Essential SDS Upgrade, Post Classroom

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my first impressions of Microsoft Teams as a Classroom replacement. As a result, I wanted to see how seemless an experience it would be if all of my classes had already been set up with School Data Sync (SDS).

SDS is a free Microsoft product that will take your class roster data from your School Management System and import it into Azure AD. This data sync can be automated if you're usings a supported SMS/SIS, processed with a scheduled csv export or automated using SalamanderSoft's School Data Sync tool. Once your SDS profile is set up, your classes will be created as Office 365 groups within Azure AD. The difference between these and normal Office 365 groups is that they are created containing additional fields and data so that products like Teacher Dashboard know that they are classes and can allocate teacher roles as needed, making the whole process of keeping your classes up to date seamless.

Upgrade your profiles today

To start my test, I wanted to check on the status of our SDS so that I knew which classes I could expect to show up in Teams. However, after logging in for the first time since Classroom was turned off, I was greeted with this screen:

Upgrade SDS now

 

Luckily, the process is straight forward. Clicking on the 'this article' link took me to a very helpful explanation page (listed in the extra resources below) where I was told that there are three options:

  1. delete your profiles and start with new ones for the coming school year;
  2. upgrade your profiles and then run a 'Retired Sections script' through PowerShell; or
  3. do a mixture of both.

I chose to upgrade my profile. After a minute or two, the upgrade process within the SDS website was complete, but I still needed to run the 'Retired Sections script'. You can do this by saving the Retired-Sections-script.ps1 file to your Desktop, right clicking on it and selecting 'Run with PowerShell'. You will be asked to log into Office 365, and then the process will complete running itself.

I still have to check how Teams will now look as my classes have been migrated, so check back soon.

Extra resources

Read the Microsoft Explanation page

Wonder if you should be using SDS? Read more about our SDS Pilot with Ribblesdale High School on the Microsoft blog.

More information about SDS can be found at http://sds.microsoft.com

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