Microsoft Teams Is Tackling Virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences Next

The new conferencing feature arrives in May and works across three forms of communication: chat, email, or phone.
Adam Rowe

Microsoft Teams is adding a new “Parent Connection” feature that lets teachers call their students' guardians with a single click of a button.

It's a tool that deepens the video conferencing service's usefulness in the education sector, and could help it expand its presence.

If it's as easy as it sounds to use, the new ability might be a boon, helping teacher-parent meetings move from lengthy in-person ordeals to slightly less lengthy virtual visits.

What to Know About Parent Connection

With the functionality, educators will be able to connect with the guardians of their students “with a single click,” as Microsoft Teams explains the feature in its publically available roadmap of updates. It works across three forms of communication: chat, email, or phone.

Parent Connection isn't available yet — It's set to arrive sometime in May, though no specific date has been announced. Once it has rolled out, the tool will be generally available worldwide, on web, desktop, and mobile.

The Teams app will be relaunching in the Microsoft Store in May as well, with a focus on school support.

“This app will support work, school, and consumer accounts on Windows 10 and Work or school accounts on Windows 11,” Microsoft stated about the app.

Can Virtual Calls Support Work and School Life Balance?

The tool won't be featured in any business meetings, since it's aimed at helping users in their home lives, but it's a great example of the connections between the two. Harried parents or guardians might find a few more moments of peace if they don't have to build their schedules around an in-person teacher meeting.

Much like childcare stipends are an often overlooked workplace benefit, these types of tools can help working parents balance their lives with their careers that much more easily.

Is Microsoft Teams the best conferencing tool for you?

The addition of a parent-teacher conference button probably isn't what will convince you to opt for Microsoft Teams over other web conferencing solutions, but it doesn't have to be. Teams is a great option by itself, due to a wealth of features and high adaptation in many circles. You can read more about its pros and cons in our official review, which compares it to competitor Google Meet.

Zoom is another fine pick for video meetings, thanks to a decent free plan, strong security, and its own wide range of features.

You can check out some additional conferencing tools with this table below, compiled by our researchers to help easily compare the pros, cons, audio functionality, and a stand-out perks each top software solution has to offer.

0 out of 0
Price from
The lowest starting price for a paid plan. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
User rating
Average rating given by iOS and Android users in App Store and Google Play Store reviews
Best for
Pros
Cons

GoToMeeting

Zoom

RingCentral

Google Meet

Lifesize

Microsoft Teams

Webex

Zoho Meeting

Join.me

$14.99/month

$14.99/month

$8/month

$12.95/month

$4/month

$10/month

4.5
4.2
3.9
3.8
3.5
Not yet rated
4.2
Not yet rated
3.9

Overall conference calling

Beginners

Longer meetings

Google Workplace users

Users that need hardware

Microsoft users

Larger businesses

Zoho users

Brand-focused businesses

  • High quality audio and video
  • Very reliable and secure
  • Lower cost than competitors
  • Easy to use
  • Feature-rich free version available
  • Intuitive interface
  • Lots of customizability
  • Can also be used for Glip
  • Google Workplace compatibility
  • Very affordable paid plan
  • Advanced features like live captioning
  • 1080p video and HD audio,
  • Integrates with third-party apps
  • Good value
  • Completely free
  • 300 participants
  • Integrates with Microsoft 365
  • Feature-rich software
  • High quality audio and video
  • Easy setup
  • No time limit on free plan
  •  Browser functionality
  •  SSL/128-bit AES encryption
  • Very customizable platform
  • Quality audio
  • Respectable free version
  • Weak free plan
  • Poor audio quality
  • 24-hour meeting limit expires in July 2021
  • 250 meeting participant limit
  • No end-to-end-encryption
  • Unsophisticated chat function
  • No gallery view for guests
  • Steep learning curve
  • Occasional bandwidth issues
  • Recording costs extra
  • Expensive for full features
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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.

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