Google has announced a major overhaul of its products dedicated toeducation, with over 50 improvements collectively designed to provide a better service to students and teachers who use the group's platforms for the school. 2020 saw the community grow from 40 to 170 million students, a parable destined not to be extinguished by virtue of the fact that remote teaching was not only an emergency response to the pandemic, but a true paradigm shift destined to remain. .
Google, all the news for the school
The Google news comes in response to the experience lived in the past months: the increased time dedicated to these platforms has in fact brought out new needs, deepening everyone's knowledge of the tool and thus leading to even more refined and structured uses. 50 improvement interventions mean an organically more complex and integrated project, a broad response to an audience that wants to make the “DAD” something better and integrated with traditional teaching and learning formulas.
After over 20 years of experience developing the Search engine, I recently took the lead of the team dedicated to Learning and Training, which also includes Google for Education. Google for Education's goal is to bring the best of Google to the world of education, a goal we've been focusing on for over 15 years. During the pandemic, people have turned to technology like never before, to be able to stay in touch, to learn and to continue teaching even from a distance. This situation has led us to step up our efforts to make our tools increasingly accessible and useful.
Three services involved:
- Google Classroom
- Google Meet
- Google Workplace for Education (rebrand of the previous G Suite for Education)
Among the first new features emerges an “admin console” which groups together the main functions for managing the network of active devices in the classroom, thoroughly controlling every device and every function. Some examples:
Lots of news, all small and very essential. A small button, for example, will allow teachers to silence all participants with a single click: those who have attended the lessons on Meet in recent months know how much time was often lost in this trivial operation.
These are the most important innovations expressly designed for teachers:
- Classroom add-ons, arriving later this year, will allow teachers to integrate their materials directly into the Classroom interface. They will also have easier access to tools for understanding student engagement, so they can better follow them.
- Through new features of Meet, teachers will have greater control over virtual classrooms, including the ability to end the meeting for all participants and mute everyone at the same time, thus managing to better organize the flow of the conversation.
These are those designed to improve the service to students:
- Meet will work best in case of low bandwidth, to give students with weak internet connections the possibility of continuing to follow classes. Later this year, we will also add a feature to upload images of paper assignments and to make the Classroom app for Android work offline, so that students can download assignments and complete them even without a stable connection.
- This year we will introduce emoji reactions on Meet, which however will only be activated when teachers allow it, to give students the opportunity to interact lightly without disturbing the lesson.
- New features that make products more accessible, such as colored cursors on Chromebooks and Switch Access - which allows you to interact with an Android device using one or more sensors instead of the touchscreen - will allow students to tailor tools to their needs.
Many news are already active immediately, while more will arrive during the year. The feeling is that the acceleration is really aimed at consolidating the market acquired in 2020, in an attempt to transform Classroom and Meet into standard tools for the world of school. In all likelihood, in fact, the future of teaching will pass through these channels and through mixed modes of interaction between teachers and students: the platform that will be able to offer the best mix of functions, simplicity and safety could be grafted onto a highly attractive market on which there are already many active brands.
Teaching and learning have not stopped in the last year, despite the unpredictable obstacles and the many unknowns caused by the pandemic. The credit goes to the heroic efforts of teachers and school leaders, as well as students and their families. We are proud to be able to work with them to make teaching more accessible to all and to offer an experience that is as useful and educational as possible.
Google has on its side not a few weapons at its disposal and the advantage achieved - thanks to the rapid response in 2020 to the pandemic - now returns to the company an important work base on which to build a product of great importance. Change after change, feature after feature.Source: Google Google, over 50 news for Classroom and Meet