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Microsoft launches new Teams features to support online education

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CIO Insider Team

On Tuesday, Microsoft launched ‘Teams for Education’ feature to engage and prepare students and teachers for new remote and hybrid learning formats.
Expanded audience view of up to 49 participants, custom backgrounds, class insights, and virtual breakout rooms, are some of the features included in this.

With the aim to increase student participation and provide educators new methods to keep students digitally engaged, Teams will expand its grid view to 7x7, accommodating up to 49 participants. The company informed that previews will be available sometime later this month.

In ‘Teams for Education’, a feature enables students to digitally raise their hands during class meetings. Also, Educators can see Attendance Reports and, later in the year, will be able to view Class Insights, an intelligent data analytics breakdown on student engagement in class, rate of assignments turned in, activity metrics and grades with a new trends view.
These mew meeting options in Teams will prevent students from starting meetings unattended. More so, it will allow teachers to determine who can present in a meeting, and give them the option to ensure only assigned students can join a meeting, thereby ensuring student security and control over the classroom experience.

Microsoft surveyed nearly 500 members of the Microsoft Education community, comprising teachers and institutional leaders from across the globe and observed that there has been a strong adoption of remote learning tools. About 61% of the respondents expect to begin the next school year in a hybrid learning environment—a mix of remote and in-person learning—and 87% said they expect to use technology more in physical classrooms.
“A majority of teachers and faculty members have been incorporating new tools into their lessons, often for the first time and students are experiencing new methods of learning, which will have an important, lasting impact on their future. With this transition, it has become clear that with the required physical distance between teachers and students, it’s more important than ever to help educators find ways to connect with students and keep them engaged, motivated, and safe in a digital world”, said Manish Prakash, Country General Manager-Public Sector, Health and Education, Microsoft India.

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