleagues.
- With many lessons still distance or hybrid, the need for interactive and engaging learning experiences is even more important. Microsoft Teams is the perfect platform for this, as it offers numerous multimedia settings that enable essential personal interaction, bringing together content, video, annotations, live exchange, work groups
- Teams integrates seamlessly with different working styles, offering a totally inclusive and customisable way of working, both with Microsoft apps and with LMS apps such as Moodle, Canvas and Blackboard. It’s possible add the tools and resources used regularly, such as Documents,
PowerPoint and Excel, and third-party apps.
A virtual whiteboard and a notice board with checklists are missing. Furthermore, the possibility of adding participants to calls is not always intuitive.
Being an online platform that can be used anywhere (e-learning) is sustainable in the long term because it helps to transform and adapt the traditional education/teaching system to current needs.
Being an online platform, it can be used anywhere and in any type of education. It only requires an Internet connection.
Inclusive characteristics/Innovative elements:
Teams can reduce cognitive overload of student because everything is contained within one safe and secure environment. That’s particularly important for neurodiverse students, but it’s relevant to all students, because everyone can feel overwhelmed at times.