Transform Classroom Time with 13 New Microsoft Teams Updates – Bett 2019 Recap

Microsoft Teams is proving to be a powerful way to help students find their voice and develop critical social emotional skills, while also giving teachers new capabilities for peer-to-peer professional development. 

The Microsoft Education team is coming back from an incredible week in London for Bett 2019 where we were able to share some big announcements directly with our favorite people on earth, teachers! I was so honored to share these updates on behalf of the entire team live in 2 back-to-back episodes of What’s New in EduCheck out part 1 and part 2 of these Bett edition episodes. Since last week was a whirlwind, we thought we would round-up all the news in one place. 


And don’t forget, teachers and students can get started with Teams for free as part of Office 365 Education.  


Okay, now let’s get into the updates! 


1. Grade Sync to connect Teams to your SIS! 

Say hello to Grade Sync, which automatically sends grades from Teams Assignments directly to your Student Information System, saving teachers lots of time. Grade Sync will be coming to systems like PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, Capita SIMS and many others soon. If you would like to join the Grade Sync preview release, sign up here

2. Mobile grading

You asked and we answered. Now, teachers can grade Teams Assignments from anywhere on an iOS or Android device using the Teams app! 



3. Turnitin integration

Turnitin allows teachers to check student submissions for multiple forms of plagiarism and helps teach the value of academic integrity, proper attribution, and authentic writing. With our new integration, coming soon, Turnitin subscribers will have access directly within Teams Assignments! 

Turnitin Teams integration

If you’d like to learn more, I’ll be sharing a live demo and answering YOUR questions with my friends at Turnitin next week! Register for the webinar and save your spot.


4. Free Computer Science Curriculum in Teams with MakeCode! 

We’ll soon kick off a beta which will allow teachers to access MakeCode, Microsoft’s free platform for creating engaging computer science activities directly within Teams Assignments. Teachers can help students get started building their own programs using drag-and-drop block coding or JavaScript. You can even provide feedback to students and grade.

MakeCode Assignments in Microsoft Teams



5. Assignments is faster and easier to use.

Coming soon, you’ll see a new and simplified assignments experience. With the latest updates, you’ll be able to grade faster than before and save time creating new assignments.

New Assignments list experience in Teams



6. Moodle LMS integration in Teams!

Moodle helps educators create effective online courses – and it’s open-source. For schools using Moodle, the integration in Teams helps educators bring their students, conversations and content — along with their Moodle courses and assignments — together in one single hub. This integration offers two core experiences the Moodle tab and the Moodle Assistant Bot. If you’d like to learn how to get started, go to aka.ms/TeamsMoodle. If you have any questions, you can join the discussion on aka.ms/TeamsMoodleDiscussion.

Moodle LMS integration in Microsoft Teams



7. Read-only files folder, Class Materials coming to your team soon

Microsoft Teams is great for collaborating with your class, including sharing reference materials to help guide students. You can easily drop these files into the folder called ‘Class Materials,’ which is read-only by default.




8. Join a team by code on your mobile device

Joining a team with a code has become a popular way for students to join their classes on Teams. We’ve now added this ability to the Teams app on iOS and Android.


9. Customize chat settings for students and faculty

In talking to educators using Teams, we’ve learned a common request is to allow student-to-teacher chat, while also having the option to prevent students from chatting with each other. IT Admins can learn how to set this up here.


10. Rubric sharing

We recently launched rubric grading inside Microsoft Teams and we’ve heard so much of your great feedback on the feature already. We’ve now added a new capability that allows teachers to import and export their favorite rubrics from Teams Assignments. Now you can share great rubrics with other teachers and build on each other’s ideas from year to year, for stronger and more robust curricula. Learn more about rubric sharing here.




11. Categorize your Assignments

Teachers can now categorize Assignments. Assignment categories are an easy way to organize your assignment by type – segment by Homework, Quizzes, or a unit of study.



12. Safari browser support

By popular demand – you will soon be able to use Microsoft Teams on macOS and iPad with Safari!


13. Access ThingLink right from Microsoft Teams

With ThingLink now built into Microsoft Teams, students will be able to create and view interactive images, videos and 360-degree virtual tours in the Microsoft Teams environment. ThingLink’s technology is especially useful in the education space because it lets teachers build interactive, visual learning experiences and multimedia presentations, which can help develop vocabulary and contextual understanding in technical education, science and social studies.


Students can use ThingLink to document their learning with interactive maps, infographics, presentations, and virtual 360-degree tours that combine multiple forms of media: text, images, sound, and video. ThingLink offers teachers free basic accounts, as well as paid school and eLearning accounts with a virtual tour creator. Microsoft Office 365 users can get a free 14-day access to ThingLink’s Premium teacher and business subscriptions via the Microsoft AppSource marketplace.


Once again we could never thank the rockstar educators in our community enough for sharing such amazing ideas and feedback with us. It’s all thanks to you that we get to build these tools.

Any questions, give me a shout any time 💙🦄


– Justin Chando


Occasional Contributor

Awesome news.  The read only folder will be great.  I currently make one using the permissions in a SharePoint.  But it's too complex to explain that to my colleagues.


I'd also like the ability to easily send a document directly to my students OneDrives.      Or Cloud Attachments in OneNote that will distribute differently  so each student gets a unique document.


Read Only Folders are useful,  but often the student then needs to save a copy to their Onedrive so they can then edit it privately.   If I were to embed the document in OneNote and distribute it then it's a static attachment.   There isn't the ability to do Cloud attachments in OneNote.   But I'm not sure how they work if you distribute the pages to students.   I think the Cloud location remains the same in for all of students.  So whilst they can edit it,   it's not their own work because it's shared with everyone.




Hi @Angus McPherson! Thanks so much for the feedback. You can distribute a document so every student has their own copy by attaching it to a new Assignment in Teams today! More info: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/create-an-assignment-in-microsoft-teams-23c128d0-ec34-4691-...



@Justin Chandowrote: You can distribute a document so every student has their own copy by attaching it to a new Assignment in Teams today!

Ok, I think this change slipped in sometime without me being aware of it. AFAIK one used to be able to only attach a read-only copy for reference. This is super handy. I checked out the link and it is exactly what I need. Thanks for the heads up!

Occasional Visitor

Great changes! Is there some sort of schedule where I can check to see when these updates will roll out? Not trying to be impatient, but I can't help it ;-)

Occasional Contributor

@Justin Chando    I've just begun to tinker with with assignments feature.   The submission process is quite straight forward if you are the creator/owner of  a document.  But if you are a collaborator of the document that has been shared from someone else then it's not so easy.   Students either need to download /save a copy of the document from o365,  Then upload into teams assignments.   OR they can copy paste the link.  


It's not a big issue for me.  But I wondered if copying and pasting a link is insecure from a submission deadline perspective.  They might submit on time.  Then two days later add more to their assignment.  Or they might even accidentally delete their work after submission.   Maybe they might delete my feedback.


I'm going to try an assignment this week.  Is it possible to embed the assignment into OneNote??