As we look back on an action-packed 2019, we’re most thankful for how far we’ve come in our ability to support educators in teaching and learning—all thanks to your generous feedback and insightful ideas. Here’s a recap of the big changes and improvements we created together: At BETT 2018, we announced 13 Teams updates that transform classroom time. In June, we were thrilled to roll out a new, simpler way to interact with your teams, plus lots of other helpful back-to-school updates. Finally, in August, we unveiled more improvements to our Assignments and Grading experiences so that going forward, assessments are easier for both teachers and students.
Each update meant lots of refining to make everything exactly right, and you were with us every step of the way. Thank you. As the calendar year ends, we’re introducing even more features and improvements ! From setting up your class team to managing your communication, Teams has got you covered for the rest of the school year.
Set up your classes first, admit students later
Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS) enables automatic creation of all your class teams using the data found in your school's student information system. With early teacher access to classes, you now have time to set up assignments, add files, and get organized before your students begin using the SDS-created team. Once your class team is ready to go, simply click “Activate” and that’s it! You control when students have first access to the class. Early teacher access to classes will be gradually rolling out this month.
Sync Teams assignments and grades to PowerSchool with Grade Sync – now available!
Using PowerSchool SIS for grades? Sync your assignments and grades directly to PowerSchool PowerTeacher Pro with Grade Sync and save yourself a step. Learn how to setup today, here!
Weekly assignments summary email for parents and guardians
Now, share your students’ progress and upcoming assignments directly with their parents and guardians. When Parent and Guardian Emails are turned on, they’ll receive a weekly summary email that shows assignment progress from last week and approaching due dates on the next. IT Admins can setup this feature today by onboarding to the new Parent and Guardian sync from Microsoft School Data Sync. As a teacher, you can turn the feature on and off in your team’s settings.
New Assignment settings in Teams admin center
We’re also introducing new IT admin settings to better manage Teams Assignments. With the new Assignment settings in the Microsoft Teams admin center, easily enable or disable features for students and teachers within your school. These include the weekly guardian assignments email, and app integrations like MakeCode and Turnitin. IT admins can learn more here.
Channel Cross Posting
Share an announcement far and wide. With channel cross posting, you can post a single message in multiple channels at the same time. When composing a channel post, enable the Formatting options, then click “Post to multiple channels” and “Select channels.” Simply select all the channels you’d like to post in. No more tedious copying and pasting across multiple sections of the same class!
Need to limit the conversation to a small group within a Staff or Professional Learning Community (PLC) team OR want to create a focused space for group projects? Set up private channels within existing teams so only the educators or students you select can participate. Create a private channel by selecting “Private” under the privacy settings of the new channel.
Now you can see all the dates and progress regarding a student’s submission. See when students viewed the assignment, turned it in, and more.
This one is very exciting, you can view and grade all assignments from a class directly from the channel Grades tab! The new gradebook is a straightforward way to organize assignments and view grades for each class. Gradebook is in beta today and we will be expanding to worldwide availability over the coming weeks.
Within the gradebook, you can view an individual student’s progress on their assignments in class and observe patterns in their performance over time.
Customize your assignment times
We heard from many educators that you want to customize all the dates and times that are important to the assignment. Now you can customize down to the minute the scheduled, due, and close times.
Turnitin Assignments Integration
Teachers can now check student submissions for multiple forms of plagiarism right within Teams using Turnitin. With our new integration, Turnitin subscribers will have access directly from Teams Assignments! Early access is now available to Turnitin subscribers by signing up here.
New file viewer
Students and teachers now have more space to view and edit content within Teams, which is crucial for students with limited space on their screens. We've simplified the headers in the file content viewing experience when working on Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents.
We can’t wait to meet thousands of inspiring educators at #Bett2020 in London next month. If you’re going to be there, too, be sure to stop by the Microsoft booth to explore all these updates in person and say hello. We’d love to hear what you think.
Can’t make it to BETT? No sweat! We will be sharing daily updates from the conference floor so stay tuned and make sure to engage with @MicrosoftEDU on Twitter
Thanks again for all you do both in and outside your classrooms. As always, we’re committed to bringing you the very best when it comes to serving your students’ learning in Teams.
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