Quick start - Microsoft Teams for Education admins
Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, meetings, files, and apps together in one place. Because it’s built on Office 365, schools benefit from integration with their familiar Office apps and services. It delivers enterprise-grade security and compliance that is extensible and customizable to fit the needs of every school.
With Microsoft Teams, your school or institution can create collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, communicate with school staff, coordinate research across institutions, or more easily facilitate student life efforts like clubs or extracurricular activities – all from a single experience in Office 365 for Education.
Microsoft Teams saves time, deepens connections and simplifies everyday logistics. This allows staff to focus on their roles as educator, researchers, and leaders in your school or institution.
This guide is for IT admins in education, including those who haven't yet deployed Teams. This guide will help you get started with:
- Enabling Teams for your school
- Learning what kind of controls are available to manage Teams within your school
- Finding partner services through references to external documentation
This guide is designed to get you started quickly with configuration recommendations specific to Teams in schools. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution, but it is a good starting point.
If you've already deployed Teams (as a pilot or full deployment) and are looking for pointers on how to use Teams, see Microsoft Teams for Education.
Before you begin
- Check your environment’s readiness for Teams.
- Deploy School Data Sync to make it easier for teachers to automatically create Teams. Contact https://aka.ms/sdssupport for deployment assistance.
- Configure the correct ports and protocols for Teams. See Office 365 URLs and IP address ranges.
- Prepare your school's network for Teams.
- Choose a team type. Teams for Education offers three new types of teams (for a total of four). To understand the differences and use cases of each, see Choose a team type to collaborate in Teams.
Quick start - Teams planning guide
Step 1: Get your people together
Assemble a group of individuals from staff, teachers, and the educator community to act as the stakeholder & decision-making group for your Teams deployment.
Step 2: Prioritize your scenarios
Collaboration and communication is about people! Pick the most relevant scenarios for your organization instead of talking about features and functions. Check out the Microsoft 365 FastTrack Productivity Library for examples to help you define scenarios for your school. Successful Teams deployments often center around highly collaborative teams that work closely together, such as classrooms, professional learning communities, and extracurricular student groups.
🏆 Best practice:
Plan Teams with Teams! Customers who use Teams to plan their deployment ease the change curve for key stakeholders. Consider creating a team called Microsoft 365 Deployment and creating channels for the various workloads you want to deploy. Your team might look something like this:
Step 3: Conduct pilots and deploy Teams
You’ll want to conduct an initial Teams pilot with your educators, both champions and early adopters, for one or more of the scenarios you selected above. A pilot gives you valuable information about how Office 365 and Teams are received in your organization. Select an interested group of users and a prioritized business scenario to get started.
Once your pilots are complete, you’ll have the feedback you need to plan your broad Teams deployment. Be sure your deployment plan integrates your prioritized scenarios to ensure your school is getting the most from Office 365 and Teams.
Step 4: Measure usage, manage satisfaction, and drive adoption
To successfully drive adoption of Office 365 and Teams, stay focused on your educator’s experience. Here’s a quick checklist of our best practices to get you started.
- Read the Office 365 Adoption Guidance for best practices. Also available to you is our supplemental content for creating a change management strategy for Microsoft Teams to document your approach.
- Study Office 365 activity reports to understand usage across your school. If you aren’t an Office 365 admin, ask your admin to give you Reports Reader permissions so you can access activity reports.
- Capture feedback from your educators on their experience with Office 365 and Teams. Use a channel in Teams when your school has fewer than 5000 individuals. Use a public group in Yammer when your school is larger than this current membership limit in Teams.
- Nurture your champions and highlight your wins. Reward educators for embracing these new tools and using them in innovative ways. This, above anything, ensures continued adoption of Office 365 and Teams.
Turn on or turn off Microsoft Teams licenses
Teams is a cloud-based service. Once an educator or student has a valid license, they can run the desktop, web, and mobile Teams clients. They can install these clients themselves -- the IT admin doesn't need to deploy these clients.
You can manage individual user licenses for Microsoft Teams by using the Microsoft 365 Admin Center or by using PowerShell. See Office 365 licensing for Teams for information about both methods. This is valuable to understand if you are interested in piloting Teams before broad enablement.
Before you turn on Teams for your school, make sure you have the proper controls in place. A piloting program helps significantly to ensure the proper users are able to use and give feedback on what types of controls enhance the usage and management of the product.
