Microsoft Classroom to be replaced by Microsoft Teams in Office 365 for Education

Update (23rd June 2017): Immersive classroom experience in Microsoft Teams rolling out to Office 365 for Education customers worldwide: https://educationblog.microsoft.com/2017/06/collaborative-classroom-features-now-available-microsoft-teams/?wt.mc_id=AID620997_QSG_SCL_172658

Update (17th May 2017): Microsoft has published a support article on the change at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4022583/microsoft-classroom-preview-features-are-moving-to-microsoft-teams. In brief it looks like the existing functionality will be available in tabs in Teams. The existing content will not be transferred, but most of it will be available through the underlying group. The notable exception is assignment data which you will need to export if you want to keep it after the Microsoft Classroom close date.

Yesterday (2nd May 2017) in their #MicrosoftEDU event support for education features in Microsoft Teams. From the Microsoft Office blog

The new classroom experiences in Teams will help teachers manage their daily workflow more easily than ever before. Using Teams, they can quickly and efficiently create classes with automatically populated student rosters from their school information system; share files and teaching materials; make announcements; divide the class into project groups and monitor progress; create, distribute and grade quizzes; deliver personalized learning with OneNote Class Notebooks; and distribute, collect and grade assignments. And because Teams is a digital hub, students can work together anytime, anywhere, and on any device; teachers can connect with their peers and continue their own development in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs); and school administrators can communicate and collaborate with their entire staff.

From the image you can see that the tabs are similar to those in Microsoft Classroom.

 

Then education tenants started to get this message in their message centre.

We’re making some changes to Microsoft Classroom Preview

On July 31, 2017, we’ll discontinue support for the Microsoft Classroom Preview, as we work to unify our classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams in Office 365 for Education. Since the Microsoft Classroom Preview released, we’ve been very thankful for schools’ feedback from around the world; which has helped us improve benefits and features of the service. Ultimately, we learned to keep it simple and put classroom resources all in one place. We listened and we’re bringing the best of the classroom features (e.g., Assignments and OneNote Class Notebook) to Microsoft Teams in Office 365 for Education.

How does this affect me?

– Microsoft Classroom Preview will continue with current functionality until July 31, 2017. – Teachers will not be able to create new notebooks or assignments after the July 31, 2017. – Current classes and associated content will continue to be available as Office 365 Groups. Teachers can access assignment resources, files, calendars, and conversations, through tools such as Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint Online. If necessary, they can copy Class Notebook content to their personal workspace (e.g. OneDrive for Business). – When the new class experiences become available in Teams, School Data Sync will start creating the new classes for Microsoft Teams. SDS will continue to sync existing Microsoft Classroom Preview classes through July 31, 2017.

What do I need to do to prepare for this change?

We apologize for any inconvenience resulting from this transition. We encourage you to try out Microsoft Teams, and get yourself familiar with the Teams experience. Please click Additional Information to learn more.

So by July 31st 2017, Microsoft Classroom, which never got out of preview, will be discontinued, to be replaced by the education experience in Microsoft Teams. While this will be very annoying for those who have invested their time in trialling it, and using in their school – it does make sense. Classroom, although built on top of Azure Active Directory, was a very much standalone experience, and just for the education sector. Microsoft is heavily pushing Teams as part of Office 365 and so will be investing a lot in it. Hence adding the education functionality to it makes much more sense and will make it more likely to keep being updated as it’s part of a ‘core’ product.

We’ve yet to see what the assignment functionality is like, but my guess is that the Assignments tab will be very similar to Classroom, because it’s likely to be the same back end. One of the advantages of Teams is that the tabs are configurable and extendable, so anyone can develop new functionality in a tab, hopefully it should have just been a case of putting the assignments functionality in a new UI container.

On the administration side, both are powered by School Data Sync (SDS) and so no change is required and any time you have invested in setting that up is not wasted. So you can continue to create your classroom/team group using SDS whether it’s by manual csv upload, Salamander Active Directory or our new free SDS utility.

