Teams to add illustrated emotions to help students express themselves

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Microsoft will soon launch a feature for Microsoft Teams that will provide a new way for students to share their emotions with educators. Later this month, Microsoft will introduce 51 illustrated characters within Reflect in Microsoft Teams. These characters aim to expand students’ emotional vocabulary and help students associate words for emotions with facial expressions.

Reflect in Microsoft Teams launched earlier this year. It helps students express themselves in different ways. It supports polling to help educators gather information and insight into students while also helping build relationships. Educators can also review non-numerical data to better understand the emotional well-being of their students and the ecosystem of their classroom.

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An education blog post shares insights about the importance of engaging with students. Here are the preliminary insights shared by Microsoft:

  • School performance: Student social and emotional skills are significant predictors of school grades across students’ backgrounds, age cohorts, and cities.
  • Psychological well-being: Fifteen-year-old girls and socioeconomically disadvantaged students reported being less satisfied with their lives than boys and socioeconomically advantaged students, respectively.
  • Curiosity and creativity: The survey found that levels of creativity and curiosity were significantly lower among 15-year-olds compared to 10-year-olds, suggesting a decline in creativity as children enter adolescence.
  • Social relations in schools: Students with a greater sense of school belonging and better relations with teachers reported higher social and emotional skills.
  • Individual differences in socioeconomic status: On average, socioeconomically advantaged students reported higher social and emotional skills than their socioeconomically disadvantaged peers in all cities participating in the survey.

Reflect in Microsoft Teams helps educators engage with students in various ways, including sharing feedback and encouragement. The new illustrated emotions add another method of communication for educators and students. Since people differ in how they express themselves, one student might find illustrations a more effective way to communicate while another student would prefer a poll.

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