Teams - University of Houston
Skip to main content

Microsoft Teams

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams (AKA Teams) is a workspace for real-time collaboration and communication, meetings, file and app sharing, and more. Teams builds on the functionality of Groups. When you create a Team, you are also creating a Group. Keep reading for a comparison of Teams and Groups.

Who can use it?

Teams is available for free for all UH faculty, staff and students as part of the Microsoft 365 Suite. 

Features and benefits: 

  • Create Teams and channels for tracking projects, conversations, files, and meetings  
  • Chat with text, audio, video, and file sharing
  • Store all your files, docs, and more in one place
  • Schedule meetings that automatically integrate with your existing Outlook calendar 
  • Meet with up to 250 people at the same time
  • Share your desktop, applications, or a whiteboard during meetings
  • Automatically record and upload video, audio, and shared content from meetings to Microsoft Stream
  • Presence indication based on each person’s Teams activity, manual status settings, and Outlook calendar
  • Integrate your favorite apps—Planner, Trello, GitHub, and many more 

Why should I use Teams? 

One of the best reasons is the cost, UIT has already paid for your Teams license, and there are no additional costs to the user or department.  Here are a few examples that show how your department could use Teams. 

Note: Teams is just one option in our list of communication and collaboration tools along with SharePoint, Zoom, Microsoft 365 Groups, and more.


If you... 

You could create a Team to... 

Easy Meeting Recordings 

record meetings using Zoom and send out or upload the recording to a shared space afterwards 

schedule meetings that will record and automatically upload to the team space as well as Microsoft Stream

Document Collaboration 

send a group email with an attachment asking for feedback 

upload a document to edit directly in Teams and collect feedback in the comment section 

Calendar Coordination 

have a group calendar that each person adds to their Outlook  

schedule meetings that will show up both in the Teams calendar and on each member’s Outlook calendar 

Communication Hub 

have an inbox overflowing with quick email exchanges 

use the chat area for internal communication and leave email for more important tasks 

Shared File Storage 

have a shared drive for your department or a cross-departmental group 

store and share files securely in the cloud with everyone in the Team 

Project Management 

have frequent meetings with your team to update on work 

give updates in the chat space, or use the Planner feature to keep track of tasks and due dates 


already use other Microsoft 365 apps like Outlook, OneDrive, Notebook, Planner, or Skype for Business 

keep all your 365 content organized in one place 

How do I start using Teams? 

Any actively enrolled student or currently employed staff or faculty member can create their own Teams. To get started:

  1. Download Teams for your desktop, iOS, or Android, or just use Teams on the web.
  2. Sign in with your Cougarnet ID and password (make sure to append after your username). 

Training Resources

Teams resources from Microsoft: 

Faculty and staff also have access to Teams video training from LinkedIn Learning (choose "Sign in with your organization account” when prompted to login):

What is the difference between Groups and Teams?

Group email address 

Internal and external communication (guest access) 

Create channels (sub-groups) 

Start a chat with individuals or groups 

Turn a chat into a call 

Share a file with people in a chat 

Share a file with offline participants 

Add emoji 

And GIFs and memes 

Threaded and persistent conversations 

@mention, #tag, and like conversations 

Search for files, content, and people 

File Sharing 
Group file storage 

Restricted access to files (files are public by default) 

Document collaboration (real-time in Edge only) 

Shared calendar 

Schedule a meeting from Outlook 

Record meetings 

Automatically share meeting recordings with group 

Share desktop or app 

In-meeting access to chat and files 

Persistent chat before, during, and after the meeting 

Make, forward, and transfer calls 

Make calls outside the university 

Chat, call, and meet from your device