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, or communicate with school staff – all from a single experience in Office 365 for Education.
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 uducators on their experience with Office 365 and Teams. Use a channel in Teams when your school has fewer than 2500 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 Office 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|
Configure Teams for your school
You'll need to have Global Administrator permissions to use the Office 365 admin center to manage Teams for your school.
From the Office 365 Admin Center, sign in with your Global Administrator credentials and select Admin.
Select Settings > Services & add-ins.
Select Microsoft Teams from the list.
After the Microsoft Teams settings page opens, the configuration options will come into view. From here, you may manage your licenses.
Configure tenant-wide settings
The General section allows you to configure the following settings for your entire institution across all the license types you may have.
- Show organizational chart in personal profile.
- Use Skype for Business for recipients who don’t have Teams.
- Allow T-Bot proactive help messages.
T-Bot is a great adoption resource for your users. It's a fundamental way we expect users to learn more about the product and highly recommend leaving it enabled.
To turn on or turn off T-Bot, move the toggle to Off or On, then select Save.
You can enable email integration with channels, as well as create a restricted senders list. To turn on or turn off email integration, move the toggle to Off or On, then select Save.
The Allow senders list helps you to control who can email teams within your organization.
You can enable external apps, new external apps, and sideloading for apps in Teams. To disable or enable the setting, move the toggle to Off or On, then choose Save.
Enabling external apps provides a drop-down list for you to select the applications you'd like in your institution, which allows teachers to combine their favorite apps to work within the Teams platform. If you select Enable new external apps by default, new apps will automatically show up in your list as they become available.
The ability to sideload an app is only available to non-guest team members. This is useful if you have any programming courses or are testing any custom learning management systems that can integrate with Teams. To learn more, see The Microsoft Teams developer platform.
By enabling Assignments, educators can provide assignments and iterative feedback to students.
Once external apps in Teams is enabled, educators can customize apps to make them available for their students through tabs. Tabs let you customize a channel to include content and capabilities your team needs every day. They provide quick access to frequently used documents and cloud services. There are several built-in tabs such as Files.
In the Teams client, users can add tabs for Word documents, PowerPoint, Forms, OneNote Class Notebooks, Assignments, and more. Over time, more tabs will be added, both from Microsoft and from partners.
Custom cloud storage
You can enable various forms of cloud storage within Teams. Currently, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and ShareFile are supported. To disable or enable the setting, toggle the switch to Off or On, and then select Save. When these settings are enabled, any member of a team can add a new provider in which documents can be stored to or retrieved from.
Teams uses SharePoint as the default file storage provider. For more information, see How SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business interact with Teams. To learn how your quota is calculated and how best to manage it, see Manage site collection storage limits. If you don’t want to manage each site’s collection, you'll also learn how to let the service automatically handle that for you.
Configure settings by user or license type
You should only have Education listed in your license types. The dropdown includes Education-Faculty and staff, Education-Student, and Guest. The system can only differentiate users based on the licenses you've assigned them. If you only have one license type, the settings here can be treated as tenant-wide settings.
Tenant-level control for Teams has been removed (effective August 2018). Control access to Teams in your organization with user-level licensing. To learn more, see Manage user access to Microsoft Teams.
To enable a license type to have access to Teams, move the toggle to On, then select Save. This is just a temporary switch; eventually, you'll need to manage user access to Teams through user licenses as you would for all other Office workloads.
To turn on Guest Access for your tenant, select the Guest license and move the toggle to On. You can use Guest Access to enable the guest professor scenario, which permits contributors who are not a part of your organization to participate in your teams. A guest professor should only get added to a team if they'll continue to interact with the class throughout the course life-cycle. If they are only showing up to give one lecture, consider having them join a meeting as an anonymous user instead of being added to the team as a guest.
Only Team owners can add guests to the team.
Teams and channels
A team is designed to bring together educators and students who work closely to get things done. Teams can be dynamic for work (e.g., curriculum development or planning school events), as well as for ongoing work, to reflect the internal structure of your institution (e.g., schools, departments, and classes). Teams for Education has 3 new team types (Classes, PLCs, and Staff Members).
|for Classes||for PLCs||for Staff Members||for Anyone|
|Description||Teachers and students collaborating on group projects, assignments, and more.||Educators collaborating within a professional learning community.||Staff leaders and staff members collaborating on school administration and development.||Students and school employees collaborating in interest groups and clubs.|
A channel is a subcategory of a team. You might create a channel for an activity or for a topic. Conversations, files, and notes are specific to each channel, and available to all members of the team.
