Bits & Bytes

The BitTitan Blog for Service Providers

Mike Hatton

Migrating to Better Educational Collaboration

MigrationWiz for Education

The past few years have taught us a lot about the role of technology in education. The ability to quickly pivot to a remote learning model in response to the pandemic was just the beginning. We’re now seeing how much collaboration tools enhance educational outcomes at all levels – from primary grades through university.

Collaboration enhances learning, and it also provides educators with support that makes their teaching more impactful. In order to fully leverage collaboration platforms, educational institutions and systems are using MigrationWiz to move to the cloud and consolidate cloud tenants. Collaboration isn’t just a buzzword. It has tangible benefits in education, including:

Improved knowledge retention: Enhancing understanding by giving students opportunities to apply what they’re learning and build confidence in their knowledge.

Ownership and higher-level thinking: Students take more responsibility for doing well and supporting their peers. They also move beyond passive learning, because collaboration encourages them to apply concepts to new problems and situations.

Acquisition of soft skills: Students who work together in a collaborative environment develop important life skills like leadership and conflict resolution – skills that are difficult to teach in a traditional classroom.

Enhanced remote learning: Even as Covid has eased, many students see benefits in online learning, including opportunities to connect with experts and topics that might otherwise be inaccessible. Collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams remove the isolation of a remote learning experience.

Support for educators: Teaching is often perceived to be a solo profession. But increasingly, collaboration is helping teachers tap their colleagues’ creativity to make courses more engaging and impactful. Collaboration makes the job more rewarding, especially when educators see the results in their students.

The Modern Educational Environment

Schools and universities are using platforms like Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace to provide a modern educational environment. This allows teachers and students to leverage built-in tools and custom applications designed specifically for education. Operating in the cloud is a major prerequisite to getting the full benefit of Teams or Google Workspace. Still, many educational institutions are managing fractured, multi-tenant environments that are a legacy of older structural assumptions.

It was once common for individual units within a large university or school system to each operate on their own tenant. Some institutions set up student systems separate from those used by faculty, with administrative processes in yet another realm. This can stymie collaboration – and create frustration – when users are required to log into different systems in order to connect or access files. It’s important that infrastructure stays in the background where it belongs. Operating on multiple tenants may have made sense when systems were initially set up, but they don’t make as much sense today.

Security was often a rationale for physically partitioned systems, but now IT has the tools to manage permissions within the Azure Center. With high-level controls, systems can still be locked down by college, for example, then different user types can be assigned access that’s appropriate for them.

Consolidating Teams Tenants

Consolidating tenants allows users to seamlessly collaborate and access the people and information they need to be productive in their educational environment. The benefits of moving to a single tenant go beyond small conveniences.

On a single tenant, communication is simpler between students and their instructors. Office hours, tutorials, seminars, and labs are quick to set up and manage when each user type has exactly the access they need. Instructors also have the flexibility to build out sub-channels that allow them to interact with groups on either a consistent or ad-hoc basis. Operating within a single tenant gives students a shared environment for projects, class discussion, and data sharing.

Collaboration takes on many forms in education – some are still being invented. Consolidating tenants provides the tools, access, and flexibility for students and educators to apply their creativity.

Education Pricing and Support

It’s easy to get started migrating with BitTitan and MigrationWiz. But before you dive in, be sure to contact us to learn about special pricing for educational institutions. Along with a substantial discount on MigrationWiz licenses, we’ll connect you with BitTitan experts who have extensive experience migrating in educational environments.

BitTitan’s technical pre-sales and customer success team have helped many schools and universities plan and implement migrations to the cloud or between tenants. We understand the complexities of migrations in education and how important it is to have industry experts on your side.

We usually recommend working with an MSP to plan and implement larger migrations. MSPs have the experience to make sure you meet your timelines, and they’ll work through any hurdles that come up during the process. BitTitan works with partners around the globe and has support team members located in multiple time zones. We’ve even developed custom playbooks to address specific issues that educational institutions often encounter.

Get the Education Playbook

One issue schools and universities have encountered during Teams migrations is a lack of necessary APIs to migrate classroom templates, an essential part of the Microsoft education platform. The issue with the Microsoft API relates to the specific functionality of Teams EDU, which is why migration tools do not mention the ability to migrate these instances. That’s why we’ve developed a customized playbook with a set of procedures and scripts that educational institutions need to assist you in your migration process that you can obtain from our technical team. If your tenant uses EDU or custom templates for Teams, please contact Sales before running your migration.

Collaboration is a powerful ingredient in modern education. It’s also key to successful migrations. Whether you’re moving to the cloud or between tenants, our experts are here to collaborate on a seamless migration – from planning to execution and every step in between.

Contact us as soon as you see a migration on the horizon. We’re here to lend our expertise.

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