Staying connected with Microsoft Teams
A message from Information Systems and Technology (IST).
As the campus community settles into working remotely, it’s more important than ever to find a way to stay connected to our teammates and colleagues. With Microsoft Teams, University employees can easily connect, collaborate, and share files and resources, no matter where they are.
What is Teams?
Microsoft Teams is one of the cloud-based applications available under the Microsoft Office 365 suite all University employees have access to. Teams brings people and resources together, allowing users to chat, meet, call, and collaborate all in one place. Create a Team for a unit or department, a certain topic or focus, or specific project – just to name a few!
A Team is created with at least one Team Owner and other users are added as Members. Owners have permissions to add other members and facilitate the creation of private channels. Guests (non-Waterloo employees) can also be added to a Team using their external email address.
Working within a Team
Public or private channels are created within the Team to organize the work of its members.
Other apps, like OneNote, Flow, Planner or even a website, can be added within the Team to enhance member activity. Teams also supports calendar booking and meetings, and both audio and video calling.
As of early March, a total of 613 Teams had been created by IST and were being used by members of the campus community. From March 13-26, leading up to and following the work from home mandate, an additional 548 Teams were requested. In what turns out to be a welcome coincidence, IST had just replaced the previous, manual Teams creation process with a custom-built, automated solution.
By the numbers
Data shows Teams is becoming one of the most-used services across campus. The below table represents approximate daily usage in March.
Not a member of Team? You can still connect
Being part of a Team has many benefits, but individuals don’t need to be a member of a Team to connect with colleagues. Individuals can still book a Teams meeting directly in Outlook or download and log in to Teams to make voice/video calls, all without being a member of an actual Team.
IST will be enabling a new “dial-in” feature that will allow individuals that don’t have access to a computer to call in to participate in a Teams meeting.
Learn more about working remotely with Teams
IST will be hosting a second live, online training course on Tuesday, March 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. More details are available on the IST website.
Can’t attend this live session? View a recording of the first training session.
Visit IST’s Microsoft Teams website to learn more, request a Team, view the FAQs, and browse support resources.
#RethinkPharmacists: Providing care in remote communities
Each March Pharmacist Awareness Month (PAM) celebrates the contributions that pharmacists make to our health care system. This month, the School of Pharmacy is showcasing how our alumni go beyond dispensing pills and play a pivotal role in the health of Canadians with #RethinkPharmacists content.
If you live in a rural Ontario community, you face greater challenges accessing health resources than your urban counterparts. There are fewer health services and supports available nearby, and residents often have to travel far for appointments.
That’s where pharmacists come in. In communities where services are scarce, pharmacists can provide support to help patients access health knowledge and medications.
Alumnus Christine Sorin is doing just that. An experience in pharmacy school led her to practise in Sioux Lookout, a remote community five-and-a-half hours north of Thunder Bay. Christine’s patients are largely Indigenous Canadians, many of whom live in remote communities in the surrounding area. Many patients are flown into the Health Centre she works at, and she’s travelled to several northern communities to provide education on medication needs and side effects.
“We hear about systemic racism in the classroom but it’s different to be able to appreciate the effects of it first-hand. My experiences in Sioux Lookout made me want to be the kind of pharmacist who provides equitable health care. At the hospital here, I have so many opportunities to do just that.”
Read more about Christine’s experiences in Sioux Lookout.
It's virtually a Senate meeting today
For the first time, the University's Senate will be meeting virtually, with an online meeting set to take place in Microsoft Teams a 3:30 p.m. today. The move to an online format is in keeping with the University's decision to suspend all in-person events until further notice. Check out the meeting's open session today. Among the agenda items:
- A motion to approve the program name change of the Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Applied Psychology to the Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, effective 1 May 2020;
- A motion to approve the admission, transfer credit and progression requirements outlined in the articulation agreement with Conestoga College for students in the School of Community Services, Recreation and Leisure Services transferring into the Recreation and Leisure Studies program at the University of Waterloo;
- A motion to approve the appointment of Emily Arnold as undergraduate student representative and Giuseppe Femia as graduate student representative on the Distinguished Teacher Awards Committee with terms ending 31 December 2021;
- A motion to recommend to the Board of Governors the following name change: “Waterloo Residences” to “Campus Housing"; and
- A motion to recommend that the Board of Governors approve the 2020/21 Operating Budget.
Check out the full meeting agenda on the Secretariat website.
Here's the first batch of Good Buddies of the University
Well, we put out the call for pet photos and boy howdy, did you deliver. Here is the first set of furry friends helping the University community get through our physically distant, remote working reality:
"Here's Storm, helping me do some marking and keep in touch with my coworkers," writes Emma Dare, lab coordinator in Kinesiology. "I think she loves having the extra attention with everyone being home all the time!"
"This is K (straight-up rockin’ the single initial), Coordinator of Domestic Initiatives," writes Carrie Gabla, senior communications officer in Advancement.
"Athena reminds us of the importance of wellness while work from home. Specifically taking ample stretch breaks and nap breaks," writes Sarah Howard, graduate student experience specialist in Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.
"This is my coworker Coco. She initially spent countless hours swishing around me, pestering me to pay attention to her and trying to gain access to my lap," writes Tracey Szarka, undergraduate advisor and coordinator in Electrical & Computer Engineering. "Since I set up a work station for her, she's been assisting me by providing facial feedback on ideas and communication drafts. She is invariably skeptical."
Stay tuned for more pet pics tomorrow, and remember, if you want to have your furry co-worker featured in the Daily Bulletin, send a photo with your pet's name (and how they're helping you) to firstname.lastname@example.org.