Ready or not, MS Teams’ prime-time at Schools (First day of School)

My blogging game has been off for the last few months (if you would like to catch up with my latest posts), and that is ok, but as schools start today in my neck of the woods, I just could not resist and write this short post with my opinion.

A story of Broward Public Schools – Microsoft Teams Prime-Time

Today my kids started virtual classes and to my surprise I noticed that they are using MS Teams to get connected, meet and collaborate. I have to be honest, I did not think MS Teams was ready for meetings and collaboration, event tough I have been forced to use it at work, because all my team mates are using it.

What is working and what is not

Well the technology is holding up pretty good! – my 2 boys are still stuck to their seats, I hear them talk from time to time as well as hear other kids do the same. Classes seem to be engaging for the first day. The kids are just too damn quick to learn new technologies, as the procrastinator I am, I decided to get my boys ready with their own computers ready for class this morning, at least 1 hour before school started.

What seems not to be working?

  • Teachers are having a hard time by putting the kids on mute
  • The kids learning how to go on or off mute
  • The teacher spends too long just telling the kids to go on or off mute
  • Parents are on the meetings, interjecting and bringing their opinion… wtf? – I’m going hands off on this one!
  • for my 7 years old, his teacher wants to share what she is doing on the computer, but on one side she has the video from all the kids, the other side she has what she is sharing… very small real state on her screen, she needs a second monitor
  • Kids are brutal and have no filter! – seriously the teachers get to hear every thing the kids say, like “awww school sucks!!”
  •  High School kids are even more extreme… I have heard worst things from my High Schooler, whom is next to me and my youngest one

But as you notice the issues are not technology but training and User experience

A word for our teachers – fasten your seat-belts this ride is just starting!

The work that you are doing is great! – it takes time to adjust and embrace technology. I know many of you are going to have a rough few weeks, but as the kids continue to learn and adjust, it should be easier and better experience for all.

Why MS Teams makes sense?

Look, I’m not a big fan of MS Teams, never have been but I think that it will be changing after this morning. But right into the content, MS Teams make sense for so many reasons, Microsoft knows the game and pretty much owns the most used productivity set of tools in the market, Office 365 with applications like Word, Excel, Power Point are the ones that I’m referring to.
Other features and where Microsoft has been king for quite a long time is tools like OneDrive, Sharepoint, which off course integrate pretty nice into MS Teams. One things that I will be super short, but it brings incredible power is the Integrations, as the screenshot below will show, the categories of integrations are very extensive

Honestly I really don’t know from experience if the MS Teams API works nice, but I can tell you that many developers have made their way into it and have deliver integrations.

Embrace Change

If you are like me and find yourself to be a fan of anything other than Microsoft, let me tell you, they are here, and are here to stay, unless something drastically changes their strategy. MS Teams is on one of those tools that not too many people saw coming, and now is being included as a “free” add-on with the Office 365 suite

What will be next?

From the other solutions out there I see very hard for other competitors to match MS Teams game, but time of change brings opportunity for others to compete in the space, I’d love to see more innovation and creativity

Let me know what you think and has been your experience. See you on another post!

About the Author:

Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520 (Collaboration)
With more than 15 years of experience, Andres is specialized in Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies. Consulted for several companies in South Florida, also Financial Institutions on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has been involved in high-profile implementations including Cisco technologies; such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security and Hosted IPT Service provider infrastructures.

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