New Office 365 Education features for universities

As we head into the new academic year in Australia, it is also the time of year when there are new training courses for academic staff in universities, as teaching with technology gets an update. 

There are a number of new features in Office 365 Education announced this week at the BETT Education show in London, all of which are valuable for lecturers and students, and some of which will be really powerful for specific cohorts of students – such as international students who have English as a second language, or online students who can’t be in the lecture hall for teaching.

NEW! Engage everyone in the audience using PowerPoint Live Presentations. Using PowerPoint for Web you will soon be able to engage every participant in a new way with the new ‘live presentations’ feature. Lecturers\trainers can present slides and using a QR code or short link, viewers can join and follow along with live subtitles in more than 60 languages on their personal device, making it easy to present to a large group of teachers, students or parents who speak different languages. This goes beyond captions too, as it also includes live reactions and a survey for participants that generates an email to the presenter with the aggregated audience feedback and corresponding recommendations, offering insights to improve future presentations and training.

Screenshots of PowerPoint with live captions on multiple devices

 

NEW! Use Microsoft Stream to create teaching\training videos on web and mobile, including transcription in eight languages. Microsoft Stream, also included in Office 365 Education, empowers organisations to teach and learn with video easily and securely. Coming soon to the Stream mobile app is video creation with the new Flipgrid camera integration. Flipgrid was designed specifically for education, and makes it fun for anyone to personalise and share content in seconds. Stream will also soon support browser-based screen recording and editing, giving teachers and students new ways to create learning and training materials by recording and sharing screens, applications, or device camera feeds. Automatic captions and searchable transcripts now support eight languages, which allow learners to find information quickly.

NEW! Audio recording enhancement for noisy environments. To help improve learner focus, videos on Stream will soon support a voice enhance capability that removes background noise from videos recorded in classrooms and other noisy environments.

NEW! Unlock your students’ potential with Microsoft Teams Class Insights. Teaching is a team sport that requires students, teachers and parents to work together. That’s why we introduced capabilities like Class Insights in Microsoft Teams, to equip educators with more data on student performance and activity.

Screen shot of a line graph showing student progress from Microsoft Teams Class Insights

In pre-release Dr David Kellermann of USNW Sydney has been using it with class groups with 500+ students, and reporting ‘brilliant’ insights

We also made it possible for staff and/or students to collaborate in safe and focused environments with Teams Private Channels

NEW! OneNote Live Captions to help students’ focus, comprehension and retention. Recent studies have shown that university students who use closed captions and interactive transcripts can maintain their focus and retain information better. You can already use captions and transcripts in many of our products like PowerPoint, Teams, Stream and Flipgrid, and now you can use captions inside OneNote as well. This month, we are rolling out a private preview of OneNote that allows students to connect OneNote to a Microsoft Translator session via a Join Code and receive the captions and translation stream. This allows captions from the educator speaking to flow directly into OneNote for reading, while still allowing the student to take notes. In addition, the student can pause the captions, highlight portions, and then have the entire transcription saved as a page into OneNote, features that will benefit all learners but especially those who may be hard of hearing or speak multiple languages.

 

Our goal at Microsoft is to empower every student to achieve more and to do this we have a range of resources available to support educators in achieving better learning outcomes for all students. Find the right Windows devices for your students, deploy Office 365 Education with ease,  join our Educator Centre for free training and connect with others, or attend one of our MS Edu Meets or IT IQ Edu Meets workshops.

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