Microsoft is releasing new whiteboarding features in Microsoft Teams designed specifically for educators to keep students more engaged.
These features will especially come in handy for your education customers using Microsoft Teams for online classes and to keep educators and students connected during pandemic-induced distance learning.
The Microsoft Whiteboard app is now directly built into Teams, giving educators the ability to open the share tray to share a new or existing Whiteboard with the class at any time without having to switch between apps and losing participant video feeds.
This summer, educators and students can use the Microsoft Whiteboard web client and the Whiteboard in Teams app to pull in images and content from other documents, shapes and stickers, and the boards can be created before class and opened during class.
Currently, educators have full control over who can edit the whiteboard and when, and this summer, educators will be able to use the laser pointer to draw attention to important items. Educators will also have more control, including the ability to lock a students’ view so they see the same thing.
For group projects and more interactive lessons, Microsoft will be releasing a feature to make it easier to upload digital worksheets to the board or create new ones using structured organizations that come with the app.
Users can add content to the board, open it in a Teams meeting or invite students to the board. Live cursor identities also allow educators to see where students are and who is engaged with the work.
Whiteboard lessons can also be uploaded to Teams Assignments as homework or reference material, according to Microsoft.
Many of these same features could prove useful in corporate settings, but Microsoft didn’t detail when or if these features would be available outside of education users.