Now that Microsoft has begun rolling out its new 7×7 grid view for teams and virtual brainstorming spaces, the company is releasing new features designed to improve the “emotional connection” for students and teachers.
The latest Teams tools include “praise badges” from the Praise app, which Microsoft suggests teachers can use to “recognize students’ social skills, increase emotional vocabulary, and give valuable recognition to daily victories.”
The badges will be available to more than 230,000 educational institutions that use Teams for remote learning and mixed learning.
The standard badges are now available in chats and class team channels, and there will be more social-emotional learning badges (SEL) this month.
Standard badges include: performer, great, coach, courage, creative, inclusive, kind heart, leadership, optimism, problem solver, team player and thanks.
The SEL-focused include communication, critical thinking, curiosity and empathy, pursuit of goals, motivation and so on. Users also have the option to create their own badges and choose their own image to accompany the text.
“The badges were developed through a human-centered design approach that brought teachers and students directly into the product development process, enabling us to create useful and authentic tools that can help with their existing classroom practices,” said Mark Sparvell, Microsoft’s chief executive. Training.
IT administrators can control which badges are available to users and must enable the app on the Teams app settings page.
It is not clear how many badges students’ feelings in remote learning will improve as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. On the other hand, all the tools that even slightly improve the experience of distance learning for teachers and students should be welcomed, assuming that students have sufficient remote learning equipment.
Zoom, which suddenly became the default remote classroom app for schools, has also enhanced its features for education customers with enhanced “security features to prevent zoombombing” and better controls to manage participants’ audio.
In August, Zoom gave teachers the ability to selectively eliminate students’ audio, whereas previously only participants, who may not have known how to use the audio control, could select the damping for their device. Zoom introduced brainstorming rooms this month.
Microsoft is also introducing the Reflect extension for Teams, allowing teachers to perform quick “emotional check-ins” to ask, for example, how students feel. It is designed to encourage students to think about and identify how they feel.
Finally, Microsoft has released a new set of SEL sticker packs for OneNote and OneNote Class Notebooks. The set can be used alongside OneNote audio recording, handwriting, and typed notes.
Other recent features include “drop-off” or animations students receive after they submit an assignment, virtual backgrounds for younger children, and “co-op,” which allows participants to appear on a shared background.