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Recordings of our Webinars on our products and their integration with Active Directory, Office 365, G Suite, SharePoint, Exchange etc

Earlier this year we broadcast several webinars on how our products can support the needs of you and your organisations. Here are the recordings of them, all of which are also available in our YouTube channel.

For more information on any of our products please email info@salamandersoft.co.uk.

Getting the most from Office 365 with Salamander Products

Automated Provisioning with Salamander Active Directory

Teaching and Learning with Salamander SharePoint and Office 365

Making G Suite Administration easy with Salamander Active Directory

Supporting Automated Provisioning for Multi-Academy Trusts and enterprises

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Free Webinars on our products and their integration with Active Directory, Office 365, G Suite, SharePoint, Exchange etc

We are running a series of free webinars which will go into more detail of how our products can support the needs of you and your organisations:

Teaching and Learning with Salamander SharePoint and Office 365
A look into how Salamander SharePoint can support Teaching and Learning through SharePoint, MS Classroom and Class Notebooks in Office 365.

Wednesday 8th February 2017 @ 1000 – 1100 GMT
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Tuesday 7th March 2017 @ 1400 – 1500 GMT
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Automated Provisioning with Salamander Active Directory
A look at how Salamander Active Directory can support your automated provisioning needs.

Thursday 16th February 2017 @ 1300 – 1400 GMT
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Getting the most from Office 365 with Salamander Products
An overview of how Salamander Products can help you get the most from your Office 365 tenant and the products available with it.

Tuesday 21st February 2017 @ 1000 – 1100 GMT
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Making G Suite Administration easy with Salamander Active Directory
A look at how Salamander Active Directory can support Administrators as they manage their G Suite Tenancies inside schools.

Wednesday 1st March 2017 @ 1000 – 1100 GMT
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Supporting Automated Provisioning for Multi-Academy Trusts and enterprises
A demonstration of how the Salamander Products can support the provisioning needs of expanding trusts, including provisioning for Active Directory and Office 365 from multiple MIS systems, and how our products can scale to meet your needs.

Wednesday 15th March 2017 @ 1000 – 1100 GMT
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SalamanderSoft at BETT 2017

PrintIt’s that time of the year again, and BETT is again upon us, starting Wednesday. This year we are again exhibiting as one of the members of the Microsoft Partner Village. This has been expanded over its launch last year and is now bigger than the main Microsoft stand.

Over the course of the show, the entire team will be rotating through and we would love to see as many of you as possible over the 4 days. Our rota is below, but feel free to just drop by and say hello and chat about our products and recent developments. Some of the items we are showcasing are:

  • Microsoft Classroom and School Data Sync including our utility for uploading data
  • Use of Office 365 as a learning environment
  • Office 365 user and group creation and maintenance, licenses, photos, timetables and more.
  • One Note Class Notebook provisioning and use.
  • G-Suite user and group creation and maintenance, licenses, photos, timetables, sites, drive, cloud print and more.
  • Google Classroom including guardian support
  • Active Directory user and group creation and maintenance and more.
  • SharePoint as a learning environment including class & subject sites, OneNote creation, blogs and more..
  • Write back of usernames, email addresses and user defined fields into your MIS. Also creation of SIMs system users.
  • Support for the above for all UK MISs including Capita SIMS, RM Integris, Progresso, Facility CMIS, iSAMS, WCBS Pass & 3 Sys, Bromcom, Arbor and many overseas ones

Webinars

If you can’t make it to BETT, then afterwards we will be running a series of webinars going into more detail on our products, full details are below. Otherwise if you want to speak to us about anything, then just contact us as normal.

We hope to see you in Excel later this week,

Richard

Additional Details:

Stand Location : Microsoft Partner Campus Stand C300, next to the main Microsoft stand

Partner Collaboration Session

Microsoft Classroom and School Data Sync

Thursday 1330 – 1400

Come to the theatre in the Partner Village and learn about how to use Microsoft Classroom and School Data Sync.

