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Google Releases Over 50 Update Slate for Classroom, Meet, and Other Online Education Tools – TechCrunch




Google today announced a series of updates to its online education tools that have been accelerated by pandemics for adoption and further development. This includes Google Classroom, Google Meet, and the next generation of G Suite for Education, which is now renamed to Google Workspace for Education. Google promises over 50 new features across its educational products, with a particular focus on meeting the needs of educators and managers, in addition to the needs of students.

When Google first introduced Google Classroom, the company says it hadn’t started creating a learning management system (LMS). However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Google discovered that many educators are beginning to use Classroom as a “hub” for online learning activities. Today, the service is used by more than 150 million students, teachers and school administrators, up from just 40 million last year.

As a result of pandemic-inspired adoption and user feedback, Google is introducing a variety of new features to Classroom this year, some of which will be available sooner than others.

To better serve users who are using Classroom as an online learning hub, Classroom’s “add-ons” new marketplace will allow teachers to select and add their favorite edtech tools and content later this year. You will be able to assign them directly to your students at no cost. Login. Administrators can also install these add-ons for other teachers in the domain.

Also, later this year, administrators will be able to pre-enter student information system (SIS) roster synchronization into classes, and for some SIS customers, Classroom student grades will be exported directly to SIS. You will be able to do it. Additional logs will soon be available, such as Classroom audit logs (to see student deletions, class archivers, etc.) and Classroom activity logs (to see recruitment and involvement).

When students go to school directly, teachers can easily notice that they are late. The new set of Classroom tools aims to do the same with virtual learning. With the new Student Engagement Tracking feature, teachers can see relevant stats about how students interact with Classroom, such as submitting assignments or commenting on posts on a particular day. I can do it.

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Other tools address the reality of working from home, where internet connections are not always reliable or are not available at all to some low-income students. The updated Classroom Android app allows students to start working offline, review assignments, open drive attachments, and write to Google Docs without an internet connection. Become. Work will be synchronized when the connection becomes available again. Also, when students take pictures and upload assignments, new tools can be used to combine the pictures into a single document, crop and rotate images, and adjust lighting.

Classroom also gets support for rich text formats such as bold, italic, underline, and adding bullets across Web, iOS, and Android.

Image credit: Google

Originality reports to help detect theft include English, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, French, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese, Finnish, German, Korean, Danish, Malaysian and Hindi. It will be available soon in 15 languages ​​including words.

In addition, CS First, Google’s own free introductory computer science curriculum, is readily available in Classroom.

Not only Classroom itself, but Google Meet has been updated with the needs of educators in mind.

One of the must-have new features that will be rolled out over the next few weeks is the “Mute All” button to return control of the classroom to the teacher. In April, teachers will also be able to control when students can unmute themselves.

Image credit: Google

Other moderation controls will be rolled out this year, including controls for users who can join meetings, chat, and share screens from iOS and Android devices. Policies for users who can participate in Video Hangouts will be set by administrators in April, with rules regarding connections between students in the department, opportunities for teachers to develop their professional skills, and external speakers visiting classes. It will be enabled. Students will also not be able to participate in Classroom-generated Meets until the teacher arrives. Teachers, on the other hand, will be the organizers of the meeting, allowing multiple teachers to share the burden of managing the class.

Google Meet also adds student engagement and inclusive features. Students can choose emoji skin tones to express them and react with the emoji in class. This will be in the control of the teacher.

Image credit: Google

Finally, Google’s GSuite for Education, which includes Classroom, Meet, Gmail, calendars, drives, documents, sheets, slides, and more, will be rebranded as Google Workspace for Education. The tools used by 170 million students and educators around the world today remain unchanged. However, this set is available in four editions instead of two to meet different needs.

The free version will be renamed Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals and will remain about the same. Meanwhile, the paid version will be available in three tiers: Google Workspace for Education Standard and Google Workspace for Education Plus. You can also add Teaching and Learning Upgrade to Fundamentals or Standard to provide video communication on Google Meet. , And other Classroom tools such as originality reports.

Standard includes all of Fundamentals, in addition to security centers, audit logs, and enhanced security with advanced mobile management. Plus includes all three other versions, plus advanced security and analytics, teaching and learning capabilities.

Fundamentals and Plus are available today, and others will be available on April 14, 2021. If you already have GSuite for Enterprise for Education, you will be upgraded to Education Plus.

In connection with these changes, the storage model will be updated with new pooled storage options aimed at better allocating storage resources throughout the institution. The new model provides schools and universities with a baseline of 100 TB of pooled storage shared by all users. It will be effective for current customers in July 2022 and for new customers in 2022. According to Google, less than 1% of educational institutions are affected by the updated model. The baseline for this model supports over 100 million documents, 8 million presentations, or 400,000 hours of video, providing size ideas.

The company plans to update several of its Google Workspace for Education product lines in the coming weeks, including Google Forms (basic) and drafts stored in Google Meet meeting records (education and learning upgrades).

In addition to software product updates, Google is launching over 40 new Chromebooks that include a set of “Always Connected” branded devices with built-in LTE connectivity options. Chrome Vox, the screen reader for Chrome, has also been improved with a new tutorial. Search for ChromeVox menus and voice toggles that automatically change screen reader audio based on the language of the text.

Parents who are currently participating in their child’s online learning in a variety of ways can use Google’s parental control software, Family Link, to add their child’s Google Workspace for Education account to their personal account. This means your child can still log in to school apps and accounts, but parents can focus on learning by limiting the use of other apps and devices as a whole.

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