New Insights, Spotlight video and 6 other updates for Microsoft Teams for Education | August 2020

This school year has kicked off with a bang. We’ve heard of schools starting with in-person, remote, or hybrid learning or quickly adjusting from one to another. Whether you’re doing a learning juggling act or deep into your school year, Microsoft Teams for Education has been right there with new changes and improvements announced in June, July and for back to school to help schools adapt to learning.

 

More and more stories are emerging of educators, students, families, and staff adapting and striving to make education work. Thank you for sharing your feedback, triumphs, and difficulties with us along the way. We know this is not easy, and we are grateful and humbled that you are choosing Microsoft Teams. Each new and improved feature we design is inspired by you, and for you.

 

For this month, we have Teams updates that will help make digital learning, collaboration, and engagement easier. No matter how your school is in session, we’ve got you covered to:
1) Use data insights to improve teaching and learning
2) Run engaging classes through online meetings
3) Do more with OneNote and Class Notebook in Teams
4) Maintain student safety with control of age-appropriate messaging and content
5) Build an interactive classroom with education apps
6) Train yourself in Teams with additional resources

 

Let’s dive in! (If you’re just looking for a list without extra description, click here to jump.)

 

 

1) Use data insights to improve teaching and learning
Gain insights into how your school is engaging in online learning
To ensure that school and system leaders also have a full view of the online learning activities of all their students, we’re pleased to announce the addition of new functionality in Education Insights available in preview today. This new Insights app in Microsoft Teams for Education enables leaders to closely track the engagement and progress of students over time in ways that identify the most effective approaches, directly inform teaching, and aid in bringing solutions to scale.

Insights for Leaders shows data to help leaders better understand the online learning activities of students and, intervene immediately if needed. It also supports one-click data export to comply with emerging state regulations that require mandatory reporting.

New capabilities in Insights allow for broader views across classes, grades, and schoolsNew capabilities in Insights allow for broader views across classes, grades, and schools

 

With Insights, education leaders and teachers can stay in touch with how each one of their students is responding, and take action to ensure the best learning outcomes for individual students, and entire school districts.

When: available for preview now (and Insights is free for any schools with A1, A3, or A5 licenses while in preview)

 

 

2) Run engaging classes through online meetings
Spotlight the video of the educator or presenter
With Spotlight, educators will be able to lock their video for the whole class. This helps educators control the main video feed that a student sees during the meeting. It can only be enabled or disabled by the organizer or presenter. This is different from “Pin participant”, which allows an individual to pin a video feed for their own view but not for the view of all meeting participants.

Students in class will see the spotlighted video of the educatorStudents in class will see the spotlighted video of the educator

 

When: expected in the next few months

 

 

 

3) Do more with OneNote and Class Notebooks in Teams
Less work for you updating the roster
SDS updates now automatically flow to the OneNote Class Notebook. Before, when SDS made roster updates for students in the class, the updates wouldn’t appear until an educator clicked on the “Class Notebook” tab in the class team.

When: available now

 

Set channel specific collaboration and content spaces
Now an educator has the option to set Channels to create sections in Collaboration Space or Content Library, which is especially helpful for educators who like to use channels as separate units. While in a class team, go to the Class Notebook and click “Manage Notebook” to choose which channel a new Section will go. This allows the educator to create a “read-only” Content Library or student editable “Collaboration Space” specific to each unit and channel.

Set a channel specific OneNote Content Library or Collaboration SpaceSet a channel specific OneNote Content Library or Collaboration Space

When: available now

 

Easy OneNote page creation in Assignments
When educators are creating assignments or students are attaching work it’s helpful to be able to create a New File on the fly. Educators will be able to add a blank OneNote page while creating a new Assignment in Teams by clicking on “New File” (along with creating a new Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document).

In Assignments, select a New File to create a new OneNote pageIn Assignments, select a New File to create a new OneNote page

When: expected early September

 

Easy OneNote distribution notifications for educators and students
Benefit of using the Class Notebook inside of Teams? The Class Notebook bot. When an educator uses Page Distribution in OneNote all students will get a notification in Teams. The notification works for educators using the Class Notebook Toolbar in OneNote Windows 10, iPad, Web and Mac.
When: expected late September

 

Reduce clicks to get the “Teacher Only” area
Now in the OneNote Class Notebook or the Staff Notebook, the “Teacher Only” section group will be enabled by default. This saves some extra clicks for this more private view.
When: available now

 

For more about these and other awesome OneNote and Class Notebook updates, check out this post here.

 

 

4) Maintain student safety with control of age-appropriate messaging and content
Detect and delete inappropriate messages
Sometimes, students send inappropriate messages. To continue fostering a culture of inclusion and safety, IT admins can leverage communication compliance policies and AI models to automatically detect inappropriate content, then review and choose to delete. Messaging containing offensive or harassing language and adult, racy, or gory images can be automatically flagged then removed from the Teams chat or channel by the IT Admin. This is not supported in private channels or in communications sent by guest users. Learn more about using this and other communication compliance tools in Teams here.

