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How to switch from Chalkup to Microsoft Teams for Education


Earlier this year we announced that Chalkup has joined Microsoft EducationChalkup will be ending services on June 30, 2018 so we can focus all our efforts on building amazing Microsoft Education products. As of today, we are no longer accepting new signups. 


If you’ve liked using Chalkup, we think you’ll love Microsoft Teams for Education. Microsoft Teams shares many of the same principles for collaborative learning as Chalkup and includes seamless class discussions, chat, and integrated assignments and grading functionality. Also included is Microsoft Learning Tools which are free tools that implement proven techniques to improve reading and writing for students regardless of their age or ability.

This guide will help you transition your classes to Microsoft Teams. First, let's introduce you to Microsoft Teams. 

Easily manage your class workflow while engaging the voice within every student

“Microsoft Teams has given every student – even the quietest ones – a voice in my class.” —Primary School Teacher

Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, meetings, files and apps together in a single experience in Office 365 Education. Using Teams, teachers can move quickly and easily from conversations to content creation with context, continuity, and transparency. Teams addresses the unique needs of different groups and enables them to work together easily and get things done:

  • Manage assignments, grades, and content using the applications that you use every day—all available in a single, custom workspace

  • Stay in the know with real-time information and updates shared in persistent team conversations, private chats (these can be moderated, if needed), team meetings, and other channels

  • Support rich collaboration and seamless experiences with integrated apps from Office 365 like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote Class Notebook, and education partners like busuu, Canvas, Flipgrid, and Kahoot!

Note: Office 365 Education now includes Teams. This means that Teams is free for all faculty, staff, and students through Office 365 Education!


If you don't already have a Microsoft Office 365 Account

You can create your own teacher or student account for free at https://www.office.com/education

Once signed in, then go to https://teams.microsoft.com/edustart and sign into Microsoft Teams for Education.


Understanding Teams


You can create teams for different class periods, projects, groups, and invite others in the school or district to join as team members. Teams can also be created based on existing Office 365 Groups, and any changes made to the Office 365 Groups will automatically be synced in Teams. This simplifies the process of inviting and managing team members and saves group files in Teams.

For example, individual classes can be further organized into channels that contain tabs for conversations, files, notes, and more. Channels can be created based on the class’s different needs, for example, by unit, subject, or by project-based group. Tabs enable the class to upload, review, edit files, notes, and customized content (such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, videos, external links, other applications, and more). This content is then easily accessible to everyone in the class.


Tip: Setting up Teams on your mobile device is easy and will ensure you can conveniently stay connected with your class from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. You can download Teams from the App Store (Apple iOS) or Google Play (Android).


Customize Teams for your unique scenario

Successful teams need simple and intuitive tools to enable fast and effective communication as well as collaboration. Whether you’re preparing lesson plans, creating a personalized learning environment, developing an after-school program, managing any other team-based activity or project, Teams can help you get organized for success. In the following steps, we’ll show you how to get started and customize Teams for your class scenario.

Create your team and invite team members

  1. To launch Teams, go to the app launcher – the “waffle” The app launcher icon in Office 365 – in the upper left corner of Office 365 Education and click Teams to open the online app (or download it to your desktop).

    The Office 365 app launcher with the Microsoft Teams app highlighted

    Note: If you’re having trouble accessing Teams, contact your IT Admin to make sure you have the right license.

  2. Click the Add team button at the bottom of the channel list in Teams. Teams are just like "Courses" in Chalkup.

  3. Click the Create team button then select Classes.

    Choose team

    Note: If your school uses School Data Sync, your classes will automatically be created for your with student rosters connected to your school’s information system, so you don’t have to worry about this step.

  4. In the Create your team window, name your class and write a brief description that explains the purpose of the class, then click the Next button.

    Name and Description

    Note: Leave the Privacy option set to Private—Only team owners can add members (you can change this setting later if needed).

    Tip: Before you train your class, go ahead and customize the setup of Teams. Begin by creating your class, setting up a few channels, and adding a few tabs. Then seed a few tabs with some relevant, engaging, and helpful content.

  5. You can easily add people, groups, and distribution lists from your school or district. As you begin typing names, a dropdown list of people in your email directory matching your spelling will appear. Click the Add button to add team members, or click the Skip button to add team members later if you want to set up your content first (recommended).

