Microsoft Teams For Education

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Microsoft Teams allows users to do things like attend online meetings or live events, chat, make calls, and use apps. Setting the right Microsoft Teams admin policies is a critical step in ensuring that Teams is a safe learning environment for students. Microsoft Teams for Education Help drive the transition to inclusive online or hybrid learning, build confidence with remote learning tools, and maintain student engagement.

Important

You can run the Teams for Education Policy Wizard to easily apply policies for your students, educators and staff. The tool adjusts the Global (Org-wide default) policy definition of a core set of policies with settings that we recommend for student safety and applies it to students. The tool also creates and assigns a set of custom policies to educators and staff. If you already used the wizard to apply policies for your students, educators and staff, use this article as a reference or only if you want to manually create and manage policies for your students, educators and staff.

Note

For the larger story on policies in Microsoft Teams, please review Assign policies to your users in Microsoft Teams.

Admins: Getting started with Microsoft Teams policy management

Microsoft Teams allows users to do things like attend online meetings or live events, chat, make calls, and use apps. Setting the right Microsoft Teams admin policies is a critical step in ensuring that Teams is a safe learning environment for students. As an admin, you can use policies to control the Teams features that are available to users in your educational institute. In most cases, policies must be adjusted for both students and educators to keep the environment safe.

Here's a list of the main policy areas you will find in Microsoft Teams. To learn more about the policies in each area and the capabilities they control, use the links below:

You can manage all Teams policies in the Microsoft Teams admin center by signing in with your admin credentials.

Where to find Microsoft Teams policies

Once you've logged into the Teams admin center, you'll be able to go to the policy settings for any area of Teams you need to manage, by clicking on the policy option in the left hand navigation of the Teams admin center. We've included a screenshot of the location of the messaging policies.

How to create and update a policy definition

Before you assign policies to your users, you need to first add and create your policy definitions for each capability area with Teams.

Note

We recommend that you set different policy definitions for your students and educators.

By default, every new user (student or educator) will be assigned the Global (Org-wide default) policy definition for each capability area. We recommend that you use the Global (Org-wide default) for your strictest set of policy definitions. In most cases, this stricter policy set will be more appropriate for students. Using your Global (Org-wide default) policy definition in this way will ensure that new users will have the tightest restrictions when they are added to your tenant. To adhere to this guidance, we recommend you follow these steps:

  1. Create a custom policy definition for each Teams capability area with policy values that are fitting for your educators' needs (without this, educators will have the same restricted access as your students as defined within the Global (Org-wide default) policy definition).

  2. Assign these new custom policy definitions to your educators.

  3. Edit the Global (Org-wide default) policy definitions for each capability area with values that are appropriate for your students.

  4. The Global (Org-wide default) policy definitions will be applied to your students as long as they have no other policy definitions assigned.

To create or edit policy definitions, go to the policy capability area you want to work in (for example, Messaging policies). Select Add to create a new custom policy definition. To change an existing policy definition, select Edit.

Whether you choose to add or edit a policy definition, you're brought to a view that lists all the policy options related to this policy area. Use this list to select what values you want set in your policy definition.

Important

Don’t forget to select Save before you leave the page.

Assigning policy definitions

There are multiple methods you can use to assign policy definitions to your users. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, which will differ depending on your institution's unique needs.

In most cases, we recommend that you use group policy assignment to assign policies to your users. This method allows for faster and more seamless policy application. When a user is added to a group that has a policy definition assigned to it, the new user automatically inherits the policies of the group. This allows for easier policy management when large numbers of users are added and removed to the environment, for example at the beginning and ending of a school term.

For large organizations, we also recommend batch policy assignment, which is tailored for cases where you need to assign policies to large sets of users. To learn more about these application methods, refer to Assign policies to large sets of users in your school.

If you have a smaller institution or have a need to update an individual student or educator's policy settings, follow the instructions below.

Important

Policy assignments given at the individual user level override any group policies assigned to the user. Ensure that you are only using individual policy assignments when you desire to override group policy settings.

How to assign a policy definition to a user

Note

Assigning a policy definition may take a while to propagate out to all the users and clients. You might want to do this when the user accounts are first created in Azure/M365, and whenever a new student joins the educational institute.

