Author Archives: Brian Hendricks

Connect confidently with Google Meet security features

Safer Internet Day is about coming together for a better, safer internet – and we at Google for Education are committed to working with schools and families to provide a safe online learning environment. Every day, Google keeps more people safe online than anyone else in the world with products that are secure by default, private by design and put you in control. And this promise extends to all that we build for you, school leaders.

Constant online protections for education

At Google for Education, we’re always looking for new ways to keep you safe. All of our products are private by design, which means they support compliance with the most rigorous data privacy standards — including FERPA, COPPA and GDPR — and are regularly audited by independent, third-party organizations. By making Google for Education products secure by default, we provide additional layers of protection, with ad-free learning experiences that help keep students safe from online threats and age-inappropriate content. And we put you in control, with a dashboard that gives you full visibility of your data and security, regular Google Security Checkups that help you maintain a secure account and additional security features in your security center to protect your school’s data and devices.

Our goal is to support and protect each member of your education community so they can focus on what matters most: teaching and learning.

Google Meet offers more moderation, control and integration

With our ongoing effort to provide a safer learning environment, we’ve been focusing on combating a prominent security pain point for many schools today: video meetings. We’re excited to share some recently announced enhanced security measures for Google Meet to help educators and students connect in a full class setting or one-on-one with fewer distractions and more privacy and security.

In-meeting moderation controls: To help educators engage with their students, we’ve added more ways to help moderate class meetings and eliminate unwanted intrusions or interruptions. With these new features hosts can:

  • Control who can use the chat and present features
  • Turn on or off audio and video of individuals or everyone in the main call and breakout rooms
  • Move participants from breakout rooms[f18fc6]back to the main room
  • Share moderation controls with up to 25 co-hosts

Control and visibility: We know admins need more ways to protect their schools and more data and insights to drive comprehensive decision making, so we’ve rolled out additional admin features that allow them to:

  • Apply safety settings across their domain
  • End meetings for everyone and prevent people from rejoining
  • Get insights into how people are using Meet
  • Identify, triage and act upon any security breaches[f3304d]

Google Classroom integration: We’re making Meet and Classroom work even better together. The Google Meet integration with Classroom helps educators meet and work with their classes more easily and securely, allowing them to:

  • Access the Class Meet link from the stream to limit distribution to class members only, while making meeting links easier for teachers to manage and for students to find
  • Keep students in a waiting room until the teacher joins, and uninvited guests must ask to join to ensure a safer environment for class interaction
  • All designated co-teachers are co-hosts by default so multiple teachers can help keep the class meeting on track and secure

Built-in security

In addition to these newly added moderation and security features, Google Meet runs on one of the world's most advanced security infrastructures for scalability and control. Meet adheres to IETF security standards for Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP). In Meet, all data is encrypted in transit by default, whether meeting on a web browser, on the Android and iOS apps, or in meeting rooms with Google meeting room hardware. Meeting IDs are 10 characters long, with 25 characters in the set, making unauthorized access by guessing the ID extremely difficult.

We look forward to sharing more about our work to keep you safer with Google, including details on our new partnership with Khan Academy to develop free, online lessons that will help teach people how to stay safe online.

We remain committed to providing industry-leading privacy and security protections built into Google for Education products, which enable students and teachers to work better together by connecting safely and securely.

Collaboration and security in Google Workspace for Education

Google Workspace for Education, previously known as G Suite for Education, offers simple and flexible tools so your school community can better collaborate, manage classes and create safe learning environments. Our latest updates include improved collaboration across our products and security improvements for all Google Workspace for Education customers.

The next evolution of collaboration

Last month we announced smart canvas, a new experience that enhances collaboration in the tools that you use every day — like Docs, Sheets and Slides—by making them even more interactive and intelligent. 

One new feature of this experience is smart chips, which allows you to pull in helpful information from other Google Workspace products while working in a document. For example, if you’re a student working on a group project, you can quickly embed files from Drive or tag other students in your group right into your document by typing the ‘@’ sign. Once people are tagged, just hover over their name to quickly chat, email or set up a meeting. 

Adding smart chips to a Google Doc

Smart chips allow you to pull in helpful information from other Google Workspace products while working in a document

We also recently added interactive checklists to Docs to help you stay on track. Checklists are similar to bulleted lists, except you can mark items once they are complete. In the coming months, we’re introducing table templates in Docs to help you collaborate faster and more effectively. For example, topic-voting templates let you easily gather feedback directly in docs.

