So much has happened over the past 18 months as educators and IT pros worked tirelessly to adjust to a new type of normal and provide the best possible learning environment for our children. Thanks to your perseverance, persistence, and above-and-beyond-ness to help students, you’ve inspired new features and capabilities across Microsoft Education. All of these updates and features would not be possible without your feedback—thank you, for sharing what you and your classrooms need.
Microsoft Modern Workplace Specialist, Megan Townes, and Learning Delivery Specialist, Andrew Balzer, take us through What’s New in EDU.
Immersive Reader, a free tool that uses proven techniques to support reading regardless of age or level, will be available in even more places including mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Whiteboard – Group projects and interactive lessons
When it comes to group projects and interactive lessons, Whiteboard makes it simple to upload digital worksheets that you already have to the board, or create new ones using more structured content from within the app. Add your content to the board, open it in a Teams meeting, or invite your students to the board and see their creativity blossom. With everyone on the same Whiteboard, live cursor identities allow you to see where students are, who is actively engaged with the work, and which students might need additional help or clarification on the tasks.
Word for web export to PowerPoint presentation
This feature uses artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to save you time and provide you with slide suggestions powered by Designer in PowerPoint. The slides are derived from your section headers in the document, so make sure to organise your Word document accordingly for optimal suggestions. Based on key words in your document, Designer in PowerPoint will suggest imagery, icons, videos, themes, and fonts to arrange your content. You can always change the suggested content if needed.
Minecraft: Education Edition now available for clubs, camps, homeschools, and more!
The past year has shown us that learning can truly happen everywhere, so we’re making Minecraft: Education Edition available beyond the classroom! The Camps and Clubs Update allows camps, after-school programs, homeschools, non-profits, and other organizations to purchase licenses and trial Minecraft: Education Edition
Hundreds of educators and school leaders have shared the challenges and importance of reading fluency checks with us. After collaborating with reading experts and testing with educators, we’re excited to announce Reading Progress. Whether educators are helping emerging readers build confidence or teaching English as a foreign language, Reading Progress enables readers to practice their skills in a safe, student-centric environment. Educators pick a reading passage and can choose to assign it to the entire class, a specific reading group, or an individual student. After the student reads the passage aloud, educators review the recording and either manually identify and code errors or use the Auto-detect feature to identify and code potential errors.
Fluency data from Reading Progress is collected in Insights to support educators in taking evidence-based action for literacy in their classrooms. Insights dashboards help visualise progress and trends such as accuracy rate, correct words per minute, mispronunciations, omissions, and insertions. Reading Progress also highlights actionable insights for educators, synthesizing common challenges across the entire class or per student.
Dynamic view in Teams
Dynamic view intelligently arranges content and participants during class, showing the important stuff all on the same screen. Comments from the meeting chat will show up, too, giving more visibility to students who would rather use chat to share their thoughts and ideas.
Reflect app helps you understand how students are feeling
Reflect is a check-in tool that educators can leverage to open conversations about Social Emotional Learning, or simply take the temperature of their class. Educators deepen their awareness of each student’s emotional experience, informing their practice. With emoji-based check-ins, students are prompted to name their emotions, supporting emotional vocabulary growth and self-awareness skills vital to their understanding of how emotions impact learning. Plus, educators get better insight into the needs of the class and individual students.
Through Education Insights, educators can see how students respond to check-ins over time, making it easier to identify and address student needs. The digital activity report now includes Reflect check-in data, with additional Reflect insights coming soon.
Organisational improvements in Teams – Simplified navigation in your class team
We’ve heard loud and clear that you’d prefer to access Assignments, Grades, Class Notebook, and Insights from any channel within a class team. We’re excited to announce changes to the class team layout that will allow you to do just that! Just open up your class team and you’ll see the updated-and-improved navigation. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to add tabs to the General channel and other channels you create. This new view will be available for all educators and students using our grid view layout for teams, and IT Admins will have the option to remove any of the pre-pinned navigation.
With the new group assignment feature, groups of students can work together to create, collaborate, and submit one assignment for the whole group. You’ll be able to either give individual comments and grades or group grades, and all students in the group will receive credit.
Snap a photo and submit
We’ve heard from many educators that it’s often simpler for students to snap a quick picture on their phones of their work. Now, the new Lens integration in Assignments allows students to take a picture of their paper, whiteboard, or other physical work with their mobile device and turn it in. It’s a snap.
New! Insights is on mobile with Spotlight cards
Educators are on the move. That’s why we now have Insights available on mobile. Quickly view Spotlights that detail your class engagement. Just open your class and select Insights to see key stories pulled from engagement data to help you identify trends and take action for student success. For example, if a student was inactive (and your chat is enabled), you can quickly choose to send a chat to the student to ask how they’re doing and whether they need additional help. If you can’t see the features, check with your IT department.
Microsoft Transformation Schools Program
The Microsoft School Transformation Program is a free school-wide professional learning program that sees school leaders, teachers, learning support teachers and IT professionals build their capacity to transform their school and support students using the technology they already have at their fingertips. The Microsoft team of education experts will meet with your school, and through a series of online workshops, we will deliver a comprehensive professional learning experience aligned to the Education Transformation Framework (ETF).
Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Program
Are you an educator striving to find new ways to engage your students? If you’d like to connect with a global, professional learning community of other educators just like yourself who are constantly pushing the boundaries of what a classroom looks and feels like, we would love to have you as a part of our Microsoft Innovative Expert community!
Teams for Education Policy Wizard
Use the Teams for Education Policy Wizard to easily apply policies for a safe learning environment
Exchange admin Centre in Exchange Online
The new Exchange admin centre (EAC) is a modern, web-based management console for managing Exchange that is designed to provide an experience more in line with the overall Microsoft 365 admin experience. It replaces the Exchange Control Panel (ECP)
Our goal at Microsoft is to empower every student to achieve more and to do this we have a range of resources available to support educators in achieving better learning outcomes for all students. Find the right Windows devices for your students, deploy Office 365 Education with ease, join our Educator Centre for free training, or sign up to our Education newsletter for the latest news, updates, and events delivered straight to your inbox.