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

19 December, 2023

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

Brand new additions to Microsoft Education including Learning Accelerators, Reflect Check-ins and updates to Class Teams Assignments. 

Welcome to your guide to what’s new for Microsoft Education in Winter 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 Learning Accelerators, Reflect Check-ins and updates to Class Teams Assignments.

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. 

New Microsoft Learning Accelerators

Microsoft Learning Accelerators are tools that aid students in developing their skills and help to make education more accessible. These skills are not only essential for education, but also skills that they will need in further education and workplaces.

The learning accelerators consist of:

  • Search Coach and Progress
  • Reading Coach and Progress
  • Speaker Coach and Progress

The coaching part of these tools helps students practice their skills, while “progress” assesses students and helps to track their development and highlight any issues they may be having.

Reuse modules in Classwork

Teachers will be able to reuse modules between Class Teams in Classwork. This is being rolled out from December.

This is extremely useful and time-saving as you’ll be able to pull content from other teams instead of duplicating your work for each class. Not only is this great if you teach the same topics each year, but it’s also a brilliant way of sharing resources between staff members.

Note: To do this, you must be the owner of the Class Team from which the content is being reused.

Save time and reuse modules in Classwork

Check-in with students using Reflect

Reflect is a way for teachers to check in with their students and receive feedback on how they are feeling about learning.

Students can now Reflect Check-in on assignments.

When students have finished and submitted their assignments, they will be automatically asked how they felt about it. Teachers will be able to see this feedback from each student through Assignments Grading experience and are able to track these responses over time too. This is a great way to see how student’s feel about certain topics and highlight any weaknesses within individuals as a class. This feature offers a platform for students to speak out without having to speak out loud, which is great, especially for students who are shy or struggle to ask for help.

Set up Reflect check-ins for students in Class Teams

Assignments support PDF annotations

A new feature that now allows students to edit PDFs with ink and highlights directly in Assignments. This means students can annotate and make notes on PDFs while they work.

Teachers can now upload and distribute PDFs directly to Assignments. Teachers will also be able to use this feature to grade directly in grade view on any PDF documents too.

Add annotations to PDF in Class Teams Assignments

Reminder Notifications for Assignments

Teachers can now add a link to any assignment and share it with students through email, chat and other channels too. This is a simple process and can automatically be added to any assignment, creating an effortless and easy way to remind students about their upcoming assignments.

You can also through Assignment Detail, send a reminder to one or more students that their assignment is overdue.

Send students reminders in Teams Assignments

Mark a student as excused from an Assignment

For whatever reason a student might be excused from completing an assignment, there is now a feature called Mark as Excused, which means a teacher can now excuse a student from an assignment through Teams.

This feature can make a process a lot easier and avoid any confusion between a teacher and student and avoid a student feeling anymore stress than they may already be feeling.

You can now mark students assignments as “Excused” in Teams

Adding video recordings directly to Assignments and Classwork

Instead of adding links to videos, which can potentially add a lot of distraction for students, teachers can now add video recordings directly onto assignments and classwork including using the camera to provide feedback on assignments. This is a great way to save time with typing up and allow teachers to explain out loud.

As well as being able to add video, Teams has also introduced other features to the camera feature including, audio only, virtual backgrounds, presenter views, as well as support for filters, stickers, ink and text. Students can also use this feature from their work in assignments and submit video assignments.

Have you considered how these tools could be used for Year Group Teams? Talk to a Salamander expert now! 

Add video recordings to Classwork and Teams Assignments

New Turn-in Celebrations for students

And last but not least, something a little fun and exciting for students to brighten their day.

Turn-in Celebrations how now been enhanced with brand new 3-D experiences each time they submit work. This is a great new feature that can add a little bit of celebration for each student when they achieve something.

New Turn In Celebrations now in Class Teams

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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