You need to use the Groups control panel because all teams are built on top of Office 365 Groups.
You can create and manage team owners and members by using the Groups control panel in the Office 365 Admin Center. By default, Office 365 Groups creation is turned on, but can be restricted to specific users or groups (for example, Education - Faculty and Staff) by using PowerShell.
To learn how to use PowerShell to control the permissions, and the types of licenses that are required to take advantage of these features, see Manage who can create Office 365 Groups.
Disabling group creation has implications on other products. These implications are detailed in Manage who can create Office 365 Groups.
Highlights of team management and creation
- For more information about how to create Office 365 Groups in the Admin Center, see Create an Office 365 group in the Admin Center.
- The Team Naming convention feature provided by Groups is in private preview and will be available soon in public preview. To learn more about this feature, see Office 365 Groups naming policy.
- Prevent Teams from showing up in the Global Address List (GAL). To learn more, see "Hide Office 365 Groups from GAL" in Manage Office 365 Groups with PowerShell.
- Manage Team or Group expiration policies. To learn more, see Office 365 Group Expiration Policy.
- Using School Data Sync: If you are already using School Data Sync, teams will get automatically created based on your roster details. Teachers and students will automatically be assigned.
- (In Preview) Using PowerShell to create groups. To learn more, see Microsoft Teams PowerShell reference.
For Office 365 Education, you can create four different types of teams. PowerShell can only create the default type of Team. Once a Team is created, the type of Team can't be changed.
Calls and meetings
Private meetings enable your educators to explicitly select the students of their meetings, as opposed to leaving it open to everyone in the Team to join. This allows them to have smaller meetings that don't disrupt the larger team.
Allowing scheduling for channel meetings allows users to select a Team and Channel where the meeting will be hosted. This allows anyone interested in the meeting from that Team to join without needing an explicit invite.
Ad-hoc channel meetup allows educators and students to start a meetup directly from the chat UI. Anyone who is actively apart of the thread can jump on the call and continue the conversation.
Meeting options such as "Allow videos in meetings" and "Allow screen sharing in meetings" will enhance the meeting experience by allowing the face to face communication and the ability to share what you see on your screen. When these options are enabled, users will be able to toggle video and screen sharing from within the meeting.
Some schools might want to restrict the amount of network traffic in their institution. For example, you might want to disable video in low bandwidth institutions.
Having the ability to escalate from a private 1:1 chat or group chat to an audio or video call is enabled by "Allow private calling." When in a chat, the top right corner will show these options.
As a tenant admin, if your school is not comfortable with "fun" content, such as GIFs, memes, and stickers, you can always disable it for students in the Messaging section of the Microsoft Teams settings screen. These options will disappear from below the compose box, but our standard set of emojis will still be available for use. When GIFs are enabled, you can apply a content rating to restrict the type of GIFs that are allowed within Teams in your institution. Content ratings include the following:
- Allow all content
You can also disable private chat just between students, while allowing educators the ability to use private chats. If you do disable chat, they will no longer see Chat along the left side.
When users who are enabled for chat try to start a conversation with participants who aren't, they'll see a notification in the compose chat window indicating that the "Administrator has disabled chat for user."
If you disable private chat for a set of users, they can't use T-Bot to get help. However, they can find all of the T-Bot content in the Microsoft Teams help center, so be sure to give this as an adoption resource to users who aren't enabled for private chat.
Enabling owners to delete messages is recommended across all license types, as this really helps with channel chat moderations.
Additionally, you can enable members to edit and delete their own messages. This is a great feature to ensure typos can be corrected and messaging to the wrong thread or redundant messages can be removed by the sender.
If you place a user's mailbox on Legal Hold, all edited and deleted messages will be logged. See Place a Teams user or team on legal hold for more information.
Distribute to clients
Teams has clients available for web, desktop (Windows and Mac), and mobile (Android, iOS, and Windows Phone). 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||10.0.10586 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
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 isn't currently supported. Check the Teams Roadmap for news about new features in Teams. Users who try to open Teams on Safari will be directed to download the Teams desktop client.