Once your policy definition is created or updated, you can assign it to a user by selecting Manage users on the policy page, searching for the desired user, then applying the policy.

You can also assign a policy to a user by navigating to Users, selecting the user you wish to update policies for, selecting Policies, then Edit. From there, you can select the policy definition you’d like to assign to the user for each capability area.

Policy packages in Microsoft Teams

Note

For more reading, you can check out Manage policy packages in Microsoft Teams for step by step guidance on assigning single users a package, assigning packages in bulk to up to 5000 users, and managing and updating the policies linked to each package.

A policy package in Teams collects predefined policies and policy settings that you learned about outlined above, and assigns them to users with similar roles in your institution. Policy packages simplify, streamline, and help provide consistency when managing policies. In normal practice, you assign each of your users a policy package, and redefine the policies in each package as needed to suit the needs of that user group. When you update settings in a package, all users assigned to that package are changed as a bulk update.

Educational institutions in general have many users with unique needs, depending partly on the age and maturity of the students. For example, you may want to grant educators and staff full access to Microsoft Teams, but want to limit Microsoft Teams capabilities for students to encourage a safe and focused learning environment. You can use policy packages to tailor settings based on the needs of different cohorts in your educational institute community.

Important

Our primary recommendation is that you use the Global (Org-wide default) policy definition for students instead of a policy package. This ensures that new users in your organizations always have the strictest set of policies appropriate for students. If this recommendation does not meet the needs of your institution, one of the student policy packages below may be a good alternative.

Just like the policy list earlier in this article, policy packages predefine policies for:

  • Meetings
  • Live events
  • Calling
  • Messaging
  • App permissions

Microsoft Teams currently includes the following policy packages:

Package name listed in Microsoft Teams Admin centerBest used forDescription
Education_TeacherEducators and staffUse this set of policies and policy settings to grant educators and staff within your organization full access to chat, calling and meetings through Microsoft Teams.
Education_PrimaryStudentPrimary school aged studentsYounger, primary school aged students within your institution may need more limits within Microsoft Teams. Use this set of policies and policy settings to limit capabilities like meetings creation and management, chat management, and private calling.
Education_SecondaryStudentSecondary school aged studentsSecondary school aged students within your institution may need more limits within Microsoft Teams. Use this set of policies and policy settings to limit capabilities like meetings creation and management, chat management, and private calling.
Education_HigherEducationStudentHigher education studentsHigher education students within your intuition may need fewer limits than younger students, but some limitations may be recommended. You can use this set of policies and policy settings to give access to chat, calling, and meetings within your organization, but limit how your students use Microsoft Teams with external participants.
Education_PrimaryTeacher_RemoteLearningEducators and staffCreates a set of policies that apply to primary teachers to maximize student safety and collaboration when using remote learning.
Education_PrimaryStudent_RemoteLearningPrimary school aged studentsCreates a set of policies that apply to primary students to maximize student safety and collaboration when using remote learning.

Each individual policy is given the name of the policy package so you can identify policies linked to a policy package. For example, when you assign the Education_Teacher policy package to educators in your educational institution, a policy named Education_Teacher is created for each policy in the package.

Note

If you decide that educators and administrative support staff need different policies, you can repurpose an existing package: identify a package you aren't currently using and change the settings to be appropriate for that group. You might have to make a note to yourself which group has which package, but that's the only impediment to repurposing a package.

Manage policy packages

View

View the settings of each policy in a policy package before you assign a package. In the left navigation of the Microsoft Teams admin center, select Policy packages, select the package name, and then select the policy name.

Decide whether the predefined values are appropriate for your organization or whether you need to customize them to be more restrictive or lenient based on your organization's needs.

Customize

Customize the settings of policies in the policy package, as needed, to fit the needs of your organization. Any changes you make to policy settings are automatically applied to users who are assigned the package. To edit the settings of a policy in a policy package, in the Microsoft Teams admin center, select the policy package, select the name of the policy you want to edit, and then select Edit.

Keep in mind that you can also change the settings of policies in a package after you assign the policy package. To learn more, see Customize policies in a policy package.

