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Microsoft

Over the last few months, schools and institutions have been working tirelessly to enable distance learning. We’ve heard directly from many of you about engaging students in lessonsencouraging student-to-student collaboration, and facilitating staff professional development, all while remote.

 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas about how to improve Microsoft Teams for distance and hybrid learning. We continue to be inspired by you and are always exploring and implementing new ways for Teams to support student engagement and professional development.

 

We pulled together key learnings we’ve heard from customers, and announced new features designed to support you and your class. If you’d like to read more, check out the Remote Learning Trends blog here. Or read on to learn the specifics of what’s available and coming soon, and how students, educators, and IT can get the most of out Teams.

  1. Getting back-to-school ready with 4 top-requested features
  2. What is available now, what’s coming soon
  3. Resources for educators
  4. Guidance for IT admins

 

Getting back-to-school ready with 4 top-requested features

Just like in a physical classroom, students and educators will see up to 49 attendees in a 7x7 class meeting view, preview available at the end of June.

7x7.jpg

7x7 video view showing 49 screens

 

Coming in the Fall, instead of trying to work with the whole class, educators can create virtual breakout rooms so students can work within their smaller groups on a discussion or assignment, then easily be called back to the larger group.

 

To help educators focus on students and give informed feedback, the Class Insights tab, now available, uses intelligent data analytics to highlight how students are learning and engaging in meetings, communication, files and assignment activities. And in time for the fall, educators will see a new, tailored view that distills the key story and trends behind the data to better inform engagement with students and class outcomes.

Class Insights.jpg

New Class Insights dashboard

 

Eliminate background distractions and create a more focused online learning environment with a  Custom uploaded background. This means you can upload any image you want as your background.  And later in June, get ready for some fun new education themed backgrounds.

Custom image.jpg

Use a custom background for your video

 

What's available now, what’s coming soon

We have been listening closely to educators and have already integrated your feedback into our product plans. Here are the features we have just shipped, as well as a bunch more that are coming soon.  We have many more being active worked on in UserVoice for Teams and education that you can get the latest status on. Just look for the "Working on it" status in UserVoice items

 

Enriched classroom meeting experience – available now

 

Enriched classroom meeting experience – coming soon

 

IT Admin meeting settings and policies

 

Supporting educators and students with new classroom features

 

New integrations with top EdTech partners

 

Resources for educators

A how-to video or short webinar are convenient ways to learn directly from trusted experts. Below are a few that we recommend to help you quickly ramp up on Teams meetings.

 

Getting Started with

 

Teams for Education video playlist

We’ve put together a few playlists to let educators quickly learn more about Microsoft Teams for Education.  You can access our entire Teams for Education playlist for more training, as well as this quick tips video playlist from Microsoft Education Product Manager Mike Tholfsen.  Bookmark both so you can reference at any time.

 

These playlists are designed for you to quickly master tips for teaching in Teams.  Below is a great Assignments video from our Teams EDU playlist with the #eTwinz, Alberto and Mario Herraez!

 

Webinar - Teams meetings for the classroom – what to use now, and what is coming soon
Gordon Chang from our product group demonstrates Teams meetings and discusses the future roadmap in this webinar (you can also review the PowerPoint slides).

 

IT admin guidance

We want you to be aware of and familiar with the different policy settings for Teams as you deploy. Here are two essential articles that all IT Admins should reference to get the most out of Teams meetings.

 

As we work to improve the Teams meetings experience for instruction, our top commitment is reliable service delivery to each school and university using Teams. We are also prioritizing features that ensure student safety by making it easier for educators to manage their online classes in Teams meetings.

 

Thank you again for making time to share your remote learning experiences with us! It is through your feedback that we can build a more useful education tool. Please continue to share your feedback and ideas through UserVoice and feel free to track all of these features on the public roadmap. We’ll continue to share updates on what we’re working on and what you can expect in the weeks to come.

 

Mike Tholfsen
Microsoft Education Product Manager

@mtholfsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

41 Comments
Microsoft

this is great! thanks!

Senior Member

We have Teams for Education licenses, so I feel lucky.

What about those tenants that do not have Teams for Education? Will everyone get 7x7 video, or just Teams for Education tenants?

Frequent Visitor

Wowww kerennn. terima kasih informasinya 

Frequent Visitor

Mike, thank you SO much for the detailed article.  This is very helpful as we plan for the school year starting in August.  With being a Microsoft Showcase School and having all of the Office365 suite rolled out to students prior to the pandemic, we were able to continue educating students though Teams and OneNote for the remainder of the school year.  That meant students actually continued to learn!!  We are looking forward to implementing the new Teams features for this fall.  Again, thank you for the detailed article.

Visitor

Great News! Please offer the option that the recording of the meeting be kept only in the group or where the teacher designates to save it. Stream makes the videos public for the entire organization to see and that is violating privacy.

Occasional Contributor

Those 49 people look rather older than class students!

Established Member

When will controlling presenters be available for video calls when in a channel.

 

 

Contributor

@Calum_L1 Have you seen a college or university class?

Occasional Contributor

Some great news here - just wondering if these announcements could refer to Q1, Q2 etc? Many of us don't live in the US (speaking from Down Under) :lol:

Occasional Visitor

As a Chemistry teacher it would be very useful if formula no.s could be added to Forms to make quizzes more relevant?

Senior Member

Weldone team.

Kindly add an option of having two to three owners of a team to be presenters instead of "only me" in the meeting option. Many a time, the scheduler/organiser of the meeting may not be able to present due to technical issues, another owner in the meeting should be able to take over and present while the organizer fixes his issues. But I guess by now everyone is an attendee except the organizer.

Senior Member

Allow badges to be given in teams/channels as a way of motivating learners.

Occasional Contributor

Very nice things to come. Looking foreward to some!

