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Google reveals 50 new features for remote learning

Google VP of education AVNI SHAH outlines the improvements to Google Classroom and Meet in its new Anywhere School platform.

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As educators worldwide have reinvented their practice online, we’re also adapting our tools to meet the evolving needs of their new educational landscape. This year, we’re taking a virtual approach to “back to school” with The Anywhere School, bringing Google for Education announcements to hundreds of thousands of viewers in more than 250 countries around the world.  

Inspired by your feedback, we’re sharing over 50 new features across Meet, Classroom, G Suite and other products. Check out our other posts for deeper dives into the features, and continue to watch the keynote sessions, which are running live for the next 24 hours and will be available on demand if you need to catch up later. Here’s a birds-eye view of what’s coming.  

A safer, more engaging Meet experience 

Earlier this year, we announced new features coming to Google Meet to improve moderation and engagement. Today, we’re sharing more details about these upcoming launches and when they’ll be available. Here are a few highlights: 

  • In September, we’ll kick off with a larger tiled view of up to 49 people and an integrated Jamboard whiteboard for collaboration. We’ll also release new controls so moderators can choose to always join first, end meetings for all participants, disable in-meeting chat, and much more. 
  • In October, we’ll launch custom and blurred backgrounds to provide some extra privacy. Breakout rooms and attendance tracking will also be launching for all Google Enterprise for Education customers, allowing for more engaged classes and insights on participation. 
  • Later this year, we’re rolling out hand raising for all customers and Q&A and polling for G Suite Enterprise for Education customers. Plus, we’ll launch a new temporary recordings feature which will be available to all Education customers for free (premium recordings will still be part of G Suite Enterprise for Education).   

Better support for students, educators and admins in Classroom 

With more teachers around the world using Classroom more than ever before, we’re working to make Classroom simpler and more efficient with new features.   

  • A new to-do widget on the Classes page will help students see what’s coming up, what’s missing, and what’s been graded.  
  • Teachers can now share a link to invite students to their class, which makes joining a class much easier.  
  • Classroom will soon be available in 10 additional languages, for 54 languages total. 

Classroom also gives you access to originality reports. For example, educators can soon run originality reports five times per course (up from three previously). And with G Suite Enterprise for Education, educators will be able to see matches for potential plagiarism not only against webpages, but between student submissions at their school.  

We’re giving admins more powerful tools to manage G Suite and Classroom. For example, school leaders with Enterprise licenses will have greater visibility into Classroom usage via new Data Studio dashboards, which allow admins to see active classes, measure feature adoption, and monitor teacher and student engagement. To support teachers and admins, we’re making it easier to sync Classroom grades with a push to your Student Information System (SIS), starting with Infinite Campus customers (and more SIS to come). Keep reading for more details on what’s new in Classroom. 

Enhance your learning management system with Assignments 

Our newest product for non-Classroom users is Assignments, an application for your learning management system (LMS) that gives educators a faster, simpler way to distribute, analyse and grade student work. This time-saving application helps educators automatically create and distribute personalized copies of classwork to each student’s Google Drive folder, quickly provide feedback, and keep grading consistent and transparent with originality reports. Assignments is compatible with any LMS that supports LTI 1.1 and higher such as Canvas, Schoology, Blackboard and more.  

Help students turn in their best work with Docs 

We recently launched SmartCompose and Auto Correct in Docs for educators and students. This will help them compose high-quality content faster by cutting back on repetitive writing, while reducing the chance of spelling and grammatical errors (by the end of this month, admins will be able to disable both SmartCompose and Auto Correct if they choose).  

Soon we’re also launching citations so students can format and manage their sources directly in Docs. With the citations tool, after adding the relevant attributes for a source, students can insert formatted in-text citations or a bibliography. 

New resources and tools that continue to support families 

As many parents and guardians supported their children’s’ learning from home this year, we heard about a big need for more resources and training for families on Google’s tools. To help, we’ve created the Tech Toolkit for Families and Guardians, which helps parents better understand the technology that their kids use in the classroom. Plus, we’ve added school accounts to Chrome OS so students can access Classroom and their school files while having the safety net of Family Link. We’re sharing many more product updates for families here. 

Finally, educators can find free training, resources, and professional development programs like the new Certified Coach program to support them as they use these tools and features in their classroom in the new Teacher Centre.  

Moving forward together 

There’s so much more to share with you about what’s coming to Google for Education, and we encourage you to take some time to watch the keynote sessions from The Anywhere School event for all the updates.  

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