Assign

Assign the policy package to users. If a user has a policy assigned, and then later you assign a different policy, the most recent assignment will take priority.

Assign a policy package to one or several users

To assign a policy package to one or multiple users, in the left navigation of the Microsoft Teams admin center, go to Policy packages, and then select Manage users.

To learn more, see Assign a policy package.

If a user has a policy assigned, and then later you assign a different policy, the most recent assignment will take priority.

Assign a policy package to a group

This feature is in private preview

Policy package assignment to groups let you assign multiple policies to a group of users, such as a security group or distribution list. The policy assignment is propagated to members of the group according to precedence rules. As members are added to or removed from a group, their inherited policy assignments are updated accordingly. This method is recommended for groups of up to 50,000 users but will also work with larger groups.

To learn more, see Assign a policy package to a group.

Assign a policy package to a large set (batch) of users

Use batch policy package assignment to assign a policy package to large sets of users at a time. You use the New-CsBatchPolicyPackageAssignmentOperation cmdlet to submit a batch of users and the policy package that you want to assign. The assignments are processed as a background operation and an operation ID is generated for each batch.

A batch can contain up to 5,000 users. You can specify users by their object Id, UPN, SIP address, or email address. To learn more, see Assign a policy package to a batch of users.

Policies that should be assigned for student safety

For more information on the steps you need to take to protect students in your environment, carefully review Keeping students safe while using Teams for distance learning.

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Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, meetings, files, and apps together in one place. Because it’s built on Office 365, schools benefit from integration with their familiar Office apps and services. It delivers enterprise-grade security and compliance that is extensible and customizable to fit the needs of every school.

With Microsoft Teams, your school or institution can create collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, communicate with school staff, coordinate research across institutions, or more easily facilitate student life efforts like clubs or extracurricular activities – all from a single experience in Office 365 for Education.

Microsoft Teams saves time, deepens connections and simplifies everyday logistics. This allows staff to focus on their roles as educators, researchers, and leaders in your school or institution. Students benefit from easy-to-access online classrooms, recorded lessons, and one-on-one meetings with teachers.

This guide is for IT admins in education, including those who haven't yet deployed Teams. This guide will help you get started with:

  • Enabling Teams for students
  • Learning what kind of controls are available to manage Teams within your school
  • Finding partner services through references to external documentation

This guide is designed to get you started quickly with configuration recommendations specific to Teams in schools. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution, but it is a good starting point.

If you've already deployed Teams (as a pilot or full deployment) and are looking for pointers on how to use Teams, see Microsoft Teams for Education.

Before you begin

  1. Deploy School Data Sync to make it easier for educators to automatically create Teams. Contact https://aka.ms/sdssupport for deployment assistance.
  2. Configure the correct ports and protocols for Teams. See Office 365 URLs and IP address ranges.
  3. Prepare your school's network for Teams.
  4. Choose a team type. Teams for Education offers three new types of teams (for a total of four). To understand the differences and use cases of each, see Choose a team type to collaborate in Teams.

Quick start - Teams planning guide

Step 1: Get your people together

Assemble a group of individuals from staff, educators, and the educator community to act as the stakeholder & decision-making group for your Teams deployment.

Step 2: Prioritize your scenarios

Collaboration and communication are about people! Pick the most relevant scenarios for your organization instead of talking about features and functions. Check out the Microsoft 365 FastTrack Productivity Library for examples to help you define scenarios for your school. Successful Teams deployments often center around highly collaborative teams that work closely together, such as classrooms, professional learning communities, and extracurricular student groups.

Microsoft Teams For Education Tutorials

🏆 Best practice:

Plan Teams with Teams! Customers who use Teams to plan their deployment ease the change curve for key stakeholders. Consider creating a team called Microsoft 365 Deployment and creating channels for the various workloads you want to deploy. Your team might look something like this:

Step 3: Conduct pilots and deploy Teams

You’ll want to conduct an initial Teams pilot with your educators, both champions and early adopters, for one or more of the scenarios you selected above. A pilot gives you valuable information about how Office 365 and Teams are received in your organization. Select an interested group of users and a prioritized business scenario to get started.