Rota

All of the team will be there present over the four days. If you want to catch up with anyone in particular the rota is

Richard Wednesday to Saturday
Jon Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday
Darren Friday & Saturday
Stuart Thursday to Saturday
Kris Wednesday & Thursday
Gareth Wednesday & Thursday

Please feel free to drop by and say hello and find out about our latest developments. We won’t all be on the stand all the time so if there’s someone specific you want to meet please email and arrange a definite time.

Post BETT Webinars

Teaching and Learning with Salamander SharePoint and Office 365

A look into how Salamander SharePoint can support Teaching and Learning through SharePoint, MS Classroom and Class Notebooks in Office 365.

Wednesday 8th February 2017 @ 1000 – 1100 GMT

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Tuesday 7th March 2017 @ 1400 – 1500 GMT

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Automated Provisioning with Salamander Active Directory

A look at how Salamander Active Directory can support your automated provisioning needs.

Thursday 16th February 2017 @ 1300 – 1400 GMT

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Getting the most from Office 365 with Salamander Products

An overview of how Salamander Products can help you get the most from your Office 365 tenant and the products available with it.

Tuesday 21st February 2017 @ 1000 – 1100 GMT

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Making G Suite Administration easy with Salamander Active Directory

A look at how Salamander Active Directory can support Administrators as they manage their G Suite Tenancies inside schools.

Wednesday 1st March 2017 @ 1000 – 1100 GMT

Add to my Calendar

Supporting Automated Provisioning for Multi-Academy Trusts and enterprises

A demonstration of how the Salamander Products can support the provisioning needs of expanding trusts, including provisioning for Active Directory and Office 365 from multiple MIS systems, and how our products can scale to meet your needs.

Wednesday 15th March 2017 @ 1000 – 1100 GMT

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OneNote Staff Notebook Creation with Salamander Active Directory and SharePoint

onenoteIconAfter the success of OneNote Class Notebooks, Microsoft introduced OneNote Staff Notebooks. These have a personal workspace for every staff member or teacher, a content library for shared information, and a collaboration space for everyone to work together, all within one powerful notebook. There’s a getting started guide available at support.office.com.

Now, as with the OneNote Class Notebook, Microsoft have released an API to allow partners to automatically create them. I’m pleased to announce that we have now added support for creating and maintianing Class Notebooks to Salamander Active Directory and Salamander SharePoint.

This means that we can automate the creation of Staff Notebooks directory from your MIS, whether it’s SIMs, Facility, iSAMS, Pass or any other MIS. It will also add and remove students and teachers as the membership changes in the MIS.

This allows central provisioning and rollout of Staff Notebooks with no manual intervention required by staff– they can just get on with teaching and enabling teaching.

We can create the Notebooks in several different locations:

  1. In the Staff OneDrives.
  2. In SharePoint sites.
  3. Within the new Office 365 Groups.
  4. In a shared OneDrive.

This is all completely configurable, as are all our products, so we can configure it to whatever works best for your school. We can even automatically archive the Notebooks at the end of the year, before building a new set for the new academic year.

For more details please email info@salamandersoft.co.uk.

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Support for updated OneNote Class Notebook API by Salamander Active Directory

ClassNotebookRecently Microsoft updated their API for OneNote Class Notebooks to add more functionality. Read more at the Office blog:

Teacher Only spaces, Collaboration Space lockdown, subgroup creation and more with the new Class Notebook API updates

I am pleased to announce that we have now added support for this new functionality to Salamander Active Directory and Salamander SharePoint. This includes:

  • Teacher only content spaces. These can be added to existing as well as to new class Notebooks.
  • Deletion of notebooks, sections and pages.
  • Adding section groups, sections and pages.
  • Copying sections and pages from other notebooks.
  • Permissions. The ability to set permissions on notebooks, sections and section groups. These can range from allowing anyone to edit, through read only, to not even being able to see it is there.
  • Option to send or not send the Welcome Email message when creating class notebooks.
  • Create class notebooks in languages other then English.
    If you want any of this functionality adding to your current set up please email support@salamandersoft.co.uk. If you are interested in creating Class Notebooks directly from your MIS, whether it is Capita SIMs, Progresso, iSAMs, RM Integris or any other MIS/SIS please contact us at info@salamandersoft.co.uk.

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