Occasional Visitor

@Mike Tholfsen Thanks for this exciting information. If possible, please communicate to those in power that we need to add a "Speaker View" so that the special needs students can switch their screen and they don't get overwhelmed looking at 49 people. Thanks!

Microsoft

You can do that today with the "Pin" feature.  Watch this video for details: https://youtu.be/6uOce478DxA 

Frequent Visitor

good news again and again!

Frequent Contributor

I see mixed message about de GA of 7x7 video.

In this article the preview is end of June so i presume the rollout will take place not long after that.

But i have read article that GA is this fall. What i understand from this article that breakoutrooms will available this fall

New Contributor

Are these features only for Education tenants? It's the breakout rooms in particular I really need to know if we'll be getting them in our (non-education) organisation as are essential for training some of our subjects.

Microsoft

Breakout Rooms and 7x7 are coming to all versions of Teams, not just EDU

Occasional Visitor

Thank you, Mike, for announcing the current Teams updates. As we move out of 2019-2020 school year and considering what the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year will look like, Microsoft Education's intention and attention to the present challenges, needs, and wants in distance learning is impressive and so appreciated. Also, thank you for responding so quickly to the feedback Microsoft Education gathers from teachers. 

New Contributor

Do we have any idea of timing on break out rooms? Development seems to have been sped up no end, and so would be very useful to know how close it is...

Established Member

@Mike Tholfsen For educators it would be very useful to have the facility when sharing your screen i.e Powerpoint to be able to see some student videos at the same time. i.e Split screen. For many coming new to online teaching being able to see some faces would assist considerably. 

Established Member

@Mike Tholfsen . For larger classes or meetings as meeting organiser I would like to be able to appoint a moderator with full admin privileges, i.e Downloading attendance lists, arranging when available break out groups. Monitoring Chat and hand raising really helps to deliver teaching and reduce stress on educators. so they can concentrate of the subject matter. 

 

Occasional Contributor

@Mike TholfsenThanks very much for this overview.  Does "preview" available in late June mean that users will be able to optionally turn on these features at that time?  (I'm not exactly sure what preview means in the context of Teams.)  Thanks again!

Microsoft

The preview will be available to everyone to enable.  Desktop and Mac to start

New Contributor

Thank you! Looking forward to breakout rooms!

Occasional Visitor

Is there a particular reason this functionality is limited to the educational version of Teams? I use these features on ZOOM all the time to run international meetings and workshops. It'd be great to have them available to international businesses, too.

Frequent Contributor

@Rocketscientist

 

No is for business too. Read the comments

Occasional Visitor

@Ronald MeerThat's excellent. I must have overlooked that. Will it be rolled out across my organisation automatically, or will I have to activate that feature somehow? I have a Microsoft 365 subscription for my company and my domain. Thanks!

Frequent Contributor

@Rocketscientist 

that can only be answered by Microsoft

Established Member

I'd like to see the ability to add custom backgrounds globally, as an admin, such as this feature request.

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/40565725-assign-custom-backgro...

Also add policy settings to lock down to only these custom backgrounds (not only allow/block user custom backgrounds).

New Contributor

@oskarnoren I totally agree with locking down custom backgrounds, having taught middle school for 10 years and knowing what they could potentially think was a good idea for a background.

Established Member

@LindsayTShelton precisely my fear also. Although it is possible to restrict custom backgrounds, I still would like to have some global custom backgrounds, such as company/school branded backgrounds. Since the custom background images are stored locally, this isn't possible today. I can deploy global custom backgrounds to every computer, but if I restrict the use of custom backgrounds this will also block these branded backgrounds.

 

So an option to upload some custom backgrounds from the Teams admin console or PowerShell and that these are included in the "BlurandDefaultBackgrounds" policy would be grand.

Senior Member

Hi!

My humble opinion based on my classroom experience.

I would appreciate it, if the feedback button (option for quiz) functionality on quiz settings tab can be separated.

After attempting the quiz, lets have an option of letting the students see their scores immediately or not and another separate option button to review the questions.

All the concerned students may not be able to access the questions same time, reviewing it immediately they are done before other accesses it will compromise the quiz. 

As of now, only one button controls the two options (display of score and review questions).

 

Thank you.

Established Member

Don't be humble  this is an excellent  idea. We need more flexible controls on quizzes and forms.  

Occasional Contributor

I just wish the 7x7 is released to the public ring asap. Waiting eagerly !!

Occasional Visitor

We liked the article so much; we created a 'Features for Teachers' video to highlight many of the features including Voice capabilities! https://tinyurl.com/ybs9wa33

Contributor

Is there a plan to fix the language-setting issues that impose United States date formats and spell-checker settings on all English language locales when using Teams? These are comparatively easy - but long overdue - fixes, that would have an impact on every user in United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, etc etc

Established Member

@Mike Williams they have announced Language Aware spell checking, might help with that part but not the date formatting.

 

 

 

"Now, Microsoft Teams users can more easily communicate using multiple languages. Users who write different messages in different languages will now see spellchecking relevant to the language they're actively using when typing a message in the Microsoft Teams desktop app.

 

This is a key improvement to the existing Teams Desktop Spellchecking feature, to make it "language-aware" and improve the overall Messaging compose experience for bilingual & multilingual users around the world.

 

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 65446 "

 

Contributor

@oskarnoren Thank you for that tidbit. It remains to see how pervasive this is. Currently Teams overrides the keyboard language, and all Office documents created inside Teams are tagged with the wrong user locale. This means that the wrong spellcheckers etc are loaded until the user opens the document inside the desktop app and manually corrects all text to use the correct tags. It's likely that if the date issues aren't fixed then these other international sufficiency issues won't be addressed either.

Regular Visitor

Can any one know the official release date of the 20 updates?