• 3 min read

Discover Teams features that enrich lessons and engage students

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Microsoft Teams has released its latest updates and we’re excited to share the new features that can enhance your hybrid classroom and help set your students up for success.

Microsoft Teams has released its latest updates and we’re excited to share the new features that can enhance your hybrid classroom and help set your students up for success. These updates are often inspired by your feedback, and we love hearing how Teams has enhanced your hybrid classrooms and fostered student engagement. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite updates below! 

Introducing Reading Coach 

Empower your students to reach their reading goals with Reading Coach, the newest feature to join our portfolio of tools supporting literacy. Available this summer, Reading Coach identifies the five words in a Reading Progress assignment that a student struggles with most and presents them again with tools and individualized exercises to support the learner in practicing independently. Based on educator preferences enabled when Reading Progress assignments are created, students can use available tools including text to speech and picture dictionary to improve reading fluency and the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and meaningful expression. 

The new feature also offers guidance on correct pronunciation and syllabification, shares visuals to help with their vocabulary recall, and provides positive reinforcement to help build a reader’s confidence. Reading Coach and Reading Progress work in tandem to help teachers provide their students equitable opportunities to develop strong literacy skills. Learn more about Reading Coach in Teams and our expanded literacy portfolio

Support student achievement with dialogue between educators and guardians 

Help your students reach their full potential and more effectively involve parents and guardians to support their achievements with Parent Connection. 

Using Parent Connection, educators can now see a roster of the parents and guardians in their class and initiate a Teams chat, phone call, or email with a single click. Instead of parent-teacher conferences or sporadic emails, educators can now provide more iterative updates to help manage and track their student’s progress while also keeping their personal contact information private. 

Parent Connection is generally available to all Teams for Education customers (included in all Office365 A-SKUS). Learn more, or talk with your IT administrator about setting up Parent Connection using School Data Sync

Get more done with new features from Assignments 

We’re pleased to announce that one of the top requests in the Microsoft Teams feedback portal is now available. Educators can now turn-in and upload documents in the Assignments grading tool on behalf of their students and is available for both individual and group assignments. 

Walkthrough of the Microsoft Teams feedback portal: A teacher navigates, turns in, and uploads a document using the assignments grading tool on behalf of their student.

Other updates in Assignments include the ability for educators to be notified when students turn in a late assignment. You can choose to be notified for any assignment that’s turned in late, or only specific assignments. Additionally, you are able to customize the notifications associated with Assignments using the settings menu in Microsoft Teams (in the 3 dots menu to the left of your photo) and get direct access to the assignment from your Teams activity feed. 

With the new mini grader update to the grading experience in Assignments, you can choose to collapse or expand the grading view, allowing you to allocate your screen real estate as you see fit, giving you extra space to grade when you need it. Navigate pages, assign points, or return the submission to the student with the mini grader, or use the expanded view to provide in-depth written feedback. 

Example Study Guide in Microsoft Teams showing where you can enter feedback.

Hold more effective class sessions 

Make your hybrid classroom a more effective and engaging experience by providing in-person and remote participants equal opportunity to chime in. Front row is a new layout for Teams that puts remote attendees at the room’s eye level and moves chat and a roster of participants to the front of the room. 

Video mirroring has also started rolling out on Windows and Mac desktop apps and you now have the option to stop mirroring the image of your video preview. Stop being distracted by flipped text or worrying that your online students see the text on your in-hand whiteboard backwards. In Teams you can now un-mirror your video to see your video, background, and text as your students do by going to Device Settings and toggling off Mirror my video. 

Help students prepare for the future with updates to Career Coach 

Higher education students can discover potential career paths, grow real-world skills, and build their professional network with personalized guidance from Career Coach, a Microsoft Teams app powered by LinkedIn. Recent updates to Career Coach include: 

  • Connect message templates. Students can now select a message to include with their LinkedIn connection invitation to school alumni. 
  • Integration with edX content. Career Coach will now feature edX content, an online course provider, within the learning experience. Job market trends. 
  • Faculty and staff license holders will now be able to view location-based job market trends within Career Coach. This experience is powered by LinkedIn hiring data. 

Read all the newest updates Teams and OneNote on our Tech Community page. Don’t have Teams? It’s free for students and teachers! Download Teams and get started today.