Every day, more than a billion people come to Google to find answers or discover something new. Our Learning & Education team works to fuel that curiosity and help people build knowledge by connecting them to great learning experiences through our products — whether it's Search or YouTube, Google Classroom or Chromebooks.
During the pandemic, people turned to technology more than ever to help them learn and teach from anywhere, and this accelerated our desire to do even more with our technology to help. Just this past year, COVID-19 led school closures disrupted the continuity of education for over 320 million students across India. This past year, the education community has inspired us with their creativity and resilience -- this ability to learn, and teach, from anywhere is more important now than ever, and won’t end when the pandemic does. During these months, we have been honored to launch several initiatives to help educators and students to better make this transition, and are glad to recap a few key milestones.
After launching our Teach from Anywhere hub in April last year, we have since extended it to eight Indian languages (including English,) and it has helped more than 9 Lakh people to get started with remote teaching. Apart from these web-based training resources, we also believed it important to help impart hands-on training. So when CBSE, Kendriya Vidyalaya and the education ministries of Maharashtra and Delhi State Governments embarked on large-scale digital capacity building efforts, we worked with them to provide knowledge and access to Google for Education tools like Google Classroom, Google Meet and more. Till date, over 5 lakh teachers have attended these webinars that teach the use of digital tools for pedagogy and skills development.
But nothing has been more heartening than seeing teachers from rural areas reporting higher levels of satisfaction, peer recognition, and comfort with technology after these training sessions. One such example is Azmat, an English teacher from Shirdi Urdu High School in Maharashtra, among the many schools that had to shut down in-person teaching last year. Watch the inspiring story of how he and his students continued to keep the education momentum going, even in these challenging times.
The next era of our education products
Today, during our Learning with Google event, we shared our commitment to this community and provided a glimpse into some of the 50+ new, upcoming features across our education products that we hope will support even more learning. We want to enable every leader to bring innovation to their schools and universities, and give them the peace of mind that they’re investing in products that are secure and flexible to their needs.
We are glad to announce the next era of G Suite for Education — Google Workspace for Education – which offers educators and teachers even more choice and control. Google Workspace for Education includes all the products you already use, like Classroom, Meet, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and many more. 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.
For institutions that require more powerful security tools or want to expand the teaching and learning tools available to their instructors, we are introducing three new paid editions: Google Workspace for Education Standard, The Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Google Workspace for Education Plus (formerly G Suite Enterprise for Education).
More than 170 million students and educators worldwide rely on our suite of tools, and we are bringing many new helpful features to Google Classroom and Google Meet. Let’s take a look at some of these:
Offline mode: We’re making the Classroom Android app work offline, or with intermittent connections. Students will be able to start their work offline, review their assignments, open Drive attachments, and write assignments in Google Docs — all without an internet connection.
Improved mobile grading: We're improving how educators can grade in the Classroom Android app. We’ve seen more and more teachers around the world using mobile devices for giving feedback on the go, and these improvements will make it much easier for instructors to switch between student submissions, grade work while viewing an assignment, and share feedback.
Classroom add-ons: Having tools that work well together is so important. Coming later this year to teachers using Education Plus or Teaching and Learning Upgrade, Classroom add-ons let teachers integrate their favourite third-party EdTech tools and content directly into the Classroom interface, all without any extra log-ins.
Multiple moderators: Later this year, meetings will support multiple hosts, making it easier to partner with others helping facilitate the class. All hosts will have access to moderation controls, so they can share the load of managing who can join, controlling who can use the chat or present their screen, and more.
End meeting for all: Teachers will have the option to "End meeting for all", so they have complete control, and can prevent students from staying on a call after the teacher has left — including in breakout rooms.
Mute all: To make it easier to teach without interruption, educators will be able to easily mute all participants at once, and decide whether students can unmute themselves or not.
These and many other features will be rolling out in the coming months and over the course of this year. To get the full scoop on these announcements, check out Learning with Google, our global event that streamed in 15 languages, where you can hear a lot more directly from our team. For more details also see the new tools coming to Classroom and the new features coming to Meet.
Despite unforeseen obstacles, teaching and learning continued over the past year, all thanks to the heroic dedication of teachers like Azmat, of education leaders, as well as students and their families. We look forward to working together to reimagine learning and push the boundaries of what is possible, so that everyone has access to the quality learning experiences they deserve.
Posted by Bani Dhawan, Head of Education - South Asia