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Microsoft Teams quick start guide

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration work space. Microsoft Teams is great for conversations within a Team (such as your department or classes) or for one to one communications outside of a team. Microsoft Teams also enables remote meetings using voice, video and screen sharing capabilities. You can also share and collaborate on files within Teams.

Why not try this interactive demo to learn how to use Microsoft Teams – https://teamsdemo.office.com/

How do I access Microsoft Teams?

Click here to see how you can access Microsoft Teams on your school device and on other devices.


Within the Teams tab on the left hand side, is where you will find all the Teams you are a member of. From here you can start and reply to conversations. Share files and much more.

Each Team can consist of multiple channels. Channels allow you to have different spaces for posts and files within a team, such as having different channels based on topics, events, year groups or subjects.


To start a conversation select the Team and the channel where you would like to have the conversation.

Click into the “Start a new conversation” box at the bottom of the screen. Use the “@” symbol to mention someone or the team so they receive a Teams alert to get their attention.

Watch the video below for guidance on using the “@ mentions” feature

Under the message box you have multiple options to format the text, attach a file, send GIFs and more.

Watch the video below on how to use posts in channels


Each Team has a secure location to store and share files. Multiple people can edit the files at the same time.

To access the files within a Channel, select the Files tab at the top of the screen. You can then select the file you would like to view.

Upload new files

Note all files uploaded into the files tab are editable by all members of the Team. In Class Teams use the “Class Materials” folder for resources that students should only have read access to.

You can add files by either dragging and dropping files, or selecting the upload option.

To create a new file or folder select New and select the folder or file type you would like to create.

Share files

Use the “Copy link” option to get a link to a file or folder and share this in a Chat or a message with your Team.

Why not make a commonly used file a Tab in the Team so all members of the team have quick access to it.


Some Teams come with a Notebook/OneNote tab by default. This is a great place for planning lessons and creating lesson content staff can use to share with their students.

Click here for some tips on how to best use OneNote in your Team


Chat is a great place to have one to one conversations outside of a Team, this can be really useful where you need a quick answer to a question for example. You can chat one to one with someone or multiple people. You can also check the status of someone as you are writing a message to them, see below for details of the different statuses:

  • Green – they are online and actively using their computer
  • Yellow – they are online but not actively using their computer, or they are away from it
  • Red – they are online but they are in a meeting
  • White X – they are offline or not running Microsoft Teams on their device

Start a new chat

To start chatting with someone select the pencil icon next to the search box at the top of Teams, enter the person’s name and then send them a message.

Make a call

The video option should never be used when calling a student

Inside Chat you can make and receive video and audio calls. You can also share your screen.

To make a video or audio only call select the camera or phone button. This will then start to call the user(s) in the chat.

You can share your screen by selecting third icon (with the up arrow). You’ll then have the option to share your entire desktop or a specific Window eg a document open in Microsoft Word.

Watch the video below for guidance on using chats and making calls

Updated on 16th March 2020

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