The days of bringing home a note from your teacher to your parents (or vice versa) will soon be at an end thanks to a new update to Microsoft Teams.
The video conferencing service is working on a new feature that will make parent-teacher communication much more tech-savvy, allowing messages to be sent either by email or SMS to set up a Microsoft Teams call.
In an update (opens in new tab) on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company says that the new “Parent Connection” tool will allow teachers to directly communicate with the guardians of a student.
“Sending messages in an SMS-heavy market makes it easier to connect with Parents while keeping teachers’ experience simple,” Microsoft wrote in the entry, entitled “Invite Parents via SMS for Communication”.
The company added that messages sent to parents and guardians will be in plain text, without HTML, formatting, or styles applied.
The tool is still listed as being “in development” for the time being, with a scheduled launch date of February 2023. When released, it will initially only be available to Android users, but will be launched worldwide.
The news is the latest update on the planned Parent Connection feature, which was first revealed in May 2022 but since then has gone quite quiet.
The feature is the latest in a series of education-focused upgrades released for Microsoft Teams in recent months.
This includes a Class Insights tab that lets educators gain insights into how their students are performing, including average grades, on-time assignments, average return time and conversation activity over time.
Using data from the Class Insights tab, educators using Teams will now have a single view to observe both individual student and class performance, and will be able to make more informed decisions about their curriculum, pacing and student engagement.
Microsoft Teams also announced Reading Progress, a new free tool that it says can help students improve their reading skills by real-world practice, but also allow teachers and lecturers to better support the needs of students by offering in-depth analysis, helping aid their progression over time.