Private Channels Are Here


Teams - Add Private Channel (GIF)

Teams has been (and continues to be) a great tool for supporting easy, and seamless group work. However, let’s be honest, it has been kind of difficult when it comes to small group work in the classroom.


Because it used to be the case that anything and everything was accessible to the entirety of a team, which in the case of most classroom teams meant every student could go into any channel, any folder or any file.

And frankly, from scaffolding point of view, that kind of sucked.

Students could easily end up in the wrong the channel or the wrong file.

My fellow Americans, this long, national nightmare is over thanks to private channels.

Teams now allows teachers to create what are called private channels. The teacher can then choose which students in the team can see the private channel. Only those students will see and be able to access the channel.

This is ideal for scaffolding small group work.

Read on to find out how it works.

Create a Private Channel


Open Teams and then click the three dots in the upper-right hand corner of the tile and choose ‘Add channel‘ from the context menu that pops up.

Teams Private Channel Selection

Teams’ channel creation window will open. It’s pretty much the same as it ever was. Except that now when you click into the Privacy field, the drop down gives you the option to change the channel to Private. Click that one :)

Teams Adding Students to a Private Channel

Your channel creation window will close and then a new window will open. Here you will have the option to choose the students you want to add to the channel. Find them by typing in their names. You can also add teachers (if they are also members of the team.)

Click the Add button after you’ve found each member. Once you’ve added all the students you want to, click Close.

You can go back and add or delete members by clicking into a channel and then clicking the three dots, followed by Manage Channel. This will take you to a screen where Owners and Members are listed.

So What Do Students See?

That is a great question.

If they aren’t a member of a private channel, they won’t see it.

Yup that’s right, no jealousy.

Members of a private channel will see the channel in the rail with the rest of the public channels. The only difference will be that a teeny lock appears next to the channel name.


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