Below are some sample pilot user groups and the teams that could be of interest.
|IT department||Staff pilots||Educator pilots||Student pilots|
|Use Teams internally in IT for project work, collaboration, and issue resolution.||Select staff departments for their project work and collaboration.||Identify educators to become champions who are excited about Teams in the classroom and in educator collaboration.||Get students excited about how Teams can help them outside of the classroom. Identify student champions that can use Teams within their extracurricular groups.|
|IT project coordination (e.g., Teams rollout)||Project coordination||Class section collaboration & communications (including syllabus, group project work, TA or breakout sessions)||Professional society, group coordination & collaboration (e.g., Honor Society, Association of Marketing Students)|
|IT department-to-faculty communications||Collaboration workspace, announcements||Inter-department coordination, communications||Social, philanthropic group coordination & collaboration (e.g., fraternities, sororities)|
|LiveSite issues||Meetings||Research project collaboration|
|Organization collaboration workspace, announcements||Executive admin groups|
For help and support with Teams licenses or other issues, submit an inquiry at https://edusupport.microsoft.com/support.
Configure Teams for your school
Starting June 2019, all Teams for Education admins should use the Microsoft Teams admin center to manage all their Teams policies. Teams for Education policies can no longer be managed in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. For more information, see Manage Teams during the transition to the new Microsoft Teams admin center.
You can easily manage all Teams policies in the Microsoft Teams admin center by signing in with your admin credentials.
Settings in the Microsoft Teams admin center are not managed based on user license type. Instead, we suggest that you define different policies to manage which capabilities are available to your users. To configure a policy, click the policy in the left navigation of the Microsoft Teams admin center. Here's an example of messaging policies.
With policies, you can turn on and turn off features at the per-user level. Here’s how policy assignments work:
By default, every new user will get the Global policy (tenant-level settings).
A user can be assigned a pre-canned user policy created by Microsoft if it meets your requirements. These pre-canned policies are not editable by admins. If you want to manage these in the future, create new custom policies and assign the custom policies to users.
A custom policy can be assigned to any user. To create a new custom policy, click Add, choose the settings you want for the policy, and click Save. Then assign the custom policy to a user by going to Users in the Microsoft Teams admin center or by using a script.
How to enable different policies for faculty and students
To have custom settings for faculty and students (for example, Chat is enabled for faculty but not for students), there are two methods to create and assign them:
- Use the PowerShell module to run a script to create and assign multiple policies. See the Appendix for script examples and documentation.
- In the Microsoft Teams admin center, create a new custom policy and assign the policy to users on the Users tab.
Until a custom policy is assigned to a user, the user will be using the Global policy setting. This means that if Chat is enabled in the Global policy and disabled in the custom Student policy, until the custom policy is assigned to the student, the student can use Chat. In this case, it may be easier to disable Chat globally and use custom policies to enable Chat for faculty.
How to create and assign a messaging policy
- See whether any of the available policies in your tenants suit your requirements by running Get-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy.
- If not, create a new policy by running New-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy -Identity <policy name> -<parameter name> -<parameter value>.
For more information, see Set-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy
Distribute to clients
Teams has clients available for web, desktop (Windows and Mac), and mobile (Android and iOS). These clients all require an active internet connection and do not support an offline mode. To get the latest details on the functionality and methods of distribution of each of these clients, check out our topic to Get clients for Teams.
The setup file for the Teams client is an executable file that can be downloaded by admins and end users from the Teams downloads page. Educators and students on desktops can install the application if they have the appropriate privileges. IT Admins can also distribute the installer and through their existing client distribution tools.
End users with mobile devices can download the Microsoft Teams app from the mobile platform’s app store.
Operating system requirements
|7 and later||10.10 and later||10 or later||4.4 and later|
Internet browser support
Teams fully supports the following internet browsers, with noted exceptions.
|Internet Explorer 11||Calling and Meetings aren't supported. Users who try to join a meeting on Internet Explorer 11 will be directed to download the Teams desktop client.|
|Microsoft Edge||Calling and Meetings supported on Edge RS2 or later|
|Chrome, the latest version plus two previous versions||Meetings supported on Chrome 59 or later
As of July 3, 2019, screen sharing is supported without any plug-ins or extensions
Support for Calling is coming soon
|Firefox, the latest version plus two previous versions||Calling and Meetings aren't supported. Users who try to join a meeting on Firefox will be directed to download the Teams desktop client.|
|Safari 11.1+||Safari is enabled on versions higher than 11.1 in preview. While in preview, there are known issues with Safari's Intelligent Tracking Prevention.|
As long as an operating system can run the supported browser, Teams is supported. For example, running Firefox on the Linux operating system is an option for using Teams.
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