Technology

Microsoft adds new tools to online learning

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Summary

  • Global tech giant Microsoft has added more features to its video conferencing platform to offer learners and tutors richer content.
  • Updates to the Office 365 suite (Teams) include Reading Progress and Supervised Chat expected to make assignments more engaging, organised and fun.

Global tech giant Microsoft has added more features to its video conferencing platform to offer learners and tutors richer content.

Updates to the Office 365 suite (Teams) include Reading Progress and Supervised Chat expected to make assignments more engaging, organised and fun.

The tools will also allow teachers to better understand student engagement and emotional wellbeing while encouraging class participation during synchronous learning for remote classes.

Microsoft’s Vice President for Education Barbara Holzapfel said the new tools and updates are designed to support student centricity, skills focus, social learning, safety and security, and scalability.

“Technology went from being a temporary lifeline to facilitate connection in remote and hybrid learning, to a fully integrated part of many virtual and in-person classrooms,” she said.

The Teams tools will help teachers create “a holistic learning environment and move education forward”.

A recent survey by Microsoft shows teachers have innovated by integrating technology and learning to engage students since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study shows 82 percent of educators agree that the past year accelerated the pace at which technology has driven innovation in teaching and learning.

In addition, 71 percent of educators say technology has helped them improve their instruction and expand their teaching capacity.

“As schools reimagine learning, there are several technologies that are critical to support learning, including collaborative online environments, analytics and feedback tools, and inclusive, immersive experiences that support deep understanding of complex concepts. The new apps and features will further support teachers and students on this journey,” says Ms Holzapfel.