What’s new in Microsoft 365 for schools and MATs | Autumn 2023 

12 September, 2023

What’s new in Microsoft 365 for schools and MATs | Autumn 2023 

Brand new additions to Microsoft Education, including Viva Connections and Classwork, as well as updates to Reflect and the Teams experience.  

Welcome to your guide to what’s new for Microsoft Education in Autumn 2023.  

Microsoft 365 is a popular tool for many customers, so we’ve created a regular roundup of the most useful new updates for teachers and educators. 

This blog looks at some brand new additions to Microsoft Education, including Viva Connections and Classwork, as well as updates to Reflect and the Teams experience.  

Viva Connections for Education has landed.  

Viva Connections is now available for those using Teams for Education, which allows schools to create digital, customisable home pages from within Teams. 

As part of the launch, new Viva Connections cards have been added – Assignments and Courses.  

The Assignments card allows students to see their upcoming and past due assignments, while Courses allows students to easily access and view all their class materials and resources.  

What’s more, you can create multiple home experiences within your tenant – for example, a tailored home hub for students, another for educators and another for staff members.  

For more access, Viva Connections Mobile Dashboard personalisation means that users can use the Viva Connections for Education app and personalise their dashboard to their own preferences and be able to access any information on the go. 

Viva Connections for Education is available for all customers. Microsoft For Education

An improved Microsoft Teams experience.  

Educators have asked and Microsoft have listened!  

An updated version of Microsoft Teams is being rolled out thanks to feedback from users to improve its stability and performance.  

The new version is available on Teams Desktop (and you’ll have to opt-in to use the New Teams experience).  

Here’s what to expect: 

  • 2x faster performance. 
  • 50% memory usage, lower CPU, disk utilisation and less battery use. 
  • Ability to switch between multiple accounts and tenants seamlessly. 
  • More reliable, improved security.  
Microsoft introduces "New" Teams for Education

All new Microsoft Reflect Emotions Board. 

The Reflect Emotion Board gives teachers the perfect opportunity to check in on their students’ wellbeing and help surface any issues inside and outside the classroom.  

It’s a physical board that can be set up in the classroom – all teachers need to do is download the board kit from the Reflect App, print it and build an interactive check-in board in their classroom. The next step is to assign a card for each student, based on mapping in the app. 

After setting up, teachers can designate points in the day where students can share how they feel by placing their card in the feeling category they relate to. When every student has placed their card, the teacher can use the Reflect App to capture responses.  

Through the app, you’re able to see and track responses and gain insights over time.  

Classwork in Teams for education.  

The brand new Classwork is the perfect way to stay organised and keep everything in one place.  

The days of switching between apps are gone and you can streamline Class Notebook pages, web links, files and Teams channels.  

It makes lessons planning a breeze and helps you pull together all your class resources into one central location, ready for students to access. 

Our partners Cloud Design Box, have created this handy guide to the new Classwork app.  

Our Salamander Integration Suite allows teachers and students instant access to everything they need to teach and learn in Microsoft 365. We sync data from your school or trust’s MIS data to automatically provision user accounts in Microsoft, ensuring that everyone has access to their classes, learning resources and tools. Talk to a member of our team today to find out how we can support your school or trust. 

Courtney Farrow

Written by Courtney Farrow

Marketing and Social media

Courtney supports SalamanderSoft in creating engaging online content for the company website and social media channels. She has over ten years of experience in digital content creation and her company Bloom Creative specialises in helping software and tech brands attract, convert and retain customers.

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