Editor’s Note: Join us for Google for Education’s product launch event, The Anywhere School 2022, to find out about the latest features to help students pursue their personal potential.
Each year, my team and I speak with thousands of educators around the world to better understand how students and teachers are using technology in the classroom. We do this to help educators amplify their efforts and, most importantly, help students pursue their personal potential. Today, we’re sharing new updates to Chromebooks, Google Classroom and Google Meet to set up teachers and students for success ahead of the next school year.
Create screencasts and cast to a big screen with Chromebooks
From sharing devices to 1:1, to teachers using Chromebooks alongside students, we’re constantly evolving our features to meet the needs of the classroom. We’re adding new features like the Screencast app, built into Chrome OS in M103, where you can record, trim, share and view transcribed screencasts — and create a custom library of videos automatically saved in Google Drive. Cast moderator is a new mode coming to select devices with Google TV that enables both educators and students to wirelessly share their Chromebook screen to a class display using an access code, so that only folks in the same classroom as the display are able to cast. To get notified on availability of cast moderator hardware, express interest in this form. And for more on what’s new for Chromebooks, read our blog.
Adaptive learning enhancements in Google Classroom
We’re rolling out newintegrations and tools to improve teachers’ day-to-day tasks and help students grow their skills. Practice sets lean into adaptive learning by giving students instant feedback on their answers and real-time support if they get stuck — providing automated insights for teachers to identify potential gaps in students’ understanding. Practice sets are now globally available in beta, and in English only, for Google Workspace for Education customers with the Education Plus or the Teaching and Learning Editions. Sign up here to get access. With add-ons, we’re making it possible for students and teachers to access more than 15 EdTech tools, like Kahoot! and Pear Deck, all with a single login. Teachers can create engaging assignments and see new grading experiences, while students don’t have to worry about remembering extra passwords and navigating external websites. Add-ons will be available with the Education Plus or Teaching and Learning Edition. And to get ready for the new school year or semester, we’re expanding our roster import feature in Google Workspace for Education Plus to an additional 15 countries, in partnership with Elevate Data Sync, so class lists can automatically be synced with student information systems. Sign up here for the beta. For more on what’s new with Classroom, read our blog.
Better interconnectivity and efficiency with Google Meet
For those using the Google Workspace for Education Teaching & Learning and Plus editions, we’re adding features focused on increasing interconnectivity, control and efficiency in the classroom to Google Meet. Now, Meet calls can be auto-transcribed directly into a Google Doc for easy lesson reviews and the ability to search for keywords and concepts. Ever wished you could keep tabs on your class and present from another tab? Now you can, with Picture in Picture in Meet, where you can navigate other tabs in Chrome while viewing 4 tiles of students in a Meet call. And to keep your class engaged and regularly check for understanding, you can now add polls and Q&A to Live-streams, and live-stream directly to YouTube. For more on what’s new with Google Meet, read our blog.
Building for the future of more personal learning experiences
We want to continue developing products and features that meet the needs of students and teachers today, and in the future. The magic happens when tech is put in the hands of teachers who know how to engage students, to challenge them and instill that love of learning. Education is not one size fits all — and neither is the technology that powers education.
Today at The Anywhere School, we shared great new ways to use Google Classroom, Google Workspace for Education, Google Meet, and Chrome OS - all focused on helping teachers and school leaders continue to do the amazing work they do.
Classroom is adapting for the future of learning and teaching
Classroom strives to be the simplest, easiest to use learning platform, but we’re continuously making improvements to make it even better. Roster Import will enable admins to set up classes at scale (and save a significant amount of time!) while Classroom add-ons will give educators a simple way to integrate their favorite content and activities. And the new student activity dashboard, the ability to schedule assignments across multiple classes and improvements to the Meet and Classroom integration will make it far easier to engage with students. Learn more in the Classroom blog.
Google Workspace for Education improves collaboration and security
Smart canvas makes Docs, Sheets and Slides more interactive and intelligent. With features like smart chips, checklists, table templates and assisted analysis, smart canvas enables stronger collaboration with anyone, from anywhere. We’re also strengthening the security of all Google Workspace for Education editions with Drive security improvements and additional advanced security for Education Plus and Education Standard customers. Learn more in the Workspace blog.
Google Meet is getting more secure, easy to use and engaging
Google Meet is adding features to continue supporting the evolving needs of school communities. Moderators and admins will have new controls, like the ability to force breakout room participants back into the main meeting and end any meeting from the investigation tool. Meet will also be easier to use now that it supports multiple moderators and the ability to pin multiple presenters at the same time. Video calls will be more engaging and inclusive with public live streaming to YouTube, hand-raising improvements and live translated captions. Learn more in the Meet blog.
Chromebooks get more personalized
As schools transition from shared Chromebook carts to assigned devices, they are also getting much easier to use and manage. Signing in securely is now a breeze with PIN logins. Admins can now easily see when Automatic Update Expiration dates are reached across their fleet with Chrome Insights Reports. And with new built-in accessibility features like Point Scanning mode with Switch Access, and the new panning method for the full-screen magnifier, teachers and students alike can present and access information in a way that works for them. Learn more in the Chromebook blog.
