Microsoft is at the Bett Education Show in London this week and has already had some major announcements. Several Windows 10 S laptops with affordable prices, including $189 for the lowest. Now the company is boosting that hardware with some major changes to Office 365 Education.
In a rather lengthy post on its blog, the Office team detailed significant changes to Office 365 Education. Corporate education VP Eran Mediddo confirmed changes to Microsoft Teams, OneNote Teachers, and much more.
Diction features are arguably the most significant addition coming to Office 365 Education. Students and teachers will be able to dictate hands-free to Word, Word Online, Outlook Desktop, OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote Online, and PowerPoint. This service will support more than nine languages when it launches.
Expanding accessibility, Microsoft will also introduce Read Aloud for Outlook Desktop, which “allows students to hear the contents of an email while each word is highlighted in sync”. This feature will support 30 text-to-speech languages. Read Aloud will be available across platform on Word for Mac, iPhone, and Android, as well as Outlook Desktop and OneNote for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Microsoft Teams Changes
- Assignments support—Using the Teams app on their iOS and Android mobile phone or tablet, students can now access upcoming assignments, receive new assignment notifications, and turn in their work. Teachers can create new assignments, as well as review and make edits to existing assignments all while on the go. We also improved the search function on mobile to ensure both students and teachers can quickly find and navigate to individual assignments.
- On Demand Translation—Students and teachers will soon be able to turn content in a chat or in a team channel into the language that their tenant is configured in. This powerful feature allows teachers and students to converse comfortably in their chosen language and removes all language barriers.
- Assignment Analytics—Now teachers can track assignment engagement in real time—at a glance—to see who’s viewed and turned in their work.
- Join Codes—Saves teachers valuable time by allowing them to simply invite students to a class. This capability will also prove helpful for staff and PLC teams, ensuring an effortless start to collaborating with co-workers.
- Reusing a Team as a Template—Teachers can reuse an existing team as a template when creating a new team and can customize what they want to copy over—from channels, tabs, team setting, apps, and even users.
- Decimal Grading—Teachers can provide grading feedback in their preferred way using Decimal Grading.
OneNote for Teachers Changes
- Capita SIMS—Updates to Class Notebook include assignment and grade integration with more than 35 of the most widely used LMS and SIS, including Capita SIMS in the U.K. These integrations are coming to OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote Online, and OneNote iPad, and will reduce administrative burden and save teachers time.
- Page Locking—To further simplify classroom workflows, we are delivering on the number-one request from teachers for Class Notebooks—enabling lock pages. Teachers can now lock pages as read-only after giving feedback to the student.
- Interactive math calculators—In OneNote, we are also enabling Desmos interactive math calculators, a set of popular applications for STEM teachers.
- New stickers—We also added four new fun sticker packs: Feathered Friends, Science, Circus Animals, and Arrows.
These features are not available in Office 365 Education right now. Microsoft says Dictation in Office will launch to Office Insiders this month and roll out officially in the coming months. Read Aloud will also arrive on the inside this month before making its way to all users later.
The Teams changes are available right now, although some features are limited to the Teams for Education beta. All features will be available by Spring 2018. Further timelines are as follows:
- OneNote assignment and grade integration with Capita SIMS will be available in February 2018. Assignment and Grade integration for OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote Online, and OneNote iPad will be available worldwide in February 2018.
- OneNote Desmos integration is available worldwide today to all Office 365 customers.
- OneNote Class Notebook Page Locking begins preview testing in February 2018 and will roll out worldwide in the coming months.
- Recording a PowerPoint and publishing directly to Stream is now available to all Office 365 customers. Additional features, including Forms integration, will roll out later this year.