How to Create Channels in Teams

Editors Note: This fortnight’s Toolbit for OneDrive is being replaced by another Toolbit for Teams. We were unable to keep our regular cadence with Teams due to the delay in deploying it and want to get caught up. If you are missing your OneDrive Toolbit fix, check out this resource from Microsoft. The next Toolbit on Class Notebook will be posted on February 5.

I’ll be honest, when you first get into a Microsoft Team, things can be a little confusing.

There are things called channels and there are tabs for files and conversations everywhere. It’s hard to know where to look.

Let’s start with what are called Channels. Think of them as the basic building block of teams.

The use of the term channel may be a little confusing but if you think of cable television and the proliferation of channels dedicated to a single topic or idea (ESPN for sports or the History channel for…) it begins to make a bit more sense why they chose to call them channels. So think of the team as a digital hub for your classroom and channels as a way to focus discussion, or attention it becomes easier to begin planning out how you will want to organize the team for your class or colleagues.

There is no formula or best practice for what channels to create, but it is a good idea to have a plan that you can explain to the users joining your team. Microsoft gives every team a General channel and thinks this a good place for announcements and things that the whole team needs to know about. Beyond that it’s up to you and your style.

One limitation (for now) is that channels cannot be limited to groups within the teams (every member has the same permissions across the whole team.)

Read below about how to create a channel in Teams, then get out the napkin, so you can begin charting out all of the channels you will create (it’s always good to have a plan:)


Create a channel

By default, every team gets a General channel, which is a good channel to use for announcements and information the whole team needs. To add more:

  1. Select Select to see more options More options next to the team name.
  2. Select Add channel.
  3. Enter a name and description for your channel.You can build a channel around a topic, project, department name, or whatever you like.
  4. Select Automatically favorite this channel for the whole team if you want this channel to be automatically visible in everyone’s channel list.
  5. Select Add.

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