The days of having to take home a note from your teacher to your parents (or vice versa) will soon be over thanks to a new update to Microsoft Teams.
The video conferencing service is working on a new feature that will make communication between parent and teacher much more technical, allowing messages to be sent by email or text to set up a Microsoft Teams call.
In an update (opens in new tab) on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company says its new “Parent Connection” tool will allow teachers to communicate directly with a student’s guardians.
“Sending messages in a text-heavy market makes it easier to connect with parents while keeping the teacher experience simple,” Microsoft wrote in the post, titled “Invite parents to communicate via text message.”
The company added that messages sent to parents and guardians will be in plain text, with no HTML, formatting or styles applied.
The tool is still listed as “in development” for now, with a planned launch date of February 2023. When released, it will initially only be available to Android users, but will launch globally.
The news is the latest update on the planned Parent Connection feature, which was first revealed in May 2022, but has remained fairly quiet since then.
The feature is the latest in a series of education-focused upgrades released for Microsoft Teams over the past few months.
This includes a Class Insights tab that allows teachers to understand how their students are performing, including average grades, on-time assignments, average return time, and conversation activity over time.
Using data from the Class Insights tab, teachers using Teams now have a single view to observe the performance of both individual students and classes, and make more informed decisions about their curriculum, pace, and student engagement.
Microsoft Teams also announced Reading Progress, a new free tool that the company says can help students improve their reading skills through hands-on practice, but also empowers teachers and educators to better support student needs by providing in-depth analytics. offer and help them progress over time.