Plymouth State University’s Microsoft Office package includes much more than Outlook email. By navigating to the new Microsoft widgets featured on myPlymouth, or by using the app launcher in any Office 365 app, PSU active account holders can access all of the collaboration applications featured in Microsoft Office 365.
On the left, the Microsoft App Launcher. On the right, the new myPlymouth Office 365 widgets.
These applications include Microsoft Teams, a collaborative hub that brings all the best Microsoft tools onto one page. Whether you are working with students on a group project, or working with staff and faculty on a committee, Microsoft Teams can help smoothly facilitate conversations and file sharing to make collaboration a seamless process.
Build Your Team
Adding members to a team is easy. Since Microsoft Teams is part of Microsoft Office 365, all PSU active account holders will already be in the database. Simply searching for the name or email address of a university member will allow them to be selected for a team invitation. Once built, members can start using all the tools offered by Teams.
Communicate with Channels
Channels are message threads that link individual users, or an entire team, together. Microsoft Teams allows multiple channels with unique labels to be created within a team, making discussion concise and organized between members.
This is much more efficient than using an email thread, which can quickly become dense and bogged down with wayward emails. With Microsoft Teams, separate channels can be made for specific projects, targeted discussions, and smaller groups, making last week’s messages easy to find.
Collaborate with Sharepoint
All files that are shared in a channel are automatically uploaded to a Sharepoint team site, which keeps track of the activity within a team. A Sharepoint site shows what teams members are working on by organizing files into a single place. With Sharepoint, it’s easy to see when files have been accessed and how they have been modified.
In addition, Sharepoint has a News and Comment feature built into the site that can keep the team up to date on the progression projects and tasks.
Stay on the Same Page with OneNote
Microsoft OneNote is a digital notebook app that lets users customize blank documents like a journal. A OneNote page can be added to Teams to create a collaborative space that allows all members to generate ideas on the same page.
OneNote allows team members to not only type anywhere, but collaboratively draw and graph anywhere on a page. In this way, OneNote is a platform that goes beyond sending messages in a channel.
Tab Your Favorite Apps and Files
Have an Excel sheet that all members are collaborating on, or a YouTube video that you’d like all team members to reference? Instead of having members navigate away from the Teams page, you can pin Microsoft apps and sites within Teams tabs to keep everyone working within a single site.
With Teams, all the best Microsoft features are easily accessible without having to leave the page.
Talk Face to Face with Meetings
Even when files and ideas are stored in a single space, collaborating on a project can be difficult without face-to-face communication.
Teams has a solution for that through team meetings. Team meetings are group conversations that occur in channels with audio, video, and desktop sharing capabilities. During meetings, the Teams interface is still accessible, so files can still be created or edited simultaneously as conversations are happening in real time. Meetings can be formed on demand, or ahead of time through a teams calendar.
…and More to Come!
Microsoft Teams is constantly improving and expanding its capabilities. Upcoming updates include increased functionality with Skype for Business, additional features in SharePoint team sites such as Quick Links, and more. To see all of the upcoming updates, visit the Microsoft Roadmap for more on what’s coming to Teams.