Microsoft Teams and Remote Learning
Due to Covid-19 we have all had to shelter in place and reduce how often we go out, and socially distance ourselves from others. This leads to schools sending students home and has them learn remotely. At this time many of us have become familiar with Microsoft Teams for meetings. The interesting thing is that schools have also been using this to hold classes and distribute assignments and submitting assignments. But there is much more that can be done with Teams to help remote learning.
One of the biggest problems with remote learning is that not all computers are made equal. Some people have access to better computers and faster internet. There are those who are running high-end gaming machines and others are running on lower-powered laptops or desktops. This makes coming up with meaning full assignments that need specific programs with set requirements hard to do. Imagine taking a chemistry class and trying to do a lab that where you learn the structure of elements shown graphically and have interactions between elements shown. The graphical requirements on this could be high causing some students to be unable to do the lab. Well, Microsoft has a solution to these kinds of problems that use Virtual Machines.
As mention above Microsoft Teams addresses the issues with remote learning by introducing virtual machines through Azure Lab services. You might wonder what a VM is and it’s just a virtual computer. A virtual machine is a program that runs a virtual copy of a computer. A virtual machine lets you run programs and browsers as if you were running on your computer. Meaning all someone needs is a computer and an internet connection, and they have access to whatever they need. With a VM it doesn’t matter if someone has a Mac or a PC. As long you have a browser a VM can be accessed via browsers and everyone is running the same machine. This gives everyone access to a high-end machine if that is what you need. No need to worry about the host computer crashing because VM’s are part of server clusters in a data center.
Azure Lab Services
Now that we know what a VM is and the power and flexibility it can give you how does it work with Azure lab services. Well … it also just works because it is pre-integrated with your office 365 A1 this makes your Teams your central hub for all these services. The Azure lab services work off of the Microsoft Azure cloud to power it which is what Team uses as well. This means you can set up a lab have your students access it and submit it and have it come to your Teams. Using Teams, you can create class rosters with School data sync. Controlling and updating your VMs and labs become easy for your IT as it gives them one central location they must go to.
If you are interested in learning more about Microsoft Teams or Azure Lab services, feel free to contact us. You can contact us by using the form found below or by emailing us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to get you in contact with a friendly and knowledgeable member of our staff.