Teams Christmas Gifts from Microsoft

Adrian Edgar

The Education team at Microsoft has announced a series of great new features coming to Microsoft Teams that are sure to make the collaboration and sharing process so much easier.

Unfortunately, these updates do not include a better way to navigate and find resources to add to assignments yet! Thank goodness there is a work around for this, hopefully Microsoft will address this next time!

In the meantime, all of these new features are revealed in the new YouTube video from Mike Tholfsen. You can watch it for yourself here If you are short on time, let me give you a quick overview of all the Christmas gifts under the Microsoft Teams tree.

1. Enhanced search

For too long, the search experience in Teams has been a little less than good. I’m being fair here! With the new screens, it is so much easier to find what you are looking for. With the ability to categorise by “All items,” “Messages,” or “People,” it makes the new search experience much more akin to the traditional SharePoint search which has been pretty awesome for years.  

The added bonus with the new search experience is the ability to filter by Team, Channel, Date or mentions, etc. There is also a much more comprehensive indexing feature allowing you to find related documents or conversations.

2. The Q&A app

The new Q&A app allows for a much more feature rich meeting experience. 

The app also allows the ability to moderate the questions – just like a live meeting or a webinar.

In the meeting, users can pose questions to the meeting organiser with a true rich text format.

The questions are then categorised by “Published,” “In Review” or “Dismissed,” allowing the meeting owner to filter out inappropriate or irrelevant items. The ability to create a discussion topic within the context of a meeting is also another great feature. Once a meeting has finished, the chat, Q&A and discussions are all available for review.

3. Microsoft Forms polls

Another one of the great Christmas gifts from Microsoft is the ability to use Forms to post a poll within a meeting space. The results are presented in an easy to use Word Cloud so the most popular answer appears as the largest font format.

4. Viva Learning training courses

The Viva Learning app is a great way both in the Education and the SMB markets to promote training courses for your employees.  Courses can be selected by topic, length and format. All related courses from Microsoft Learn are available in a tailor made view for each learner together with similar suggested learning content.  The app is available as a basic and a premium SKU allowing schools to provide training for staff at an affordable rate. The insights page allows users and employees to monitor and manage training opportunities as well as some great ways to encourage your team.

The Viva Insights application allows users to manage their working day effectively, helping you keep an eye on all those meetings and make sure you have time to plan your activities.

5. The return of Clippy

And finally, we see the return of an old friend.

Clippy is back!

Take a look under the stickers option in your chat menu and you will find a whole range of images to help support your learners with a small token to encourage.

These are some great Christmas gifts! If your school would like to find out more about these new collaboration features or even the new Teams Whiteboard app, then simply get in touch today and we can demonstrate these for you. Merry Christmas!