Microsoft updated OneNote before school starts up again, adding a new way for students and teachers to engage in the classroom.
The company's notetaking app now allows users to embed content from Flipgrid, a social learning service that uses video clips in class discussions. "Flipgrid is a video discussion community for the classroom that supercharges students' voices," wrote Microsoft representatives in a blog post.
"Teachers add the topics, students respond with short videos, and everyone engages," they continued. "With our new OneNote support, grids, topics and videos automatically appear as soon as an educator or student posts a Flipgrid link into OneNote."
The Syllables and Parts of Speech features in OneNote Desktop Learning Tools, a free add-in that helps improve reading comprehension, have also been upgraded. The syllabification tool visually breaks up words, improving word recognition while Parts of Speech identifies nouns, verbs and adjectives for a better grasp of proper grammar, the company claims.
In version 1.7.0 OneNote Desktop Learning Tools, Syllables supports four new languages, Danish, Dutch, Finnish and Portuguese. Parts of Speech gains three languages, French, German and Spanish, and boasts improved accuracy while detecting nouns, verbs and adjectives in English.
Continuing to forge alliances with learning management systems and student information system vendors, Microsoft announced three new OneNote Class Notebook integrations. Version 1.8.0 of the OneNote add-in is now compatible with the assignment and grade management capabilities in Infinite Campus, LiveGrades and EduPoint Synergy.
For educators who want to catch up with Microsoft's latest offerings for schools, the company announced that it is hosting a Facebook event on Aug. 16. Topics include integrating Teams with OneNote Class Notebooks.
In May, during a media event in New York City, Microsoft announced new features in Teams intended to turn the group chat and collaboration product into a "digital hub for teachers and students." When deployed in schools, Teams allows teachers to organize conversations into classrooms and projects, and maintain order if things get rowdy. It also features customizable tabs that provide access to shared files, quizzes and assignments.
Google, too, has been readying its G Suite for Education services suite for the new school year. Earlier this week, the company announced several new updates to the Classroom and Google Forms tools.
Among them is a new dedicated page for each student in Classroom. "With this new view, teachers and students can see the status of every assignment, and can use filters to see assigned work, missing work, or returned and graded work," said Sarah Wu, a Google Classroom software engineer, in an Aug. 1 announcement. "Teachers and students can use this information to make personalized learning decisions that help students set goals and build skills that will serve them in the future."
Other new Classroom features include decimal grading, and the ability to edit profiles on mobile devices and transfer ownership of classes to other teachers. Quizizz, Edcite and Kami, with Code.org to follow soon. A batch grading option is coming to Google Forms, as well as the ability to import quiz scores to Google Classroom.