Automatically detect inappropriate messages and choose which ones to remove.Automatically detect inappropriate messages and choose which ones to remove.

When: available now

 

 

 

5) Build an interactive classroom with education apps
With remote and hybrid learning, it’s more important than ever to find ways to keep students engaged and learning throughout the day. Here are just a few of the many education apps that support connected learning within Teams.

 

Step up your student engagement game
With Kahoot! teachers, professors, and fellow students can use the game-based learning platform to create quick and fun learning assignments or quizzes in minutes.

 

WooClap makes presentations fun and interactive for university and college students by turning smart phones and any connected device into a learning tool. Professors can create “find on image” questions, multiple choice questions, word clouds and view and interpret results in real time.

 

Try an easy Q&A platform that drives higher student participation with Piazza. University professors and students will have access to a wiki style format that builds a single, high quality answer for all and allows the professor to endorse an answer and let students know they’re on the right track.

 

Learn more about these and other engagement and communication apps.

 

Use, share and assign amazing visual resources and content collections
Quickly create engaging live or recorded class presentations with Prezi Video. Appear right alongside your content as you present and easily create or transform that content to your class needs.

 

Featuring an easy-to-use drag and drop interface, thousands of unique graphics and animations, and countless creation tools, Buncee makes it easy to create fun and engaging multimedia based content.

 

Wakelet allows students and teachers to save, organize and share content from across the web in a visually engaging way. Share collections of resources, create individualized playlists, set assignments and share newsletters.

 

Learn more about these and other content and curriculum apps here and here.

 

 

 

6) Train yourself in Teams with additional resources
Learn about Teams:

  1. Quickly learn about Teams and common classroom scenarios with clickable interactive demos for educators, families, and IT Admins (in English).
  2. Learn more about strategies to promote well-being among children during back-to-school. Sign up for the Microsoft + MindUP webinars at https://aka.ms/MindUpVirtual
  3. Check out the Quick Start Guides if you’re an Educator (PDF), Student (PDF), or IT Admin.

Get free training:

  1. Start on Professional Development with the popular Microsoft Educator Community course, Transform Learning with Microsoft Teams.
  2. Watch the recordings from the Microsoft Teams for Edu digital readiness event for both educators and IT Admins. These sessions dive into common scenarios, use cases to get ready for the school year at https://aka.ms/TeamsEduEvent.
  3. Watch helpful quick “how-to” videos with Teams Quick Tip videos on YouTube (or pick from a different Teams how-to video playlist here).

Check out these additional resources:

  1. Deploy class teams with these recommended methods and best practices for creating class teams.
  2. If you still need it, get resources and support to do a virtual orientation. Check out the blog here.
  3. Check out resources for parents, guardians or family members looking to support student learning: https://education.microsoft.com/resource/755e5a8b
  4. Sign up for free virtual field trips and learning activities for educators and parents looking to keep their kids engaged, like Roald Dahl day, International Dot Day, Drawing with the Minecraft Design team, and more.
  5. Learn about Teams online meeting safety guidance for educators and administrators.
  6. Check the Teams help homepage. You can also click Help in your Teams app at any time for extra how-tos and support!
 

And for those that love lists, here’s a quick review of all the features we shared along with their expected launch dates:

  1. Use data insights to improve teaching and learning
    (Update) Education Insights for school leaders– available now in public preview
  2. Run engaging classes through online meetings
    (New) Spotlight – expected in the next few months
  3. Do more with OneNote and Class Notebook in Teams
    (New) SDS update to the OneNote Class Notebook – available now
    (New) Set Channels to create Collaboration Space or Content Library – available now
    (New) “Teacher Only” section group will be enabled by default – available now
    (New) Add blank OneNote page in new Assignment – expected September
    (New) Notification in Teams for OneNote Page Distribution – expected late September
  4. Maintain student safety with control of meetings and classrooms
    (New) Detect and delete inappropriate messages – available now

And in case you missed it, here are features we announced in last month’s round-up that are coming soon:
Run engaging classes through online meetings

Dynamic view – expected later this year
Attendance Report post-meeting download – expected in September
Digital Whiteboard without student access – expected in September
Teams meetings up to 1,000 interactive participants – coming in the last quarter of 2020 (in Advanced Communications add-on option)
Virtual Breakout rooms – no later than early Q4 2020

Maintain student safety with control of meetings and classrooms

Hard Audio Mute – expected in September

Do more with Assignments in Teams

View assignments across all classes (again) – expected in September
Link thumbnail preview – expected in September
Anonymous Grading/Marking – expected in September
Larger file size and count support – expected in September
Icon refresh – expected in September
Support for students no longer enrolled – expected in September

Keep learners engaged and collaborating in the classroom

D2L’s Brightspace Course Connector – expected in August September

 

You’ve got this. And we’re right here if you need us.

This post was originally published on this site.

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