Once your pilots are complete, you’ll have the feedback you need to plan your broad Teams deployment. Be sure your deployment plan integrates your prioritized scenarios to ensure your school is getting the most from Office 365 and Teams.

Microsoft Teams For Education Training

Step 4: Measure usage, manage satisfaction, and drive adoption

To successfully drive adoption of Office 365 and Teams, stay focused on your educator’s experience. Here’s a quick checklist of our best practices to get you started.

  1. Read the Office 365 Adoption Guidance for best practices. Also available to you is our supplemental content for creating a change management strategy for Microsoft Teams to document your approach.
  2. Study Office 365 activity reports to understand usage across your school. If you aren’t an Office 365 admin, ask your admin to give you Reports Reader permissions so you can access activity reports.
  3. Capture feedback from your educators on their experience with Office 365 and Teams. Use a channel in Teams when your school has fewer than 5000 individuals. Use a public group in Yammer when your school is larger than this current membership limit in Teams.
  4. Nurture your champions and highlight your wins. Reward educators for embracing these new tools and using them in innovative ways. This, above anything, ensures continued adoption of Office 365 and Teams.

Turn on or off Microsoft Teams Licenses

Teams is a cloud-based service. Once an educator or student has a valid license and Teams has been enabled, they can run the desktop, web, and mobile Teams clients. They can install these clients themselves -- the IT admin doesn't need to deploy these clients. You can manage individual user licenses for Microsoft Teams by using the Microsoft 365 Admin Center or by using PowerShell. See Office 365 licensing for Teams for information about both methods . This is valuable to understand if you are interested in piloting Teams before broad enablement.

Configure Teams for your school

Important

Starting June 2019, all Teams for Education admins should use the Microsoft Teams admin center to manage all their Teams policies. Teams for Education policies can no longer be managed in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. For more information, see Manage Teams during the transition to the new Microsoft Teams admin center.

You can easily manage all Teams policies in the Microsoft Teams admin center by signing in with your admin credentials.

Important

Microsoft

You can run the Teams for Education Policy Wizard to easily apply policies for your students, educators and staff. The tool adjusts the Global (Org-wide default) policy definition of a core set of policies with settings that we recommend for student safety and applies it to students. The tool also creates and assigns a set of custom policies to educators and staff. If you already used the wizard to apply policies for your students, educators and staff, use this article as a reference or only if you want to manually create and manage policies for your students, educators and staff.

Settings in the Microsoft Teams admin center are not managed based on user license type. Instead, we suggest that you define different policies to manage which capabilities are available to your users. To configure a policy, click the policy in the left navigation of the Microsoft Teams admin center. Here's an example of messaging policies.

With policies, you can turn on and turn off features at the per-user level. Here’s how policy assignments work:

  • By default, every new user will get the Global policy (tenant-level settings).

  • A user can be assigned a pre-canned user policy created by Microsoft if it meets your requirements. These pre-canned policies are not editable by admins. If you want to manage these in the future, create new custom policies and assign the custom policies to users.

  • A custom policy can be assigned to any user. To create a new custom policy, click Add, choose the settings you want for the policy, and click Save. Then assign the custom policy to a user by going to Users in the Microsoft Teams admin center or by using a script.

How to enable different policies for faculty and students

To have custom settings for faculty and students (for example, Chat is enabled for faculty but not for students), there are two methods to create and assign them:

  • Use the PowerShell module to run a script to create and assign multiple policies. See the Appendix for script examples and documentation.
  • In the Microsoft Teams admin center, create a new custom policy and assign the policy to users on the Users tab.

Note

Until a custom policy is assigned to a user, the user will be using the Global policy setting. This means that if Chat is enabled in the Global policy and disabled in the custom Student policy, until the custom policy is assigned to the student, the student can use Chat. In this case, it may be easier to disable Chat globally and use custom policies to enable Chat for faculty.

Use policies and settings to enforce student safety measures

To maintain student safety, you should use administrative policies to control who can use private chat and private calling, who can schedule meetings, and what content types can be shared.

View Keeping students safe while using Teams for distance learning for more details on what policies and setting updates you need to make within your environment to keep it safe for students.

