Microsoft announces extended collaboration to support online learning

Victor Amadala

Microsoft has integrated its unified collaboration and communication platform, Teams, into a number of popular learning management systems (LMSs) to enable meetings for educators and their students from within their preferred LMSs, including Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology, Brightspace, and itsLearning.

Schools and universities will make use of LSMs to manage and present learning content such as coursework, assignments, and tests through a virtual learning environment. But it can be quite challenging to effectively teach learners through the transfer of content alone.

With Teams, teachers can talk to 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.

“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,’’ Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 said.

Africa will particularly have to make big leaps in adjustments as the continent has the least experience in virtual schools compared to the rest of the world according to a European Union funded 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 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.

The tech giant 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.

erate Africa’s potential to create technology not only for the continent, but for the world.

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