    Add members

Create a few key channels and some tabs with great content

When you create a new class, a "General" channel is automatically added to the class. You can create additional channels to keep your class organized. By default, anyone on the team can access these channels.


Tip: Post Teams training tips and announcements to the General channel for easy reference. This will be a convenient place for the entire class to get help and guidance, but especially useful for new members joining Teams.

  1. To create additional channels, select the ellipses (...) next to your team name in the channel list.

  2. Select Add channel from the dropdown menu.

    Add channel
  3. In the dialog box, name your channel and write a brief description that explains the purpose of the channel, then select the Add button.

    Create channel

    Tip: Once you’ve created a few channels, you can seed them with some actual content so that your class doesn’t see a blank page the first time they log in. For example, you might start a new conversation by posting a few questions in each channel to get a few discussions started and @mention specific class members to pull them into the conversation.

  4. Within individual channels, you can create tabs for different content and applications. Several default tabs are created within each channel, including Conversations, Files, Class Notebooks, and Assignments. To create a new tab, select the + to the right of the default tabs, then select an app or file for the tab (such as Word or Planner), name it, and select the Save button.

    Channel Add tab

    Note: The setup steps for some applications and services may differ slightly from the instructions provided here.

  5. To create a new tab that links directly to a specific file (such as a lesson plan or outline or an interactive class presentation), click the + to the right of the default tabs, then select the app for the file type (such as a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation), browse to the file name under "Files," name the tab, and select the Save button.


    Tip: You can pin an existing OneNote Class Notebook from a SharePoint site or other website (globe icon) directly to your channel as a tab for easy team access.



Create class assignments

Just like on Chalkup, Teams has built-in Assignments and Grading workflows to help save you time.

  1. To create assignments in Teams, select the Assignments tab in your class team.

  2. Select the New Assignment button in the top right corner.

  3. In the New assignment window, add your assignment details and attach reference materials for your students. You can schedule a due date and time due, and even decide whether your will allow late turn-ins.

  4. When you’re done, select the Assign button.


    Tip: You can save the assignment as a draft if you’re not ready to distribute it yet. Just come back to your Assignments tab later to assign.


  5. To review and grade students’ work, head back to the Assignments tab in your class.

  6. Select Review to see all the assignments your students have turned in.


    You can provide feedback and notes down the list or select an individual student’s submission to see their Assignment. You can also navigate to other students quickly and easily right from that view.



You can read more about grading, reviewing, and using the feedback look on Microsoft's help article here



Download your resources from Chalkup

Back inside your Chalkup account, you'll want to make sure you save all of your resources if you don't already have them locally on your computer. When you're viewing any file or material you'll see two links where you can either download to your device or 'Save to Google Drive'.


Re-create your Chalkup assignments in Microsoft Teams

Before Chalkup is shut down, you might want to go recreate your Chalkup assignments into Microsoft Teams. Navigate to your assignments in Chalkup and copy/paste the assignment title, details into a new assignment in Teams. Download any attached materials from Chalkup and upload them to your Teams assignment. 

Tip: Inside Teams, save all your assignments as a Draft so you can recreate all of your Chalkup assignments without actually assigning them to your students.  


Learn more about Teams with detailed guided tour videos

Microsoft has created Microsoft Teams for Education guided tour videos. From assignments & grading to learning about class and staff-wide communication – bring these to your next teacher PD session! Watch them here.



Reviewing what you’ve learned about Teams

  • Microsoft Teams for Education is the digital hub for teaching and learning that is fully integrated with Office 365 Education, so team members can easily communicate and collaborate using familiar Office 365 applications like Word, Excel, OneNote Class Notebook, and PowerPoint. For Office 365 for Education subscribers, Teams is free, so you can start right away!

  • You can organize your team using custom channels and tabs that you create to meet your collaboration requirements. Tabs can link directly to files or other content, or to Office 365 applications such as Planner and PowerBI, or apps from education partners like busuu, Canvas, Flipgrid, and Kahoot!

  • Create Assignments to easily manage your end-to-end class workflow in your class – move from creation and distribution to grading and feedback in no time.
  • Explore the Microsoft Education Help Center for other help you might need.

Have more questions? Submit a request


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