We are constantly humbled by the amazing ways educators use our tools to better collaborate, manage classes, and create safe learning environments. Whether you’re about to wrap up your school year or still have a few months left, we hope that by sharing these updates now, we can help you be better prepared to use these tools in your institution. To get regular product updates, please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Twitter.
During the 15 years we’ve been building tools for educators, we’ve seen the needs of instructors, education leaders and students evolve. We’ve learned that a one-size-fits all approach isn't what educators need from tools like G Suite for Education. Whether you're in a rural elementary school, urban university or homeschool setting, our technology and tools should adapt so you can focus on what matters most: teaching and learning. That's why we're making a few changes to provide you greater choice and flexibility in selecting the best tools to empower your institution.
Introducing Google Workspace for Education
Today we’re introducing the next era of G Suite for Education: Google Workspace for Education. Google Workspace for Education includes all the products you already use, like Classroom, Meet, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and many more. More than 170 million students and educators worldwide rely on our suite of tools. Everything you need to teach, learn, connect and share will remain all in one place, accessible from anywhere on any device. To meet the diverse needs of institutions around the globe, from Pre-K to PhD, it will now be available in four distinct editions instead of just two.
Our free edition G Suite for Education will be renamed to Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals. If you’re currently using this edition, you won't see any changes besides a new name and new features. We'll keep building new solutions for this free version by listening closely to educators and their needs.
Institutions that need more powerful security tools or that want to expand the teaching and learning tools available to their instructors can extend the capabilities of Education Fundamentals to meet their specific needs with one of our paid editions:
Google Workspace for Education Standard builds on Education Fundamentals to provide institutions with enhanced security through Security Center, greater visibility with tools such as advanced audit logs and more controls like advanced mobile management to make online learning even more secure.
The Teaching and Learning Upgrade builds on Education Fundamentals or Education Standard to enhance educators’ instructional impact by providing advanced video communication capabilities in Google Meet, features to enrich class experiences in Classroom and tools that guide critical thinking and academic integrity with originality reports.
Google Workspace for Education Plus (formerly G Suite Enterprise for Education) builds on Education Fundamentals, Education Standard and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade. This is the ultimate edition for a comprehensive solution with advanced security and analytics, teaching and learning capabilities and more.
Education Fundamentals and Education Plus are already available today and institutions will be able to purchase Education Standard and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade starting April 14, 2021. Institutions that already purchased G Suite for Enterprise for Education will start to see the new edition name, Education Plus, in their admin console and will automatically get all the features of Education Plus.
For a complete comparison of our Google Workspace for Education editions, visit our website. We’re always expanding the capabilities of all our offerings. In the last year alone, we’ve added dozens of free features such as hand-raising in Google Meet, rubrics in Classroom and grammar suggestions in Docs. And we’ve continued to heavily invest in our premium offerings by launching over 25 new features in 2020 to expand our advanced security controls and enhanced collaboration tools.
Introducing a new storage policy
Google has traditionally offered unlimited storage to qualifying schools and universities for free. However, as we’ve grown to serve more schools and universities each year, storage consumption has also rapidly accelerated. Storage is not being consumed equitably across — nor within — institutions, and school leaders often don't have the tools they need to manage this. To support schools into the future and ensure fair distribution of this valuable resource, we will be implementing a new pooled storage model and helping admins and school leaders manage their storage. Nothing is changing today and we expect that more than 99% of institutions will be within the pooled storage provided by the new policy.
We remain committed to providing all institutions around the world with a best-in-class experience, including ample free storage to support quality educational experiences. The new storage model will provide schools and universities with a baseline of 100TB of pooled cloud storage shared across all of your users — more than enough storage for over 100 million docs, 8 million presentations or 400,000 hours of video. This policy will go into effect across all Google Workspace for Education editions for existing customers in July 2022 and will be effective for new customers signing up in 2022. To empower admins to adapt to this model and optimize their storage, we will provide tools to identify and manage how storage is used and allocated far in advance of the policy going into effect.
We will contact impacted institutions directly in the coming weeks to discuss a range of options for getting the storage they need. Large institutions will be provided supplemental storage later this year and all schools can gain additional storage through Education Plus and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade. For details on how to prepare for this upcoming change or to learn more about how you’ll be able to increase the storage pool for your institution, please visit our Help Center.
What’s next for Google Workspace for Education
We’re investing even further in Google Workspace for Education with dozens of new features on the way to support the needs of institutions. For example, saved drafts in Google Forms are coming to Education Fundamentals and Google Meet meeting transcripts are coming to the Teaching and Learning Upgrade. Education Plus will get both these features, as well as Classroom roster syncing. Stay tuned for more news throughout 2021.
Choice, flexibility and simplicity will continue to be guiding pillars for Google Workspace for Education, now and in the future. Whichever edition is right for you, we hope our tools keep empowering your school community to better collaborate and manage classes efficiently and securely.