Adding a checklist to a Google Doc

Stay on track with interactive checklists in Docs

Last year we introduced grammar suggestions in Docs to help provide tips and catch tricky grammatical errors. For Education Plus customers, we’re rolling out the next phase of writing tips in Docs and adding assisted analysis in Sheets later this year. In Docs, this includes warnings about offensive language and stylistic suggestions. Admins can easily turn this off if they prefer. In Sheets, assisted analysis provides formula suggestions that make it easier for everyone to derive insights from data. These suggestions can help guide students and reinforce concepts that improve their writing and analysis skills.  

Google Docs suggesting more inclusive language

Docs will provide warnings about offensive language and stylistic suggestions

Our products will also work together better so teachers can focus on what they do best. You can now easily present content to Google Meet directly from Docs, Sheet, and Slides with the click of a button. You can quickly present and see both participants and your content in the Meet tab. Later this year we’ll take this a step further and allow Education Plus customers to embed live Meet video calls in Docs, Sheets and Slides, making it even easier to see each other while collaborating.

Embedding a live Google Meet call in a Google Doc

Embed live Meet video calls in Docs, Sheets and Slides

We’re also making our tools easier to use so you can get valuable time back. In Forms, we’re simplifying settings in the coming months so you can quickly and easily set up Forms the way you want. For example, you’ll see a new ‘Settings’ tab at the top of Forms with key settings that are easy-to-find, like the option to make a Form a Quiz, and ways to control default settings that apply to all your new Forms and Quizzes. We’re also launching more than 20 new fonts so you can add fun and personal touches.

Exploring the new settings navigation in Forms

Quickly and easily set up Forms the way you want with simplifying settings 

Earlier this year we announced that Forms would start automatically saving your draft responses for 30 days or until your submission was complete. This feature is starting to roll out next month and will be available to everyone this summer.

Improving security for everyone using Google Workspace for Education

Providing your school community with a safe digital learning environment is a commitment and responsibility we take very seriously. We’re strengthening the security of all Google Workspace for Education customers with Drive security improvements and additional advanced security for Education Plus and Education Standard customers. 

Every Google Workspace for Education customer already benefits from the built-in protections in Google Drive that help block phishing and malware content from external users and organizations. In the coming weeks, we’re adding enhanced protections to Drive that allow all Google Workspace for Education admins to turn on this kind of protection within their organizations' internal Drive to further defend against insider threats and accidental sharing of malware.

Additionally, new Drive trust rules will give admins more advanced controls around how files can be shared within and outside of their organization. For example, an admin can allow a subset of faculty to share documents with anyone in their district, but only allow students to share files with people in their specific school. Drive trust rules are rolling out in beta for Education Standard and Education Plus customers in the coming months.

Illustrating how to use Drive trust rules to control how files are shared in your organization

Drive trust rules will give admins more advanced controls around how files can be shared within and outside of their organization

Admins will soon have access to Drive labels, allowing them to classify files stored in Google Drive to make sure they’re handled correctly. Drive labels integrate with Google Workspace’s data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities so admins can set rules at the appropriate sensitivity level. Even if teachers or staff forget to classify content on their own, files can be automatically classified based on administrator-defined DLP rules. This can help admins be more proactive about protecting some of your communities’ most sensitive data, like personally identifiable information or proprietary research. Drive Labels will be planned to also work with Google Vault, allowing admins to set retention policies for a given sensitivity level. Drive labels are now available in beta for Education Standard and Education Plus customers.

Altogether, these improvements are going to change the way we get things done, making it easier and safer to collaborate with anyone, from anywhere. By using these tools at school and at home, your students will build important collaboration skills to be better prepared for the workplace of the future.

Grading made easy with Assignments, an app for your LMS

Editor’s note: On August 11, 2020 Google for Education kicked off a global back-to-school event, The Anywhere School. Check out the full recap of product launches and our collection of announcements.

While educators would love to spend every second of the school day teaching students, a good portion of the day has to be devoted to administrative tasks like handing out teaching materials or grading student work. At Google, we’ve watched and listened closely as educators around the world have adapted to distance learning while carrying out the vital job of teaching, administering and engaging students. 

