New Features In Teams

Last week, Microsoft released a few important updates to Teams that you may already be aware of, but we want to make sure, just in case.

Read below to find out about the new features.


Grid View

While, having instant access to all your Teams in the side panel is a feature to some, it is clutter to others. Especially in the education environment, where teachers and students might be part of many different Teams.

Well, now, thanks to Grid View, teachers and students have more control over what they see in Teams and also get the added benefit of making it a little easier to focus.

Grid View moves the teams you have selected to view from that side panel and now displays them a grid of tiles with the team logo more prominently displayed. This effectively creates a dashboard that makes it quick and easy to get to where you are going and requires less squinting.

One cool feature is that the tiles are movable. So if you wanted to put your classes in alphabetical order or by hour you just have to click a tile while holding the mouse button down and then drag it to the place you want.

You can also filter by team type. Click on the filter button at the top right and you will get options to narrow down your view to Classes, PLCs or Staff teams.

In the same spot you can switch back to classic view if you want.

One other nice move, is that the Join or Create a Team button is now more prominent at the top right.

Navigating a team got easier as well.

When you click into a team, that side panel reappears but with only the channels for that team. This makes it easier to see all of a team’s channels and move back and forth through the spaces of your team.

Announcements

Conversations in teams has always been a strength, but now you have the option to distinguish between starting a conversation to create dialogue and posting an announcement that is meant for your team members to see.

When creating a conversation click the Format button and then click on the carrot next to ‘New Conversation’ in the upper left. This will give you option to make it an announcement.

Making something an announcement doesn’t change too many things (for now) but will open a big box on top your conversation prompting you to write a headline. This will be big and bold. It is designed to grab attention in what can be a busy section in a team.

You can change the color of the font and background by clicking on the little square that pops up on the headline box. You will also notice that you can upload an image if you want.

Microsoft has some plans coming in future releases for how and where the announcements show up and can be viewed, so stay tuned to this feature.

Class Materials

FYI – This feature only applies to teams created as Classes.

With this feature, every Classes Team now gets a file folder that is by default set to view only. This means that any files placed in it can be viewed but not edited by students in the team. This is a great place to store originals or other documents that you don’t want students messing with.

The way it works is that in Teams creates a locked folder the files tab of the General Channel.

All you have to do is choose what to add to it.

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