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My name is Claudia and I'm a teacher who helps parents with their kids remote and distance learning as well as well as how kids can best learn online and with technology!


Don't let these 7 features of MS Teams confuse your e-learner

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

microsoft teams meeting view
View from in a meeting.


Meetings are video calls. On #MicrosoftTeams meetings happen in channels. As a member of that channel you may join the meeting or someone who is already in the meeting may invite you. If a meeting is currently going on in a channel, you will see a tiny video icon on the right of the channel name. To join it, click on the channel and then look for the blue ‘Join’ button. Whilst you are in a meeting you can turn your microphone on and off, send messages to the meeting chat, customize your background, share your screen, etc. Your teacher can remove students from the meeting, end the meeting for everyone, and mute one or all students.

View of the General channel where a meeting is going on. Notice the videocamera icon and the blue join button.
View of the General channel where a meeting is going on.


Different people in your school will have permission to do different things depending on their role. For example a teacher may be able to post on a channel whereas a student may not. It is also likely that staff in your school will have permission to add and remove members from Teams and Channels but as a student, you won’t.

Different channels for different school subjects on microsoft teams
Different channels for different school subjects.


Students are part of a team (or maybe more than one) and have access to multiple channels within each team (listed down the left side). Each channel has a different purpose. For example, the children in my class are all in my class team along with me and specialist teachers, etc. We have a channel for each of the school subjects.

School Policies

Schools have MS Teams policies. Find out what your own school’s policies are so that you don’t break the rules. Remember: just like in school, following the rules helps to make online learning less stressful and more productive for everyone. It may not seem possible when you first log in, but used properly, online learning through Teams can even be fun sometimes!


MS Teams is designed to be a collaborative space. This means that files uploaded to channels are editable by anyone. That means anyone can delete files or change them. This can cause a problem if a teacher uploads a file for all students to access and use and then someone deletes or changes it. Take care when accessing files that you only change what you are allowed to!


A team is either private or public. Private teams are set up by an administrator (probably a senior leader from your school) and members are added. A private team is not visible to you if you are not a member. Private teams may be staff teams that are not for students/parents or class teams that are only for that group of children. Public teams are available to join for any member of your school. These could be optional clubs for example.


Your teacher may set assignments for you. To check, click on the assignments tab on the left. Once you have opened an assignment by clicking on it you can submit documents or files by clicking on '+Add work'. Don’t forget to then click on the ‘Turn in’ button to fully submit your work.

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