Microsoft Teams: Now the Whiteboard feature is getting a major revamp

Microsoft has announced dozens of new features coming to Teams and the Teams Whiteboard app.

Microsoft has announced a slew of new features coming to the Teams Whiteboard app, primarily aimed at improving the experience for students and teachers participating in remote and in-person lessons. 

The company has announced a whopping 35 new features that will be rolling out from May to August for Teams as well as several feature updates for Whiteboard on the web, Windows iOS, Android and the Whiteboard app on Teams

In August, Microsoft's Whiteboard web client and the Whiteboard in Teams app will allow users to add images, content from other documents, shapes, and stickers to add color and character to the Whiteboard. 

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As spotted by Windows Central, Ian Mikutel, head of product for Microsoft Whiteboard for Teams & Surface, recently revealed Whiteboard was gaining 15 new ink colors and six thickness settings, a new highlighter tool with 15 colors, and 10 new sticky note colors. 

Educators that month will also be able to use the laser pointer to instruct students where to pay attention. There will also be an option for educators to lock students' view, so students see what the teacher does. 

To support group projects, Microsoft is making it simpler to upload digital worksheets and create new worksheets.  

Also coming over the summer are new tools to personalize learning for students, including a reading progress feature, a LinkedIn-powered 'career coach' Teams app, and an immersive reader for the Teams app on iOS and Android. There's also a new math app for Teams for Education that's out now. 

For students accessing lessons through Teams in the browser, Microsoft is enabling its Large gallery with up to 49 people on screen, and Together Mode, an AI-powered feature that places participants in the same virtual room. These, as well as blurred and custom backgrounds and live reactions, are coming to Teams for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge by the end of August.  

Other features rolling out over summer aim to boost class participation, such as multiple choice quizzes, channel meeting support for Microsoft Forms Polls, and digital white boarding in Teams meetings. 

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There are more controls to improve student safety in Teams meetings, including supervised chat to control when students are allowed to start a chat, the ability to delete a Teams chat, and the ability to disable video for one student or the whole class. There are also improvements to muting and unmuting students. 

A handy feature coming in August is automatic transcripts and captions for video recordings. Educators will be able to upload captions or subtitles to videos that are stored on OneDrive and SharePoint. On-demand closed captioning will be available for meetings being recorded. Transcripts are created automatically.  

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Microsoft