Microsoft acqi-hires classroom collaboration startup Chalkup to expand Microsoft Teams

Chalkup, a classroom collaboration service, is joining Microsoft. The company announced today that it’s hiring Chalkup’s co-founder Justin Chando for its Education team.

Chalkup will shut down on June 30, 2018. Existing customers will be able to continue to run their Chalkup courses until the school year ends and will have the ability to export their course information to Microsoft Teams. Chalkup is no longer accepting new sign ups, effective immediately.

Chando will be joining Microsoft Education to expand Microsoft Teams for Education’s offerings, as both the services offer similar tools for schools. To be more specific, Chalkup’s criteria-based grading rubrics system that allows teachers to share feedback with students will be coming to Microsoft Teams in the near-future. “Chalkup and Microsoft share a profound vision for collaboration in the classroom. In spending time with the amazing Microsoft Education team, it was clear we were completely aligned in our mission for connecting classrooms, sparking collaboration/student engagement, and finding new and innovative ways to work together,” Chando said in a blog post.

Chalkup and Microsoft will be offering tools for schools who use Chalkup’s service that allow them to easily move to Microsoft Teams for Education, which is available for free to existing Office 365 customers. Microsoft has been focused on pushing its Education services recently to better compete with Google’s Chromebooks and the latest acqui-hire will allow the company to further expand Microsoft Teams for Education’s functionalities as it continues to take on Google’s Chromebooks.

Microsoft began rolling out its Teams for Education collaboration service in March 2017. Microsoft Teams is a free add-on to Office 365 Education for users with an Education, Education Plus, Education E3 and/or an Education E5 suite plan. Microsoft doesn’t make Teams available as a standalone offering.

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