Google to Release over 50 updates for Online Education Tools

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Google has rolled out a set of updates for its online education tools, including Google Classroom, Google Meet, and Google Workspace for Education.

The company is planning to add more than 50 new features to its education products, with the purpose of meeting the needs of students, educators as well as admins.

When first introducing Google Classroom, Google had no intention to create a Learning Management System (LMS), but educators’ increasing use of Classroom for their online activities during the COVID-19 pandemic changed the company’s plan. 

The service has been used by more than 150 million students, teachers, and school admins.

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Google to roll out updates for its online education tools

As a result of user feedback, Google is releasing a suite of new features for Classroom this year, some of which will be made available sooner to better cater to people usining Classroom as the hub for online learning activities. 

Read also: Google Search Adds New Feature to Identify Unreliable Results

Those new add-ons will let teacher select their preferred edtech tools and content and assign them to students without having to log in. Also, admins will be able to install these new features for other teachers in their domains. Later this year, they can use Student Information System (SIS) to populate classes in advance, and students’ grades from Classroom will be exported directly to the SIS. 

Features that will be released soon include Classroom audit logs (to see things like student removals), Classroom activity logs (to check on adoption and engagement).

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Google to Release over 50 updates for Online Education Tools

The new student engagement tracking feature enables teacher to see stats about how students are interacting with Classroom, like who commented on a post, for example.

Other tools are designed to solve the problems of working from home, like slow internet connections. By updating Classroom Android app, students will be able to do many tasks offline such as reviewing assignments, opening Drive attachments as well as writing in Google Docs without an internet connection. 

Classroom will also gain support for rich text formatting (bold, italics, underline, bullets) and plagiarism detection, Google’s own free, introductory computer science curriculum, and CS First.

Another update is Google Meet. A “mute all” button will be added give teachers control of the classroom, even when a student unmute themselves. Additionally, other moderation controls will be released this year, including controls over who can join meetings, chat or share their screen from their iOS and Android devices. 

Google Meet is adding engagement features for students to select emoji skin tones to react in class.

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Google adds new tools for better online learrning activities

Finally, Google’s “G Suite for Education,” including Classroom, Meet, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, and more, will be rebranded as Google Workspace for Education. 

The suite will come in four editions to better meet a wider variety of needs. These changes will be accompanied by the update of a new, pooled storage option that is aimed to better allocate storage resources across educational institutions. 

The company plans to update a number of updates to its Google Workspace for Education product line in the coming weeks, including drafts saved in Google Forms (in Fundamentals) of Google meeting transcripts. Meet (in Teaching and Learning Upgrades), etc.

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