Appendix

How to create and assign a messaging policy

  1. See whether any of the available policies in your tenants suit your requirements by running Get-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy.
  2. If not, create a new policy by running New-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy -Identity <policy name> -<parameter name> -<parameter value>.

For more information, see Set-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy

Sample script

See PowerShell script sample - Create and assign a messaging policy.

Distribute to clients

Teams has clients available for web, desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux), and mobile (Android and iOS). These clients all require an active internet connection and do not support an offline mode. To get the latest details on the functionality and methods of distribution of each of these clients, check out our topic to Get clients for Teams.

The setup file for the Teams client is an executable file that can be downloaded by admins and end users from the Teams downloads page. Educators and students on desktops can install the application if they have the appropriate privileges. IT Admins can also distribute the installer and through their existing client distribution tools.

End users with mobile devices can download the Microsoft Teams app from the mobile platform’s app store.

Operating system requirements

WindowsmacOSLinuxiOSAndroid
7 and later10.10 and laterDEB or RPM10 or later4.4 and later

Internet browser support

Teams fully supports the following Internet browsers, with noted exceptions for calling and meetings. This table applies to operating systems running on desktop computers.

BrowserCalling - audio, video, and sharingMeetings - audio, video, and sharing123
Internet Explorer 11Not supportedMeetings are supported only if the meeting includes PSTN coordinates. To attend a meeting on IE11 without PSTN coordinates, users must download the Teams desktop client.
Video: Not supported
Sharing: Incoming sharing only (no outgoing)
Microsoft 365 apps and services will not support Internet Explorer 11 starting August 17, 2021 (Microsoft Teams will not support Internet Explorer 11 earlier, starting November 30, 2020). Learn more. Please note that Internet Explorer 11 will remain a supported browser. Internet Explorer 11 is a component of the Windows operating system and follows the Lifecycle Policy for the product on which it is installed.
Microsoft Edge, RS2 or laterFully supported, except no outgoing sharing4Fully supported, except no outgoing sharing
Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based), the latest version plus two previous versionsFully supportedFully supported
Google Chrome, the latest version plus two previous versionsFully supportedFully supported
Sharing is supported without any plug-ins or extensions on Chrome version 72 or later.
Safari 14+1:1 calls not supported. Group calls fully supported.
Video: Fully supported
Sharing: Fully supported
Meetings: Fully supported
Video: Fully supported
Sharing: Fully supported
Safari 13.1+1:1 calls not supported. Group calls supported with full audio support.
Video: Incoming only
Sharing: Fully supported
Meetings are supported with full audio support.
Video: Incoming only
Sharing: Fully supported
Firefox, the latest version plus two previous versionsNot supportedMeetings are supported only if the meeting includes PSTN coordinates. To attend a meeting on Firefox without PSTN coordinates, users must download the Teams desktop client.
Video: Not supported
Sharing: Incoming sharing only (no outgoing)
Safari versions before 13Not supportedMeetings are supported only if the meeting includes PSTN coordinates. To attend a meeting on Safari without PSTN coordinates, users must download the Teams desktop client.
Video: Not supported
Sharing: Incoming sharing only (no outgoing)
Safari is enabled on versions higher than 11.1 in preview. While in preview, there are known issues with Safari's Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

Microsoft Teams For Education Pricing

1 To give and take control of shared content during sharing, both parties must be using the Teams desktop client. Control isn't supported when either party is running Teams in a browser. This is due to a technical limitation that we're planning to fix.

2 Blur my background isn't available when you run Teams in a browser. This feature is only available in the Teams desktop client.

3 Teams meetings on browsers are limited to a single incoming video feed of active speaker.

Microsoft Teams For Education Price

4 Edge RS2 or later doesn't support sending real-time audio and video traffic through HTTP proxies.

Note

As long as an operating system can run the supported browser, Teams is supported on desktop computers. For example, running Firefox on the Linux operating system is an option for using Teams.

For mobile operating systems, we recommend that you run the Teams app, available from the Android and iOS stores. Running Teams in a mobile operating system is supported, but many features are unavailable.

Resources, feedback, and support

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