Microsoft acquires Chalkup somethingeams a classroom collaboration boost

Updated February 13, 2018: A previous version of this story stated that Microsoft acquired Chalkup. Microsoft did not acquire Chalkup, but rather hired its CEO, Justin Chando. The story has been updated to reflect this and we regret the error.

Microsoft Teams may have launched with an eye on competing with Slack in business environments, but the classroom has also become a major focus for Microsoft's collaboration app as well. As part of its latest education push, Microsoft has announced that it has hired Chalkup founder Justin Chando. Chando will join the Microsoft Education team to help integrate classroom collaboration features in Teams.

"We know customers love Chalkup, and we do too," Microsoft says. "In the coming months, we'll work hand in hand with educators and students to bring more of the favorite elements of Chalkup into the Microsoft Teams experience – adding features such as Chalkup's innovative rubrics system to make it easier to assess and grade student assignments and projects."

Chalkup's current customers won't be immediately left in the lurch. Rather, Chalkup will officially close up shop on June 30, allowing teachers to run their courses through the rest of the school year, Chando explained in a separate post on the acquisition. Starting today, Chalkup is no longer accepting new teacher signups.

Microsoft Teams first began rolling out for Office 365 Education users in early 2017, just after the service launched globally. Since then, it has received a number of new features focused on improving its usefulness in the classroom. Teams is available as part of the Office 365 package for Education, Education Plus, Education E5, and Education E3 suites.