The fall semester is just around the corner, and schools and universities are now getting ready for the new academic year that may as well start with a few stumbling blocks. In this interview, our CEO, Beatriz Oliveira, speaks about the challenges of remote learning and how BindTuning intends to be disruptive to change the world's remote leaning systems.
Bringing digital campuses to life
CEO and founder of BindTuning, Microsoft Regional Director and Office Development MVP, Beatriz Oliveira's mission is to place the company she leads on the path to become the leading platform for building modern workplaces for Office 365, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams.
As a visionary in the web design industry and expert in digital workspaces (and as a parent), she understands first-hand the challenges that schools and universities are going thru at the moment and how they can be addressed.
Why solutions for education?
BindTuning is a multi-industry platform for building connected and engaging solutions for modern workplaces in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. Back in 2017, we found the need to tailor our solutions to the needs of different industries. As education was one of those industries, we decided to create SharePoint templates for education specifically for the context of school districts, individual schools and universities. However, with the onset of remote learning and the pressing needs of our education customers, we expanded the offering to Microsoft Teams apps, allowing the creation of innovative, different and very context-specific teams in Microsoft Teams for education. The development of deployment automation solutions, now allows for the easy creation not only of teams in Microsoft Teams, but also of those solutions for intranets.
“It is crucial to guarantee that we support good communication between four different groups: the school administration, teachers, parents, and students. ”
In the post dynamic world, what do you see as technological challenges schools are facing right now? How can the school IT administrators best address them?
You know, as we see schools reopening all over the world and with very flexible schedules and new measures in place, we believe that a majority of schools are still considering hybrid learning scenarios. We don't really know how the pandemic will evolve but we have stepped up and are ready to face those challenges with innovative solutions. COVID forced a scope of digitalization that has never been seen before, and as the pandemic continues to evolve, we have many challenges still to face.
One challenge is obviously helping customers maintain what we call the digital campus, and it is crucial to guarantee that we support good communication between four different groups: the school administration, teachers, parents, and students. For this, BindTuning relies on our solutions for SharePoint, namely the ability to create engaging digital campuses with strong communication assets, but also with the creation of very specific Microsoft Teams by using BindTuning Apps. Also, I believe that one of the biggest challenges will be the adoption of Microsoft Teams to support digital classrooms.
“When we create teams, we have to make sure that all the teachers and all the students are automatically added based on the Azure AD. At the same time, we want to make sure that content is provided and also added.”
When it comes to teams adoption in education, which challenges are those?
You know, I believe we do have different challenges. The first one is scale - how can school IT administrators at the beginning of every school year, in an easy and quick way, create all the Microsoft Teams that are required to support all the classrooms? We know that there are some tools available, but those tools do not encompass and do not include all the assets that are required, such as users. When we create teams, we have to make sure that all the teachers and all the students are automatically added based on the Azure AD. At the same time, we want to make sure that content is provided and also added. And when I'm talking about content, I mean all the OneNote files and content within predefined assignments. It is imperative to help teachers throughout the school year to maintain their digital classrooms up-to-date and ready for their students. And there is an enormous number of files that have to be provided to support those classes. So when we support the need to scale, we want to make sure that, at the same time, users and content are added to Teams automatically.
Another very important challenge is standardization. We know that teachers have many different levels of expertise when it comes to their digital skills, so we want to make sure that all students, regardless of the digital skills of teachers, have access to the same level of educational assets. This is absolutely important. At the same time, it is also crucial that we have the ability to provide regular updates to teachers. As the school year goes by, how can schools and school IT administrators provide new and fresh content to teachers that are defined in a centralized manner?
“We know that teachers have many different levels of expertise when it comes to their digital skills, so we want to make sure that all students, regardless of the digital skills of teachers, have access to the same level of educational assets.”
And how can BindTuning help address those issues?
BindTuning has a solution called Automate 365 that allows for the creation and automatic deployment of templates, not only for SharePoint but also for Microsoft Teams. Automate 365 provides the definition and the creation of pre-packaged teams, which include not only the channels, the tabs, the definition of users, but also content. All these templates are deployed automatically to Microsoft Teams - so all the teams are created at scale at the same time. And note that we are able to provide schools the ability to create their own templates and this is crucial.
We know that one size does not fit all, so the definition of a generic template is not useful for schools and we know that schools need to create their own templates, based on their own curriculum, expertise, and lessons learned along the way. BindTuning empowers schools to deploy Microsoft Teams at scale at the beginning of every school year, successfully, in a very quick and effortless manner.
“And note that we are able to provide schools the ability to create their own templates and this is crucial.”
Alright, so what's the best way for schools to get started with BindTuning?
Super easy, you just have to go to bindtuning.com/education and we have a very simple way for you to schedule a demo with us.