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Microsoft Teams’ new reading feature helps students during the pandemic and beyond

Microsoft is adding a new Reading Progress feature to Microsoft Teams, designed to help students improve their reading fluency. Reading Progress works by allowing students to record themselves reading a passage of text, and offering teachers the ability to assess accuracy rates, mispronunciations, and more.

Reading Progress integrates with the Education Insights dashboard, so teachers can easily track the progress of students. For example, educators can look at accuracy rate, correct words per minute, and mispronunciations for specific students or an entire class.

Students and teachers with Microsoft Teams for Education will be able to use Reading Progress ahead of the next school year.

To help improve student engagement, educators will be able to organize students into assignment groups. Educators will also be able to integrate a “variety of third-party apps directly in Teams,” though Microsoft doesn’t specify which new integrations are on the way.

Microsoft also highlights its free Reflect app within Microsoft Teams that lets educators regularly check in with students. Reflect helps students label emotions and improve their ability to communicate their feelings. These insights can help students understand how emotions can affect learning. OneNote and Teams also have tools to improve student well-being, such as praise badges and sticker packs.

To help protect students, Microsoft is rolling out a Supervised Chat feature within Teams. Educators can prevent students from starting new chats unless an appropriate educator is present while they speak with other students. The feature should make it easier for school staff to monitor discussions. The feature will be available in May.

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