Technology is becoming more and more steeped in students’ lives, with more paper assignments being handed over online every day. The decision to introduce Microsoft Teams as the main online platform for schools has only furthered this change. However, this decision has come under heavy scrutiny from the district, with certain aspects constantly being discussed. For example, the site has had technical difficulties in submitting assignments and days when the site has completely crashed, preventing students from accessing the work.
These are all the problems freshman Dakota Geiger has had to deal with this year. However, she has still found several benefits on the site, such as the organization and how all classes can be easily found.
“You can’t lose paper at the bottom of your backpack online,” Geiger said. “It’s up to the students to find their work.”
English teacher Rebekah Mileo agrees that Microsoft Teams is moving schools towards a more individually focused learning environment. She thinks one of the biggest challenges at Teams is the difficulty of finding or submitting assignments. This becomes even more difficult because teachers’ Microsoft Teams pages look different from the students, making it difficult to help students. However, Mileo thinks Microsoft Teams will help students become more efficient at troubleshooting.
“It seems that our culture really needs to push that students are in charge of their education,” Mileo said. “The effort they make is very important, and it is through their ability to manage their own time and ask for help and solve problems when needed that will lead to [hun] success.”
In addition to Microsoft Teams, Mileo also uses other programs, notably Flipgrid, a video recording app, and Turnitin.com, another place to submit work. She says she’s been using Turnitin.com for a while, although she recently picked up Flipgrid, enjoying the program because of its versatility and thought it was a good replacement for presentations in the classroom.
Chemistry teacher Michael Meinert has a slightly different view of how well Microsoft replaces Teams in classroom learning. He notices that students in the classroom typically work together through labs and assignments, enabling them to strengthen each other’s learning process. Due to restrictions imposed on sharing items between individuals, they have not been able to do so.
” [Werk] is much more fun when you do things together,” Meinert said.
He notices that some students use Teams as a ‘group chat’ and can then communicate at work. Meinert does think that any platform would limit social interactions between students, and the school district does its best by deploying Teams.