Microsoft’s Ignite spring event is set to begin today, and a bunch of major announcements are already available. With them, Microsoft found February updates from the teams for education users. A lot of the features announced here were also mentioned in Ignite’s announcements, including the new dynamic view, presenter mode, Microsoft Teams Connect, and more.
However, other features were not mentioned, such as support for webinars for up to 1,000 people. Webinars are more interactive than video broadcasts, and attendees can use video, voice, or chat, as long as the host allows. If the webinar gets too big, it will automatically turn into a video-only broadcast, which can normally support up to 10,000 people, but until the end of 2021, it will actually allow up to 20,000 attendees. Both of these features will be available this month.
Microsoft also provides reports on webinar attendees, such as who attended and who did not, how long they attended the webinar, and more. Some participant reporting features will be available this month, but more will come later. And if you want to organize yourself better before the meeting, it will soon be possible to create attendee registration pages, along with email confirmations, so that attendees can join more easily.
New meeting controls are also making their way to Teams. First, there’s a new way to ensure that only invited users join a meeting, allowing them to bypass the meeting lobby. With this option, organizers can ensure that the right people join the meeting without constantly monitoring the lobby and allow attendees to enter one by one. There is also a new option to turn off meeting chat or to allow chat to continue as long as the meeting lasts.
Both of these features are now available for private meetings, but hosts will soon be able to force video off for other meeting participants. It was already possible to mute users, and it does the same for video, so it’s harder to disturb a class, for example.
Finally, Assignments in Teams have some new improvements. When teachers add links to homework resources, those links can now have a small link preview with a title and thumbnail image. Meanwhile, students can now submit larger files in assignments ranging from 50MB to 500MB.