D2L is bringing a deeper Microsoft Teams integration into its Brightspace learning management system, as more professionals seek out new education and training programmes online.
D2L says the integration will enable Teams users to transition between Teams and Brightspace, with the Microsoft Teams – Course Connector.
According to D2L Australia and New Zealand regional director Tony Maguire, the integration aims to bring tools and functionality remote learners and educators need under one unified platform.
“Recent events have re-enforced the importance of social context in learning, so collaboration, discussion, and teamwork are just as relevant in primary and secondary school as in vocational and higher education settings.
Those enrolled in Brightspace and Teams will be automatically synchronised between the two platforms.
Soon, Brightspace users will be able to create private channels for course sections and link back to their course homepage through a tab in Microsoft Teams.
“Through this integration with Microsoft Teams, we will be providing remote learners with all the tools they need to feel connected, supported, and successful despite being physically distant,” says Maguire.
D2L recently appointed Maguire earlier this month. He brings more than 20 years of leadership, sales, and partnership experience, particularly in the edtech sector. He has worked with vendors including Apple's K-12 business in Queensland, Northern Territory, Victoria and Tasmania, and Oracle's ANZ higher education consulting services arm.
He believes that the education sector will be crucial as Australia and New Zealand enter ‘COVID-19' economies.
“Even before COVID-19, educational institutions were transforming to digital-first experiences – and the current pandemic has just pulled the future forward,” he said. “In just two weeks, blended and on-campus learning was forced to go completely online and the challenges that posed were enormous. Now universities and tertiary educators alike are getting serious about finding ways to use technology to improve student support, give better insights into student well-being, and alleviate the burden on faculty.
D2L president and CEO John Baker believes that digital education delivery is not a ‘nice-to-have' anymore – it's a ‘need-to-have'.
“Tony's intimate understanding of both the traditional teaching experience and the wider edtech industry means he's perfectly placed to help our clients successfully navigate this change.
Maguire adds that cloud-based platforms are the only way to deliver training and upskilling that the economy needs.
“Importantly, education doesn't finish with a degree. Learning continues long after graduation and many businesses are struggling to deliver the professional development their employees need while they're working remotely.