Two new mode video meeting modes plus a completely new video meeting experience have started to roll over for schools using Microsoft Teams. In this guide we’ll show you how to enable them ahead of time so you can get familiar with the new features before they’re available to your students.
First up is Large Gallery mode, which increases the total number of students show simultaneously on screen from 3 x 3 (for a total of 9) to 7 x7 (for a total of 29).
The second new feature is Together Mode, and this is something completely new. Instead of positioning meeting participants in a grid, Together Mode isolates the faces of your students and arranges then within a custom background, like a classroom, to give a sense of location. It’s a really exciting idea that I can’t wait to try out with students.
The video meeting UI has also changed considerably and can be “popped out” so that students can work within Teams apps while still having their class video meeting displayed on other screen.
If these updates haven’t reached you yet, there is a way to manually enable them to get ahead of the curve. To enable the new features just follow these simple steps:
- In Teams click your profile picture at the top right, then click Settings.
- Tick the Turn on new meeting experience (New meetings and calls will open in a separate window. Requires restarting Teams.) option
As the option suggests, you’ll need to fully close Teams (including closing the app from the system tray) and then reopen it before the setting will take effect.
Once done, you’ll have access to the new meetings interface and features (shown below). You’ll notice that most of the meeting options have been moved to the top right of the screen, which means that they no longer fade in and out, something I found extremely annoying.
The new Large Gallery and Together Mode options can be found in the three dots option menu (also shown below). It’s important to note that these features only become available once there are enough meeting participants.
For more Microsoft Teams tips, check out our Microsoft Teams Teachers Hub. And if you’re looking for information about the best webcams to use with Teams in the classroom, check out our Getting Back to School Webcams for classrooms and assemblies review.