Microsoft to launch new features in 'Teams' for online education

ST Staff
Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Earlier, Microsoft had conducted a survey of 500 members from the Microsoft Education Community in order to understand how remote learning has become important due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Microsoft on Tuesday launched a new feature called 'Teams for Education', in order to promote online mode of education and engage both teachers and students in remote/work from home learning systems. Teams can now accommodate up to 49 participants with its grid view expanded to 7x7. In this new feature, students will also be able to virtually raise hands while the class is being conducted and will also include class insights and custom backgrounds. Previews will be available later this month, said Microsoft.

Earlier, Microsoft had conducted a survey of 500 members from the Microsoft Education Community in order to understand how remote learning has become important due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This survey was conducted on teachers and heads from leading educational institutions across the world. The survey's result indicated that there has been a major uptake in remote learning tools. About 61 per cent of the survey believes that the process of schooling in the coming years will be based on a hybrid learning environment, involving remote and in-person learning. About 87 per cent said that they believe technology will be used more than physical classrooms.

In 'Teams for Education,' students can raise their hands in order to ask questions during the class, in a digital format. Teachers can keep a track of the attendance and will also be able to view class insights, later in the year. Teachers will also have access to view data analytics breakdown on student engagement in class, activity metrics, number of assignments submitted and even grade them in a new way. The new features include meeting options that will allow the teacher to choose the attendees, stop students from starting an unattended meeting and also let teachers oversee student security and control the classroom experience.

In recent times, teachers have been using new and different tools while delivering their lessons and students have been getting accustomed to those ideas. This new technology has implied that while maintaining the required distance between the teacher and the student, it is equally important to bridge the gap between the two. Manish Prakash, the General Manager of Public Sector, Health and Education, at Microsoft India said, teachers, need to come up with new and innovative ways to keep the students engaged for a longer period while keeping them motivated to learn, and experience more in a safer environment, even in the digitized world.

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