That’s why today we're launching Assignments, an add-on application for your school’s learning management system (LMS), to general availability as a core service for all G Suite for Education schools. With Assignments as part of your LMS, you’ll be able to easily distribute and grade classwork—all with the collaborative powers of G Suite. And just like Classroom, Assignments comes with originality reports that allow educators and students to review classwork for potential plagiarism.

Bring the G Suite experience into your LMS

Assignments makes Google Docs and Google Drive compatible with your LMS, so it’s easier to assign, collect, and grade student work. It’s built with the latest Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standards for robust security and easy installation. Assignments integrates with LMSs such as Canvas, Schoology, Moodle, Brightspace, Sakai, and Blackboard, or any LMS that supports LTI 1.1 or higher. Instructions on getting started and setting up Assignments in your LMS are available in the Assignments help center. 

Save time with a simple solution to distribute and grade

With Assignments, educators can automate repetitive tasks like grading and sharing coursework. For example, teachers can automatically create and distribute personalized copies of project documents for each student to edit and submit or set up Google Drive folders for a whole class. 

Assignments also simplifies the grading process with easy-to-use tools, such as comment banks that store your most frequently used feedback, reusable rubrics to keep grading consistent, and the ability to make direct margin comments, strikethroughs or highlights. Not only do these tools help teachers save time and give feedback that helps students learn, they also help teachers stay organized in the face of disruption. With these tools, educators can plan semesters in advance and adapt previous class materials to be used again.

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Assignments is compatible with any LMS that supports LTI 1.1 and higher.

Spot missed citations and possible plagiarism with enhanced originality reports

Reviewing writing projects to make sure they are original helps make sure students are thinking critically and developing authentic work. Originality reports, which are built into both Assignments and Classroom, provide educators with flags for potential plagiarism in student work and also help students quickly identify passages that may need citations. Educators and students can use originality reports without leaving Assignments, making it easier and faster to check work.

Over the coming weeks, we’re improving originality reports so that more educators and students can benefit from them. We’re increasing the number of free assignments educators can use the feature with, making reports available in new languages, and adding the ability to print, save and download reports for easy sharing. And for schools with G Suite Enterprise for Education, teachers will be able to detect potential plagiarism between students, in addition to web pages. Learn more about what’s new in originality reports in this blog post.

school matches.png

Detect potential plagiarism between students with school matches, a feature of G Suite Enterprise for Education.

We hope Assignments and originality reports will help you reduce time spent on administrative tasks so you can find more ways to connect and engage with students. If you need more information about Assignments or originality reports, watch our keynote session from The Anywhere School event.

Improve student writing with originality reports and rubrics in Classroom

Editor’s note: This week, we’re at BETT in London, where you can visit us at booth SE30. If you’re #NotAtBett, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

As students grow, their learning needs change. At Google, we're committed to supporting learners throughout their development with tools for student-directed learning and personalized feedback.

That’s why today, we’re making our latest Classroom tools, originality reports and rubrics, available to everyone who uses G Suite for Education. 

Empowered learning and accelerated grading

Today’s students have more information at their fingertips than ever before. As part of Google’s mission, we are invested in making the world’s information universally accessible and useful, especially for curious students. We want to make sure students have the tools to not only find information, but also learn from it and make it their own. 

Educators also face a big challenge in helping students keep their work authentic, and they don’t always have the tools to easily evaluate which passages are students’ own. Often the best tool available to instructors is to manually copy and paste passages into Google Search to check if work is original. We’re simplifying the process by integrating Search into our assignment and grading tools.

Originality reports are a new assignment feature that can help students improve their writing, while also providing instructors with a fast and easy way to verify academic integrity without leaving the grading interface. When instructors turn on originality reports for an assignment, students can check for missed citations or poor paraphrasing before they turn something in, and instructors automatically get an originality report to view while grading. 

Over the next month, originality reports will roll out to all Classroom instructors whose language is set to English. With this launch, instructors can enable originality reports on three assignments per class for free. Instructors whose admins have purchased G Suite Enterprise for Education get unlimited access to originality reports, as well as other premium tools. 

