Parent access in Microsoft Teams for Education

Parent access isn’t very prominent within Microsoft Teams for Education today, but there are ways to include them, one of which is  parent and guardian links in OneNote Class Notebook. In this post I will show you how to enable parent and guardian links in a class notebook part of a class team in Microsoft Teams.

Parents

Back in April 2017, the OneNote team announced read-only parent or guardian access in OneNote Class Notebook. Shortly after Microsoft Teams for Education was announced, and while class teams do include a class notebook, it’s stored in SharePoint, which require us to make some preparations before we can start sharing.

Disclaimer: While the content of this blog post was accurate at the time of writing September 22nd 2018, things change fast in the world of Microsoft Teams, so things might be different by the time you read this.

Let’s dive right in by first opening the class notebook within the class team, then choose Open in OneNote followed by Open in OneNote Online.

OpenInOneNoteOnline

The class notebook opens in the browser, we choose the Class Notebook tab followed by Manage Notebooks.

Manage_Notebooks

Choose Parent and guardian links

Notebook-links.png

Choose All students

ParentLinksAllStudents.png

Ouch! That doesn’t look good…

Error.png

The reason Parent Notebook Links can’t be generated is that the SharePoint site hosting the notebook doesn’t allow for anonymous sharing.

By default the teams underlying SharePoint site has the setting SharingCapability set to ExternalUserSharingOnly. To be able to create Parent Notebook Links it needs to be set to ExternalUserAndGuestSharing.

Luckily that’s easy, just get the site url…

GetSPSiteURL.png

and run the following PowerShell oneliner:

set-sposite -identity $Siteurl -sharingcapability ExternalUserAndGuestSharing

or follow my guide Anonymous guest sharing in Teams for a full tutorial.

If you would like to enable Parent Notebook Links for all class teams, and happen to use School Data Sync, you should instead see Anonymous guest sharing in Teams part two.

You can also modify the sharing settings from within the new SharePoint Admin Center:

SPAdmin.png

Choose Anyone and hit save.

Anyone.png

 

Once that is done, and the SharingCapability is set to ExternalUserAndGuestSharing, it looks much better:

ParentLinksOK.png

Just send the individual links to parents and they’re good to go!

This is one way to involve parent when using Microsoft Teams for Education. Let’s hope that we in a not so distant future will be able to also give parents insights into Assignments, or better yet, get a complete parent portal with messages and week plans.

If you don’t want to wait, have a look at how you can supplement Microsoft Teams for Education with learning management tools from 3rd parties like Skooler. Check out my two part series Teams + Skooler, better together – part 1 and Teams + Skooler, better together – part 2.

 

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