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Since the advent of the pandemic last year, virtual classes have become a new reality. Online platforms have also taken up the task of enhancing the user experience by launching new features. Microsoft Teams has features that are built to help build the overall experience. 

Microsoft Teams has a few features that teachers and students should be aware of to make full use of the platform. 

Also read: Microsoft Teams introduces new free reading tool for students. How it works

1. Send Praise Badges to acknowledge student achievements

Use Praise Badges to recognize and reinforce students’ effort, growth, and achievements. 

2. Easily sync grades to Student Information System

With Grade Sync, teachers can save time by automatically sending grades to Student Information System (SIS) gradebook. Syncing is currently supported for verified providers, including Aequitas, eSchoolData, Infinite Campus, PowerSchool, and Skyward with additional syncing support coming soon for Aeries, Synergy, and SIMS.

3. Create engaging, accessible blended and hybrid classes with Dynamic View

Dynamic view intelligently arranges content and participants during class, showing both content and participants side-by-side. Comments from the meeting chat will show up, too, giving more visibility to students who might prefer chat to speaking on camera. This capability can also help participants with hearing impairments spotlight their sign language interpreter alongside shared content during a Teams meeting.

4. Reporter and Side-by-side options

Reporter mode places content as a visual aid above the presenter’s shoulder like a news story. Side-by-side mode displays a presenter’s video feed next to their content. This helps create a more natural classroom or lecture experience and allows students to see their teacher or professor alongside lesson content.

5. More spoken languages added to live captions in Teams meetings

27 languages are supported with live captions during class. If your main spoken language during class is German, Portuguese (Brazil), Japanese, Hindi, or any of the other supported languages, you’ll be able to see real-time captions in that language. 

Students joining class on their mobile can view captions in the supported languages, but only desktop users are able to switch the spoken language. 

6. Simplified class team navigation

Teachers can access Assignments, Grades, Class Notebook, and Insights from any channel within a class team. Just open your class team and you’ll see the updated-and-improved navigation. You’ll still be able to add tabs and apps to the General channel and any other channels you create. This new view is available for all teachers and students using the grid view layout for teams, plus IT Admins will have the option to remove any of the pre-pinned navigation.

Student emotional well-being with education insights

With Education Insights built directly into the digital classroom teachers can make informed instructional decisions with data such as online class attendance, assignment engagement, class activity, and more. 

Create Reflect check-ins for staff teams

Reflect is now available for staff teams, too. This way, leaders can support teachers in building a schoolwide culture of trust and growth and provide opportunities to reflect and be heard. Just add Reflect your staff team, select a question from the gallery based on CASEL core competencies, and create space for personal and community growth through reflection.

 

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