In this month’s edition of What’s New in EDU, we’re excited to unveil new tools and resources that will empower teachers to deliver great instruction, personalize learning, foster inclusion and accessibility, and free up time to focus on what matters most.
Let’s start with Learning Tools, Microsoft Education resources that support inclusive classrooms and help students with reading, writing, math and communication. They are available in Microsoft Word, OneNote, Teams, Outlook Online and Microsoft Edge. We’re excited to share that our Read Aloud function, a powerful learning aid for many students, used to sound robotic, but we’ve overhauled it to make it sound more human, allowing for more student engagement and a better overall experience.
Office 365 Education updates
- Students can independently improve presentation skills in PowerPoint with Presenter Coach, an intelligent PowerPoint tool that provides feedback on presentations. It is now available in PowerPoint for the web in public preview and will help students develop public-speaking skills.
- Ink Replay animations on PowerPoint for Windows and Mac, as well as annotating with digital pen in Slide Show on PowerPoint for the web are available for Insiders and rolling out now. Additional Inking in Office for web support will be coming soon.
- We developed Sketched Shapes so students can convey to their peers or teachers that something they’re working on is a work in progress. It’s an engaging, new graphics feature and outline style for working on diagrams and models. Try Sketched Shapes now in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the desktop app and Mac.
Minecraft: Education Edition news
We have several updates that will make Minecraft: Education Edition easier and even more fun to use in creative and collaborative ways.
- Students can now save their work as a PDF using the export function in the Book & Quill tool.
- We’ve improved the multiplayer experience by developing a way for students to invite others to join their Minecraft worlds using join codes.
- It’s now easier to assign or share a link to worlds from within your Learning Management System (LMS).
- Immersive Reader is now integrated into Minecraft: Education Edition.
- Through Single Sign On (SSO), users can choose to be automatically logged in based on their credentials. They can easily sign out at any time too.
- A more visual site map will help teachers and students find Minecraft worlds in the Library or navigate to n-progress worlds.
More IT news
We’re excited to tell you about Simpler sign-in. Every minute of school time is essential. And we’ve heard G Suite for Education customers say they’d like to use Office 365, but their students have trouble remembering two passwords and that having two sign-in procedures is too time consuming. So, we’ve come up with a way for students to sign into Office 365 with their Google credentials. We’re looking for school districts that want to try it. Learn more here.
We have updates to Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS), an automated data-management tool that takes information from Student Information Systems (SIS) and creates classes and groups for Microsoft Teams, OneNote Class Notebooks, Intune for Education and third-party applications.
- Any synced teacher can now reset passwords for students.
- Teachers can run the class cleanup feature whenever they’re ready.
- Administrators can easily mark classes expired and archive Class Teams in bulk.
- We’ve improved sync times and have new OneRoster API Sync Providers. OneRoster allows schools to safely share roster information with select third-party systems.
And just a friendly reminder to check out our “You Can in :90” video series. We created these short videos based on your most-requested tips for using Microsoft Education tools. Check out a few below.
We hope your school year is off to a great start and that you find these resources and tools empowering as you work to deliver instruction that meets diverse learning needs, builds future-ready skills and sparks joy in the classroom. So much of what we develop, and the improvements we make to existing tools, are based on your experience and the feedback you share with us. So please keep that coming, and we look forward to bringing you more Microsoft Education updates next month.