Upcoming features

We’re also announcing two new betas to originality reports for the top requested features from our instructors. With student-to-student matches, available toG Suite Enterprise for Educationinstitutions, we’re expanding originality reports to include checks against previous student submissions. With this, instructors can receive originality reports with student-to-student matches within the same school along with the usual web matches. This allows schools to have their own database of student submissions— owned by your school, not Google. Once this feature is enabled for your school, student submissions on assignments that use originality reports will automatically be added to the school’s repository and administrators will be able to add or delete files manually. There’s also a beta for international languages to enable originality reports for those whose language is set to Spanish, Portuguese and French.

If you use another learning management system, originality reports are also available through our Assignments LTI tool which is currently in beta--stay tuned for availability updates later this year.

Teachers were buzzing [about originality reports], excited by the simplicity and ease of use, and even more so about the accessibility of the tool for students so that they could work alongside them and have meaningful learning conversations. Jonathan Wyeth
Assistant Principal at Green Bay High School, NZ
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Enhanced student feedback

Educators often spend a lot of time grading assignments and providing constructive comments to help students grow. They often use rubrics as scoring frameworks to make it easier to evaluate student assignments, set clear expectations and provide actionable feedback. 

That’s why we launched a beta for rubrics in Google Classroom last June. This streamlined how rubrics are created in Classroom to help educators provide additional transparency around students’ grades. Tom Mullaney is a high school Digital Learning Coach in North Carolina who’s enrolled in the beta program, and he knows how helpful rubrics can be. “[Rubrics enable] teachers to give much more detailed feedback than just a text comment. Students can now see both what is expected of them and how they did in meeting expectations,” Mullaney says. “Rubrics save teachers times in two ways: You can reuse rubrics and  you can also duplicate criterion.”

Thanks to all of the feedback and feature requests from our beta, today we’re making rubrics available to everyone who’s using Classroom and Assignments.

With the new rubrics feature, educators can now create a rubric while they create an assignment, reuse rubrics from a previous assignment rather than having to create one from scratch. They can also export and import Classroom rubrics to share them with other instructors, as well as grade student work with a rubric from both the student listing page and Classroom’s grading view, where instructors can select rating levels as they review the assignment. 

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Sync grades across systems

Since Google Classroom launched, administrators and instructors have frequently requested a way to keep student data in sync with their SIS. We listened, and now G Suite administrators can sign up for the beta to sync grades from Google Classroom and select SIS. We’re expanding the beta to include schools that use Capita SIMS, Infinite Campus and Skyward SMS 2.0, with more SIS integrations to come.

A new way to help students turn in their best work

Today’s students face a tricky challenge: In an age when they can explore every idea imaginable on the internet, how do they balance outside inspiration with authenticity in their own work? Students have to learn to navigate the line between other people’s ideas and their own, and how and when to properly cite sources.

We've heard from instructors that they copy and paste passages into Google Search to check if student work is authentic, which can be repetitive, inefficient and biased. They also often spend a lot of time giving feedback about missed citations and improper paraphrasing. By integrating the power of Search into our assignment and grading tools, we can make this quicker and easier. 

That’s why Google is introducing originality reports. This new feature—with several reports included free in every course—will be part of Classroom and Assignments, which was also announced today. We create originality reports by scanning student work for matched phrases across hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

When assigning work in Classroom and Assignments, instructors will have the option to enable originality reports. Students will then be able to run up to three originality reports on documents they attach to the assignment before submitting their work. This heads-up gives students an opportunity to proactively improve their work, and also saves time for instructors. 

After submission, a fresh originality report will automatically be available to instructors when grading the assignment. These reports will flag text that has missed citations and has high similarity with text on the web or in books.

Analyze student work with originality reports in Google Assignments

But comparing work to search results isn’t the only way to ensure authentic work. Coming soon, schools can choose to have their own private repository of past student submissions, so instructors can receive originality reports that include student-to-student matches within the same school. 

Once the feature is generally available, instructors will be able to access originality reports at no charge for up to three assignments in each course they teach. Schools that would like unlimited access can upgrade their instructors to G Suite Enterprise for Education.  During the initial, limited testing period, all instructors can use originality reports as much as they would like to, at no charge. We’ll continue to add features at no additional cost to G Suite for Education.

To use originality reports with Classroom, sign up to apply to be part of the testing program by filling out our form. To try Assignments, which includes originality reports automatically, sign up through our website.

We’re looking forward to seeing how teachers and students alike use the tool to create work that’s both authentic and original. 

Source: Drive