Over the last few months, schools and institutions have been working tirelessly to enable distance learning. We’ve heard directly from many of you about engaging students in lessons, encouraging student-to-student collaboration, and facilitating staff professional development, all while remote.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas about how to improve Microsoft Teams for distance and hybrid learning. We continue to be inspired by you and are always exploring and implementing new ways for Teams to support student engagement and professional development.
We pulled together key learnings we’ve heard from customers, and announced new features designed to support you and your class. If you’d like to read more, check out the Remote Learning Trends blog here. Or read on to learn the specifics of what’s available and coming soon, and how students, educators, and IT can get the most of out Teams.
- Getting back-to-school ready with 4 top-requested features
- What is available now, what’s coming soon
- Resources for educators
- Guidance for IT admins
Getting back-to-school ready with 4 top-requested features
Just like in a physical classroom, students and educators will see up to 49 attendees in a 7×7 class meeting view, preview available at the end of June.
7×7 video view showing 49 screens
Coming in the Fall, instead of trying to work with the whole class, educators can create virtual breakout rooms so students can work within their smaller groups on a discussion or assignment, then easily be called back to the larger group.
To help educators focus on students and give informed feedback, the Class Insights tab, now available, uses intelligent data analytics to highlight how students are learning and engaging in meetings, communication, files and assignment activities. And in time for the fall, educators will see a new, tailored view that distills the key story and trends behind the data to better inform engagement with students and class outcomes.
New Class Insights dashboard
Eliminate background distractions and create a more focused online learning environment with a Custom uploaded background. This means you can upload any image you want as your background. And later in June, get ready for some fun new education themed backgrounds.
Use a custom background for your video
What’s available now, what’s coming soon
We have been listening closely to educators and have already integrated your feedback into our product plans. Here are the features we have just shipped, as well as a bunch more that are coming soon. We have many more being active worked on in UserVoice for Teams and education that you can get the latest status on. Just look for the “Working on it” status in UserVoice items
Enriched classroom meeting experience – available now
- Raise hand
- Upload your own custom video background
- Easily Change “Meeting Options” in the Participant Panel
- Attendance reports for meetings
- If a teacher removes an anonymous user, that user cannot rejoin
Enriched classroom meeting experience – coming soon
- 7×7 video support on desktop (see 49 people at once) –Preview starting in late June, coming this fall
- Only Educators can start the meeting – Students must wait in the lobby – Coming this summer
- Breakout Rooms – Coming this fall
- Meetings attendee limit increasing from 250 to 300 – Rolling out in June
IT Admin meeting settings and policies – available now
- New IT Admin policy packages for remote learning and other education personas – Rolled out
- Setting for the default role of meeting attendee – a policy setting to allow the default for meetings to be Educator is “organizer” and students are “attendees” – Rolled out
Supporting educators and students with new classroom features
- Class Materials available on Android – Coming in July
- Set Assignment notifications for a specific channel – Rolled out
- Assign a OneNote page into a nested Section Group – Rolled out
- Minecraft Share to Teams for Assignments – Coming in June
- Class Insights – Available now with new experience coming for fall
New integrations with top EdTech partners
- Kahoot! is now available as an app in Teams – Rolled out now
- Prezi is now available as an app in Teams – Rolled out now
- Grade Sync comes to Infinite Campus Student Information System (SIS), and in the fall all OneRoster compatible SISs
Resources for educators
A how-to video or short webinar are convenient ways to learn directly from trusted experts. Below are a few that we recommend to help you quickly ramp up on Teams meetings.
Getting Started with
- Teams for Education Quick Start Guide (PDF) overview that includes meetings and calls
- Teams for Education Quick Start Guide for Students (PDF)
- Teams for Education Quick Start Guide for Educators (PDF)
- Microsoft Teams quick tips videos
Teams for Education video playlist
We’ve put together a few playlists to let educators quickly learn more about Microsoft Teams for Education. You can access our entire Teams for Education playlist for more training, as well as this quick tips video playlist from Microsoft Education Product Manager Mike Tholfsen. Bookmark both so you can reference at any time.
Webinar – Teams meetings for the classroom – what to use now, and what is coming soon
Gordon Chang from our product group demonstrates Teams meetings and discusses the future roadmap in this webinar (you can also review the PowerPoint slides).
IT admin guidance
We want you to be aware of and familiar with the different policy settings for Teams as you deploy. Here are two essential articles that all IT Admins should reference to get the most out of Teams meetings.
- IT Admin guidance for setting up meetings
- Explore the new IT Admin policy packages for remote learning and other education personas
- Manage meetings policies in Teams
As we work to improve the Teams meetings experience for instruction, our top commitment is reliable service delivery to each school and university using Teams. We are also prioritizing features that ensure student safety by making it easier for educators to manage their online classes in Teams meetings.
Thank you again for making time to share your remote learning experiences with us! It is through your feedback that we can build a more useful education tool. Please continue to share your feedback and ideas through UserVoice and feel free to track all of these features on the public roadmap. We’ll continue to share updates on what we’re working on and what you can expect in the weeks to come.
Microsoft Education Product Manager