Microsoft launches new Teams features to support the future of global education

Over 150 million students, faculty, institutional leaders, and teachers have been actively using Microsoft Education products, with Microsoft Teams as their central hub, to engage students in remote learning

ASIA PACIFIC, 16 JUNE 2020 – Microsoft today announced ‘Teams for Education’ features to engage and prepare students and teachers for new remote and hybrid learning formats in the upcoming school year. These features include expanded audience view of up to 49 participants, custom backgrounds, class insights, and virtual breakout rooms, among other new features.

Surveying nearly 500 members of the Microsoft Education community, comprising teachers and institutional leaders from around the world, Microsoft found that there has been a strong uptake in the use of remote learning tools. 61 percent expect to begin the next school year in a hybrid learning environment—a mix of remote and in-person learning—and 87 percent said they expect to use technology more in physical classrooms.

In Asia, Microsoft has partnered with several education ministries in countries like Vietnam, Tokyo, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines to enable remote learning for millions of students during COVID-19. Through these partnerships, schools have been facilitating real-time interactivity between teachers and students in class while enabling students to discover, create and share.

“Many teachers and faculty 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 Larry Nelson, Regional General Manager, Education, Microsoft Asia.

teacher student computer

New remote learning formats require educators to create compelling, engaging, and inclusive content to ensure strong student engagement. To support this, educators are turning to a central hub of digital tools for remote learning across different activities, while maintaining secure learning environments. In fact, over 150 million students, faculty, institutional leaders, and teachers have been actively using Microsoft Education products—with ‘Teams for Education’ as that hub—to engage students in remote learning. The new ‘Teams for Education’ features are aimed at increasing student participation and give educators’ new methods to keep students digitally engaged.

  • Accommodate 49 participants at once on a single screen: Teams will be expanding its grid view to 7×7, accommodating up to 49 participants to boost student engagement, as well as social and emotional connection. Previews will be available later this month and available more widely later in the year.
  • Virtual breakout rooms: Educators will be able to create virtual breakout sessions for students to meet and collaborate in small groups closer to the end of the year.
  • Enhancing student participation: In ‘Teams for Education’, students can digitally Raise Their Hands during class meetings. Educators can also see Attendance Reports and, later in the year, 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.

Device - Class Insights - feature generally available with this view coming in fall

  • Meeting Lobby: Maintaining student security and control over the classroom experience is critical. New meeting options in Teams prevent students from starting meetings unattended, allows educators to determine presenters in a meeting, and give educators the ability to ensure only assigned students can join a meeting.
  • Customized images and personalize learning spaces: With people working, living, and learning in shared spaces at home, in addition to using background blur and pre-selected background images, students and teachers can customize their own images and as a result, personalize their own learning space.
  • Partner integrations: ‘Teams for Education’ now also includes integrations with Kahoot, Prezi, GO1, Nearpod, Piazza, Gaggle, Moodle, Canvas, and others. Microsoft will continue to add partner integrations making it easier for schools and universities to use Microsoft Teams.

Providing inclusive and accessible education for students

Creating inclusive and accessible education is a key priority and core value of Microsoft’s approach to education.

Microsoft has built in Learning Tools like Immersive Reader into Microsoft Word, Microsoft Edge, Teams, OneNote, Flipgrid, and Minecraft: Education Edition to enable parents to support students across all reading levels or those who have difficulty reading or writing due to dyslexia or dysgraphia. Today, Immersive Reader is empowering over 23 million people with dyslexia and learning disabilities globally every month.

Additionally, new experiences like Microsoft Translator for Education, empowers educators to engage with students and their family members in their native languages as well as provide reading and literacy support via text and audio.

Public-private partnerships are critical to the future success of educational institutions

Microsoft will also continue working with a number of global non-governmental and non-profit organizations like UNESCO and UNICEF to harness technical expertise to support communities around the world with the highest need.

At the same time, educators, administrators, and institutional leaders will also be able to share their stories and tips or ask questions on the Remote Learning Community. With over 6,000 members, educators from around the world providing professional development resources and coaching to complement what they receive from their individual administrators and districts. Microsoft Store Learning Experts will also be available to support educators and families with new resources and workshops.

Visit our remote learning site and blog for more information on these new experiences and continued partnerships. For more information on the latest features, please see here.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

 

For more information, please contact:
Microsoft Asia
Simran Singh Sethi
simran.sethi@microsoft.com
Edelman (Partnering agency for Microsoft Asia)
Natasha Vijaya
Natasha.vijaya@edelman.com

 

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