The days of having to bring home a note from your teacher to your parents (or vice versa) will soon be over with a new Microsoft Teams update.
The video conferencing service is working on a new feature that will make parent-teacher communication much more technologically advanced, allowing you to send an email or text message to set up a Microsoft Teams connection.
In update (opens in a new tab) on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company states that the new “Parent Connection” tool will allow teachers to communicate directly with the student’s guardians.
“Messaging in a text-heavy market makes it easier to connect with parents while keeping the teacher experience simple,” Microsoft wrote in a post titled “Invite Parents to Communicate via SMS.”
The company added that messages sent to parents and guardians will be plain text, with no use of HTML, formatting or styles.
For now, the tool is still listed as “in development” and is scheduled to launch in February 2023. Upon release, it will initially only be available to Android users, but will launch globally.
What’s new is the latest update to the planned Parent Connect feature, which was first revealed in May 2022, but has been fairly quiet since then.
This feature is the latest in a series of education-focused updates released for Microsoft Teams in recent months.
This includes the Class Information tab, which allows teachers to gain insight into student performance, including average grades, due assignments, average return time, and conversation activity over time.
Using data from the Class Insights tab, teachers using Teams will now have a single view to see individual student and class performance, and be able to make more informed decisions about curriculum, pace, and student engagement.
Microsoft Teams also announced Reading Progress, a new free tool it says can help students improve their reading skills through real-world practice, but also empowers teachers and lecturers to better meet students’ needs by offering in-depth analysis to help them progress over time.