The last school year (and in fact the one that preceded it) posed many challenges for the entire education system – students and teaching staff, related to, among other things, a change in the learning processes – when the familiar frontal lessons were replaced by virtual lessons. The various programs used for distance learning have addressed some of the problems, but there is still the issue of lack of personal connection – as the app has not yet been created that will replace the direct closeness between people.
The education group at Microsoft Israel Research and Development has in the past year created a number of new developments designed to help users in general, and the education system in particular, get used to the new situation. One of the developments the group has been working on is – Reflect, a new free app within Teams, which provides educators with a frequent check of the feeling of specific students or the whole class.
“The past year has led to a situation where almost every student has a laptop,” said Elad Graver, who has been a senior product manager at the education group for about a year and a half. “While working on Teams For Education, we worked hard on a number of topics, including Reflect. The software describes how they feel. “
He added: “We did research and identified 50 different emotions that characterize people – and we understood that giving a name to an emotion helps a lot to deal with the feelings. For example if I’m nervous, then maybe the solution is to stop, take a deep breath and come back later, and if I’m disappointed Made you feel that way. ” Graver further explained that “students can express their feelings through various emojis, and see how they have felt over the past few days.”
How can this actually be used during a school day?
“First of all, teachers can ask students how they felt about the particular lesson or task, so you can see how they experienced it and build learning strategies based on the answers. The teacher sees what each student voted for, but classmates can not see who voted what. When asked “Every day then, the students’ feelings and emotions are given space and the lessons can be planned in a better way.”
“In many situations this generation may feel uncomfortable coming and talking to the teacher about his difficulties, but when the teacher asks for a simple answer it is different,” he explained, “We have received a lot of feedback on the product and I am very excited about it as a product manager. There are a lot of good reactions to that. “
He concluded: “We are very proud of this development, fun to see how something we have worked hard on affects people around the world so much, and allows teachers to see how to teach better.”