Friday, October 29, 2021

What’s New in Microsoft Teams for Education | October 2021

Just in case you missed it, last month we shared some awesome updates to Microsoft Teams, such as personalized learning enhancements with Reading Progress, virtual collaboration improvements on Whiteboard, replying to specific chat messages in Teams, assigning students to breakout rooms, and more. Check it out when you get a chance!

For those that are seeing students face-to-face, remotely, or a combination of both, we’re excited to share some great ways that your feedback has made Teams better for you, your students, and your school.

Below are a few of the new and exciting features that have recently launched in Microsoft Teams for educators and students!

1) Introducing Feelings Monster and Additional Education Insights

Introducing the Feelings Monster
Earlier this year we launched Reflect in Microsoft Teams to provide students with opportunities to share their emotions, and educators a tool for building a supportive classroom ecosystem. To make the Reflect experience more engaging for students, we are excited to welcome the Feelings Monster to Reflect! Designed to support students in recognizing and naming their emotions, the Feelings Monster illustrates over 50 emotions alongside kid-friendly definitions, helping students build the vocabulary they need to express themselves clearly. Use Reflect in Microsoft Teams to take a quick pulse on the class mood, check in on relationships in the class, start a conversation about empathy, and more. With the support of the Feelings Monster, uncomfortable conversations become more approachable, and students have scaffolding to help develop self-awareness and relationship skills that have a lifelong positive impact. Learn more.




View Reflect Check-In Data in Education Insights
By regularly posting Reflect check-ins, educators can collect data that informs their classroom management and prevents students from falling through the cracks. Student reflections are presented visually in dashboards designed to support educators in identifying celebrations and areas of concern. By providing opportunities where even shy students feel safe sharing their emotions, you can understand each student’s baseline and notice when there is a shift that demands your attention.

Detailed dashboards can help you learn at-a-glance what words students are using the most to describe their feelings, which days were challenging or especially engaging for students, and which students may be struggling. Educators can use this data to build relationships and a supportive classroom community - all while encouraging a regular practice of self-reflection.

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Education Insights class overview dashboard shows students’ Reflect data alongside engagement, assignment performance, and reading fluency data from Reading Progress. This holistic overview can help educators interpret each student’s strengths and needs so educators can make more informed decisions about improving student outcomes. Learn more about viewing Reflect data in Insights.


2) Create Engaging, Accessible Blended and Hybrid Classes

Live Transcript in Unscheduled Meetings using Meet Now and Channel Meetings

Live Transcript is now available for unscheduled (ad hoc) and Channel Teams meetings for classes between educators and their students. For ad hoc meetings, you will be able to download the transcript from the chat screen after the meeting. For Channel meetings, you can view the transcript under the Recordings & Transcripts tab. To enable this for your students, make sure the "Allow Transcription" policy is turned on. Available in GCC. Learn more.

Live transcript of an ad-hoc meetingLive transcript of an ad-hoc meeting


Breakout Room Presenter Support

We have added the ability for a meeting organizer to extend the management of breakout rooms to presenters like additional educators or students. By taking control from breakout rooms management panel, appointed presenters will be able to perform breakout room operations as managers or meeting organizers, and join rooms as a breakout room manager. Only participants who are named as presenters can be appointed as breakout room managers. Learn more.

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Breakout Room Pre-Meeting Room Creation and Participant Assignment
Organizers can now perform breakout room configurations and student participant assignment tasks before the meeting starts via Teams desktop app. You can create rooms in bulk, add or delete individual rooms, configure meeting options, adjust session settings like timer, and pre-assign student participants via both manual and automatic assignment options. At this time, only invited attendees, up to 300 student participants, will be available for pre-assignment. Learn more.

Breakout room pre-meeting room creation and participant assignment.png


Presenter Mode ‘Standout’ in PowerPoint Live
Presenter mode “Standout” allows you to overlay your video feed on the PowerPoint presentation slide during a Microsoft Teams class meeting. The experience works for both PowerPoint Presenter View and PowerPoint Slideshow view. Now you can easily direct your students' attention with hand gestures and facial cues, while leveraging features such as notes, slide view, and inking. Stay tuned for the next two layouts coming soon on PowerPoint Live: Reporter and Side-by-Side. Learn more.

Presenter Mode Standout in PPT Live.gif



3) Partner Highlights

Add Multilingual Interpretation to your Microsoft Teams Meetings from KUDO
Educational Institutions on Teams can now support multilingual and accessibility concerns during meetings with the (KUDO for Microsoft Teams app) and thus empower educators, staff, parents, and families to communicate more effectively across languages. Through a network of 12,000+ professional interpreters, the KUDO for Microsoft Teams app invites educational institutions to join the inspiring journey of breaking language barriers for students and their communities. And with on-demand booking capabilities for interpreters with language expertise in 200+ spoken and sign languages, it’ll be easier than ever to address diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in your remote meetings.


By personalizing each student's experience, KUDO for Teams will foster deeper connections during multicultural parent-teacher gatherings, assist the Deaf community with sign language support, and champion cross borders knowledge-sharing by allowing international talents of all backgrounds to engage in the discussions. With deeper understanding comes more engagement and outcomes during live collaboration and remote learning. Institutions concerned with diversity, inclusion, and representation should adopt the KUDO app as an essential feature for their Teams meetings and experience, first-hand, the true power of being understood. Learn more.



Plagiarism Detection Directly in Word in Teams for Education
Edword Similarity for Microsoft Teams for Education makes it possible for teachers to access plagiarism scan results directly in Word without ever leaving Teams. Edword Similarity is used in combination with one of the Edword Office add-ins; powerful solutions giving teachers access to using (modifiable and shareable) library comments, voice comments, and much more.


Plagiarism results are provided by Ouriginal trusted plagiarism detection that combines text-matching with writing-style analysis to promote academic integrity and help prevent plagiarism. The algorithms work regardless of language and can detect similarities across the most widely used languages. The use of Edword Similarity requires a license. Learn more.


4) Preview of Feedback for Microsoft Teams is Now Available

We are happy to share the preview of Feedback for Microsoft Teams, a new community feedback experience from Microsoft, is available. Built on Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Feedback continues our dedication to using customer feedback to help with the further development and improvement of Teams. Learn more.



You’re Invited!
Join us on November 9th at 9AM PST for Microsoft Reimagine – a free virtual event showcasing what’s next in education. You’ll learn about new and existing Microsoft education solutions and hear about the future of education from product experts, industry influencers, educators, and special guests. Learn more.

Have any feedback? Please share with us!
We’re always looking to improve the education experience in Teams, and our favorite way to do that is with your support and awesome ideas! If there’s something you’d like to see in Teams for Education, please let us know!



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