COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how we learn and work. While many of the trends we see today were present before the outbreak, they have been greatly accelerated by the worldwide move to remote learning and work. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella put it recently, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” And we have been so inspired to see how students and teachers—along with teams across every industry—are learning to connect with one another in the face of unprecedented challenges.
At Microsoft, we exist to help every individual and every organization on the planet achieve more. Over the past few months, we’ve done that by supporting schools and universities—along with healthcare organizations, government entities, and businesses of all sizes—as digital first responders. Now, as the world explores more hybrid models of education and work, we are in the position to develop a unique expertise on the future of learning and work, thanks to three of Microsoft’s most invaluable resources: First, feedback and learnings from our customers and the way they use our tools. Second, insights from wide-spanning research on how people are responding to remote learning and working. And third, the expertise of researchers, scientists, and technologists inside Microsoft. And we’re drawing on these resources to swiftly deliver technologies that help our customers connect, whether they’re meeting in person or online.
Today, I want to point you to a post by my colleague Barbara Holzapfel, General Manager of Microsoft Education. In addition to outlining some important remote learning trends that have emerged during COVID-19, Barbara is sharing some new Microsoft Teams features. These include expanding the Teams grid view to 7×7, which will accommodate up to 49 participants at once on a single screen, along with new ways for students to engage and a meeting lobby option to ensure only the right students can join a meeting. Over to Barbara for all the details.