Microsoft details more education features coming through August

A mockup of the Math Assistant feature in the OneNote app solving an equation

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day, and in celebration of it, Microsoft has announced an array of education-focused features, starting with the introduction of Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams. There's a bit more being announced today, though, with features covering different aspects of learning. In a separate blog post, Microsoft has highlighted a number of changes coming to many of its apps to help students and teachers during the learning process.

First, there's OneNote, which is getting support for live captions from Microsoft Translator. Essentially, the teacher can create a live caption session in the Translator app on their phone, and share the code for that session with students, who can then input the code in the OneNote app to have those captions be inserted into their notebook in their preferred language. This is in private beta in OneNote on the web, but it's coming to everyone in August, including the Windows 10, Mac, and iPad apps.

Also in August, it will be possible to record videos directly from OneNote and embed them into a page. Before that, Microsoft is adding Canva and NoteDex support for interactive embeds in OneNote in June, and bringing the OneNote math assistant to the desktop and iPad apps in July. Still in May, multipage distribution for class and staff notebooks is also being improved so pages stay in the right order once they're shared.

Speaking of the math assistant, Word for the web is adding new equation tools in July, making it easier to insert equations into documents. Additionally, math solver is coming to the Edge browser with version 91 in June, after arriving in the Beta channel last week.

Animation showcasing how Math Solver in Edge can solve equations
Math Solver in Microsoft Edge

PowerPoint is also getting some new features, with a notable one being Auto Fix, a tool that automatically tries to make slides look better by tweaking the alignment of content in a slide. This is available now on the web. Later this month, PowerPoint is getting a new integration with Kahoot!, making it easier for teachers to integrate quizzes into their presentation. Microsoft also highlighted a couple of previously-announced features like the ability to export PowerPoint presentations from a Word document and additional types of critiques available in Presenter Coach.

Next up, there are a few improvements to the Immersive Reader, which is adding support for new languages including Estonian, Dutch (Belgian), and more over the coming days. The feature is also coming to channel conversations and chats in Teams for iOS and Android in July, and to Excel for the web in August. Meanwhile, PowerPoint for the web is adding new ways to launch the Immersive Reader.

Animation showing how to launch the Immersive Reader in Excel for the web

Forms is also getting some improvements, starting with the ability to format text in questions using different font sizes, colors, bullet lists, and so on, coming in June. In August, a better sharing experience will be added to Forms, and at the end of that month, it will also be possible to set time limits for forms, which will prevent students from answering any more questions once time runs out, though they can still submit their work as is.

Microsoft has also announced that the Steam web app will be available as part of in August, and that the video player experience in OneDrive and SharePoint is getting revamped with new features like higher-quality video and a transcript pane with speaker identification.

Finally, Minecraft: Education Edition is coming to clubs, after-school programs, non-profits, and other organizations that may play a role in educating children later this month. It's also adding integrations with Teams for Education and Flipgrid Topics, and the ability to launch the game from the web.

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