One of the central functions is Microsoft Teams is to harness all of the functions of everything else in the Microsoft universe and bring them into one place where they can app-smash their little hearts out. There’s something magical about they exponential increase in functionality when all the tools come from the same developer, as opposed to trying to get extensions and add-ons from third-party apps to play well together. This is certainly true about Streams in Teams.
Stream is a video sharing platform for organizations like school districts. Streams do more than house videos for sharing, although that is certainly the primary function. It has accessibility features built in and you can even embed Microsoft Forms into a video in Stream. But today we’re looking at how Stream videos and channels fit into Microsoft Teams, particularly Class Teams. Welcome to Day 116 of 365 Ideas for Microsoft 365– Streams in Teams
Add Streams to Posts.
It’s so easy to share a video with your class when you have Stream’s icon right there underneath any conversation you start or respond to! One use case I often use is in response to a “How do I?” question. Just open Stream, use the screen recorder to record yourself doing it, then paste the link right in your reply to the student’s question!
You can add a video and in the same chat post, ask students for their thoughts. When they reply to that post all the responses are threaded. (You can toggle on and off students’ ability to create new posts, so you can ensure they all reply and keep the responses threaded.)
Speaking of “threaded”, make sure you take advantage of the organization of using Channels in Teams to keep related content and conversations together. When you create a tab in a channel for Stream, you can choose to add a tab for a specific video, or for an entire channel.
Notice how many options Teams gives you. Did you just create the video or upload it to Stream, and you came over to Teams with the link copied? Just paste it in. Is it an existing video in Stream and you are starting the process in Teams? You can search for the video from here instead. No matter what the actual name of the video is, you can name your tab anything that suits your needs to help your students identify what is under this tab. As always when you create a tab, you can also choose whether or not to notify your students in the channel’s Posts that you added this new tab.
One of my favorite features of Tabs in Microsoft Teams is that the content is embedded. This is not just a link to open a new tab. The video is right there, in your face, when you click on the tab, ready to click and play right here inside the Class Team.
Streams Channel Tab
But this display is even more impressive when you choose to add a Stream Channel to a Tab in Teams. (Yes, it is unfortunate that Microsoft chose the term “Channel” to mean one thing in Stream and something else in Teams, and then let you add a Stream Channel as a tab with a Channel of a Team! Naming has never been Microsoft’s strong point.)
When you insert an entire Stream channel, all the videos appear as clickable thumbnails in that tab. What a great way to add remediation and review or offer student choice! What a terrific way for a class to share video project with the rest of the class! As students or groups complete a video, they can add it to the class channel in Stream and this tab will automatically update to show new additions.
Video Attachments to Teams Assignments
Since every video (and channel) in Stream is housed in the cloud, each has a unique url. That just means each is a website with its own web address. Since links are one of the types of attachments you can add to an assignment in Teams, that means you can add a link to a Stream video. Whether you record yourself giving detailed instructions, or an encouraging message, or if the video you share is content students need to complete the assignment, you can share it with students right within their assignment!
As a stand-alone tool, Stream has some rather significant features. But when you combine Stream with the collaboration and communication tools in Microsoft Teams, you have so many creative options for how you effectively utilize your videos and channels. So go ahead and add some Streams to your Teams!
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