Microsoft Teams just keeps getting better and better, as the company announced this week that it would add a new feature designed to help students learning to read while partaking in virtual education.
While we're certainly in the later stages of the pandemic, remote learning still remains a reality for many students around the world. Teachers, parents, and students alike have expressed frustration with the new norm, noting that the old in-person methods just don't translate as well to at-home education.
Now though, Microsoft Teams is providing an intuitive new way to learn how to read that could become the new standard even after the pandemic is over.
Microsoft Teams Adds Reading Progress Feature
The new feature is quite the improvement to the old way of learning to read, particularly in a virtual school situation. Dubbed “Reading Progress” on Microsoft Teams, the new feature allows students to record themselves reading a passage, so the teacher can go back later to more accurately cater the lesson to that particular student.
That's not all though. Arguably the most impressive aspect of the new feature is the level of analytics provided to the teacher after each reading. Accuracy rate, words per minute, and attempt counters are all available, so tailored teaching is even easier. You'll even get a record of mispronunciations, omissions, and insertions for each reading.
This feature was actually already in production before the pandemic began, but Microsoft has fast tracked the innovation in hopes of easing the load on teachers during the pandemic. But will it actually help to improve reading comprehension in remote learning students?
How will this improve reading comprehension while remote learning?
It's probably been a while for you, but learning to read is pretty hard, particularly if you don't have someone right next to you guiding you through the process.
While this new Reading Progress feature has just been unveiled, Microsoft has done some testing and found that this method is not only effective, but actually a more enjoyable pathway to reading fluency.
“Based on what we’ve seen so far, kids do prefer reading to the computer,” said Mike Tholfsen, a product manager for Microsoft Education, to The Verge. “The reading science will tell you the more a student reads out loud, the better their fluency will get. If teachers can get time back to give more reading fluency assignments, that’s a good thing for reading in general.”
According to one study out of Stanford University, the pandemic had a dire effect on reading fluency, citing a nearly 30% drop in younger ages children. Subsequently, this kind of digital resource could be a huge improvement for teachers that have been struggling to keep up with curriculum during the pandemic.
Getting Started with Microsoft Teams
If you're working or learning from home and haven't heard of Microsoft Teams, you're missing out. This relatively new communications platform from the Seattle-based tech giant has been updating like crazy, adding new features and security measures on what feel like a weekly basis.
From video conferencing to project management, Microsoft Teams offers a true all-in-one hub for your business communication needs. And, as you can tell from the rollout of this new feature, the platform allows caters quite well to teachers, so you'll have the online resources you need to keep students engaged no matter where they are.
If you're interested, we can help! We've done some extensive research on Microsoft Teams, comparing it to other video conferencing tools and project management software, so you can get a better idea of how the software can work for you. Take a look at the pricing table below to see how much it would cost to get started with Microsoft Teams today.
Microsoft Teams Essentials
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
Microsoft 365 Business Standard
$4 per user per month
$5 per user per month
$12.50 per user per month
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