What is Teams?

What is it, why do I need it, and how do I get started?

Written By Jay Heath (Super Administrator)

Updated at April 29th, 2020

What is Teams?

Microsoft Teams is an application built for collaborating with your colleagues, students, and other members of our community. Teams brings together communication, file sharing, and gathers everyone in centralized "Teams" based on groups they belong to. The first time you open Teams, you'll see that you are already a member of a number of teams like #Everyone, or #BusinessOffice,#EnglishDept, #Advisors2023, etc. The people in those teams are the same people who are on those email groups.

How is it different from email?

Email is fine for sending text and attachments, but it has significant formality to it, and it's clunky to have a long, threaded conversations or discussions. Sometimes you want to have more robust discussion without tracking who is responding to whom and in what order. Similarly, which attachment do I want? From whom? Teams makes it easy to have quick conversations with easy to follow comments and always access the latest version of attachments, as well as other things to make communication more fun, like emoji and GIFs. Unlike Outlook, it also supports video and audio calling, screensharing, and more, all in one place.

Why would I want to use it?

In addition to the above, many of your colleagues are already active on teams, posting all manner of things from announcements to tips to happy hours and parenting tips. During our COVID-19 closure it's the best way we have to continue to build community and collaborate with people around any topic. Teams also has simple mobile apps for your smartphone if you want to stay in touch while you're on the go.

When you're ready to get started, please visit Getting Started with Teams.

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