What’s new for Microsoft 365 for schools and MATS? Spring/Summer 2024 

29 May, 2024

What’s new for Microsoft 365 for schools and MATS? Spring/Summer 2024 

Welcome to your guide to what's new for Microsoft Education for spring 2024.  

Welcome to your guide to what’s new for Microsoft Education for spring 2024.  

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 updates to Reading Coach, Reflect, OneNote and new AI tools.  

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.  

Reading Coach just got even more powerful. 

Reading Coach offers students independent reading practice and the chance to improve skills. The software is able to identify words that are mispronounced and help students tackle and overcome them. Reading Coach can also provide personalised and safeguarded AI-generated stories for students to practice at their level.  

The good news is that now Reading Coach is now available in classrooms everywhere. This is an exciting announcement for students and teachers, providing more opportunities to practice and improve their reading skills. This tool is great for teachers, as it provides useful insights, so you find exactly where a student needs help. 

New generative AI tools in Microsoft Education  

AI is taking the world by storm, and it’s no different in the education industry. Microsoft Education has introduced artificial technology into several of its features. AI for educators is now available and can be activated in Institution Settings in Microsoft Teams. 

These include:  

Rubrics for assessment:  

Rubrics communicate the expectations for an assignment to students. They also act as a marking scheme for teachers, helping you mark and grade assignments. While these tools can be extremely useful for both teacher and student, they can also be extremely time-consuming to create.  

However, thanks to generative AI integrated into assignments, all teachers now have to do is enter what they want the rubric to assess, and AI will suggest criteria and complete the rubric. This is a huge time saver, giving you time to focus on other tasks in your busy schedule.  

Assignment instructions: 

Another time-saving feature that many teachers will appreciate is the ability for AI to examine information and enrich your assignment instructions. AI can add more details and learning objectives and even emphasise key concepts. Once these instructions have been completed, you can go ahead and make any changes and updates to the content.  

Passage generation: 

As briefly mentioned above, Reading Coach now has some AI capability. Finding or creating reading passages that are appropriate for your specific year group and tailored to your students’ reading level takes time. However, with Reading Coach, you can now generate passages and use Insights to tailor the reading ability based on your class. You can then go back in and edit the passage, so you still have full creative control.  

AI can also generate comprehension question ideas for your class.  

Reusable OneNote and Channel Resources in Classwork 

The new update to Classwork is a game-changer for teachers. After a lot of hard work and spending time creating resources in OneNote and Teams, it seems a shame that they can’t be reused in Classwork.  

However, this is now a thing of the past and teachers are able to reuse and duplicate OneNote and Channel resources from modules – no more spending time rewriting resources and assignments; in just a few clicks, they can be edited and reassigned.  

Microsoft Reflect has had an update  

Reflect allows students to reflect on how they’re feeling about schoolwork and assignments and provides teachers with the chance to check in with their class and individual students about their wellbeing and mental health.  

New updates to the tool include: 

  • New “Emotion clusters”, which allow students to communicate how they’re feeling more efficiently and effectively. 
  • Teachers are now able to export check-in responses to Excel, making tracking and following a student’s or class’s progress even easier.  
  • New “Brain Break” activities, which encourage students to take a moment to rest and recharge their brains. 

SalamanderSoft connects teachers, staff and pupils to Microsoft 365 automatically. Here’s how we can help you: 

School or MAT?

Switching MIS providers is a breeze when you unleash the magic of SalamanderSoft.

We’re the UK’s leading user management solutions provider, trusted by 4,000+ schools. Our Integration Suite automates the creation of staff and pupil accounts and the setup of classes, subjects, year groups, and more.  

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MSP for education? 

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Salamander for Partners can help managed service providers (MSP), value added resellers (VAR) or IT support providers (ITSP) save time and eradicate the hassle of onboarding and provisioning schools whilst earning you an attractive reseller margin. 

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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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