Tag Archives: Google for Education Partner Program

Education news from Google I/O: tools to take learning further

Editor's note: We’re writing to you today from Google I/O, our annual conference for developers. Over 7,000 developers gathered for the three day event at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California —right down the street from Google. If you missed the live-stream this week, don't worry; we've got four highlights so far for education below.

Even more apps for Chromebooks
Earlier today we announced that Android apps are coming to Chromebooks, which means teachers and students will have access to more content on their Chromebooks, including a large amount of offline and touch-optimized apps. From Google’s Admin console, administrators will be able to deploy Android apps such as Skype, LightSail, Open eBooks, Office & Explain Everything to students. This feature will be available to administrators during the 2016/17 school year for use on supported Chromebooks. Learn more, including when you can preview some of the apps, in the blog post.

More than one million students have gone on an Expedition
When we look back on our favorite memories from school, many of us think of field trips. Last May, we introduced the Expeditions Pioneer Program, which lets teachers take their students on virtual reality trips to over 200 places using Cardboard. This year at I/O, we announced that over one million students from more than 11 countries have taken an Expedition through the Pioneer Program, to places like Buckingham Palace, the polar bear capital of the world—and in seventh grader Lance Teeselink’s case—Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
Lance, aspiring architect, takes an Expedition to the tallest building in the world with his seventh grade class

Our team is hard at work to make Expeditions more widely available. Stay tuned to our blog for the latest information. And if you’re ready to bring your class on their first Expedition, sign up for the beta here.

Stronger integrations between Classroom and other apps
Teachers use Classroom as mission control for their classes, launching assignments & discussions across subjects and topics. We announced on Wednesday that we added new coursework integrations to the Classroom API, which lets reporting systems like gradebooks and student information systems sync assignments and grades from Classroom, so that teachers don’t need to manually transfer the data. It also allows learning tools to create assignments, turn in work, and send back grades to Classroom. See how developers like Tynker, GeoGebra, and OpenEd are already using coursework in the Classroom API to strengthen their integrations.

Expanding coding resources to younger students
On Monday, at I/O Youth (our third annual conference for Bay Area students and teachers) we announced a new collaboration with Scratch, MIT’s programming language and community for children. The new partnership will enable developers to design creative coding and learning experiences for kids. We took the first step this week, releasing an early developer preview of Scratch Blocks code. We hope that developers will use Scratch Blocks to create consistent, high-quality programming experiences for kids everywhere.

Keep exploring
Watch the live stream or recordings of this year’s events in full on the Google I/O website. And for more behind-the-scenes looks at Google, from self-driving cars to Project Loon, check out Nat & Lo’s YouTube channel.

Build deeper integrations with Google Classroom

Last year, we launched the Classroom API to make it easier for administrators to manage classes, and for developers to integrate their applications with Classroom. Since that time, hundreds of applications have integrated with Classroom to help teachers gamify their classes, improve students’ writing skills, build interactive presentations and more.

Do more with coursework in the Classroom API 
Today, we’re introducing new coursework endpoints that allow developers to access assignments, grades and workflow. Learning tools can focus on creating great content and, in turn, use Classroom to manage the workflow for assignments created with this content. Gradebooks and reporting systems can now also sync grades with Classroom, eliminating the need for teachers to manually transfer grades.

Several partners have been helping to test the new functionality, including:
  • OpenEd, which provides a library of open education resources for K-12 teachers 
  • Tynker, a creative computing platform for teaching students to code 
  • GeoGebra, a visual mathematics platform that allows students and teachers to author interactive mathematics content
Access course Drive folders, groups and materials 
In addition to the coursework endpoints, we’ve added new functionality to our existing course and roster API endpoints. Developers can now access course Drive folders, groups and materials. Applications can use this new functionality to store files in the same Drive folder as the rest of the resources in a class, or use course groups to manage file sharing permissions.

In the coming months, we’ll be adding more coursework management capabilities. When we do, we’ll post updates to the developer forum and issue tracker. We look forward to working together to make it even easier for teachers and students to use the tools they love with Classroom. Developers, please review the documentation, the FAQ and ask questions on Stack Overflow. Also, don’t forget to let us know what you’re building using the #withClassroom hashtag on Twitter or G+. And teachers, check out this list of applications that already work well with Classroom today.

Learning in new dimensions with Google Classroom and GeoGebra

Editor's note:Mark Kaercher teaches mathematics at Shaker High School in Latham, New York. He is also one of his school district’s Instructional Technology Resource Teachers. Here, Mark shares his experience with using Google Apps for Education alongside GeoGebra, available as an app for Chrome and now as a native Android phone app.

Every so often, over the course of a long teaching career, we find a special tool or resource that makes us wonder how we ever taught without it. Personally, I’ve had a lot of success with GeoGebra, a free mathematics program for teachers and students. GeoGebra lets me build and share interactive worksheets that demonstrate geometry and algebra concepts. Along with relying on it myself, I’ve helped other educators use GeoGebra by creating how-to videos and leading training sessions.
My first GeoGebra worksheet, created in 2011
 So when my school started using Google Apps for Education last year, there was a big question on my mind: Is it compatible with GeoGebra? Not only do they work well together, but Google Apps has helped me get a lot more mileage out of GeoGebra. Instead of just a teaching tool, it’s now become a hands-on learning environment. This has transformed my classroom into a math lab where students use Google Apps and GeoGebra to explore shapes and patterns, complete assignments, and share their work with both me and their classmates.

During a typical class, I start by posting an agenda in Google Classroom to get us all on the same page. Then I might create a GeoGebra assignment and ask students to paste screenshots of their work into a shared Google Docs file.

Everyone has their own Chromebook to use, so they can each work individually in GeoGebra – and they can even save a step by signing into GeoGebra with their Google Apps account. Now, with the new Android phone app my students can create, search, save and share their ideas and homework from their phone, saving to Drive and sharing in Classroom. Meanwhile, I track their progress and grade their submissions in Classroom.
Sometimes I have my students record screencasts of their GeoGebra worksheets using the Screencastify extension for Chrome. They can save their videos to Google Drive and share them with me through Classroom. You can see more about how I do this here.

It’s been really neat to see how beautifully Google Apps and GeoGebra work together to bring my lessons to life. It’s also been exciting to watch my students embrace and learn these new tools – to the point that they’re sometimes the ones showing me how to do something. I was especially proud when some of my students helped me demo Google Apps and GeoGebra at a recent school board meeting, sharing their growing passion for using instructional technology in the math classroom.

I’ll always be a math teacher, but I also see myself as a technology teacher. I want my students to understand that technology isn’t just about taking selfies and sending texts. Now, thanks to GeoGebra and Google, they’re using it to interact with mathematics in a whole new way.