Microsoft today announced that it is bringing a new feature called Microsoft Classroom to its Office 365 Education offering. Currently being piloted by with the Omaha Public Schools, Classroom is designed as a one-stop place for students and teachers to manage their days.
“Microsoft Classroom simplifies our digital classroom management and frees up our teachers so they can spend more time with students and less time managing administrative access to class materials,” Omaha Public Schools executive director Rob Dickson says.
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Based on Microsoft’s description, Classroom appears to be a web-based hub where a student can interact with their classes, assignments, and teachers, and find more information about the topics their learning. But it’s not the only improvement coming to Office 365 Education. Microsoft also announced the following:
OneNote class notebook. Each class gets its own notebook, allowing teachers to create assignments with due dates and their associated Outlook calendar events and reminders. Assignments can include Office documents, interactive content, and other documents. And because OneNote works across all modern devices, students can receive, complete and submit assignments from virtually anywhere and collaborate with fellow students in real time or offline.
Microsoft Forms. This new Office 356 Education feature lets students and teachers quickly create custom surveys, quizzes, questionnaires, registrations and more. Form authors can invite others to complete the forms, which they can do using any web browser, Microsoft says, even those on mobile devices. Form authors can likewise view results as they are submitted. And quiz results and other Forms data can be easily exported to Excel for additional analysis or grading.
School Data Sync. This new feature will sync user profiles and class rosters from a Student Information System (SIS) into Office 365 Education through Azure Active Directory. School Data Sync automates management of classes and class materials for the teachers, Microsoft says, freeing up time for lesson planning and teaching. It also enables single sign-on across Office 365 and other supported classroom applications.
Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft Forms, and School Data Sync are all available now in preview. You can sign-up using the links above.