This week our Google for Education team will be joining thousands of educators at the annual ISTE conference. Follow along on their blog and Twitter for the latest news and updates. -Ed.
Great teachers inspire us, listen to us and learn from us; they bring the most mundane subjects to life. Technology can help great teachers do what they do best—stimulating minds and fostering skills in the next generation—and make learning even more rewarding for students. So we’re excited by the updates and improvements to our tools for the classroom we’re announcing this week at the ISTE conference, one of the largest education technology gatherings in the world.
Expeditions for all
Since we launched the Expeditions Pioneer Program last September, more than a million students from 11 countries have taken one of our 200+ virtual reality trips—from the Great Barrier Reef, to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Today, we’re making Expeditions available to everyone. To get started, all teachers need to do is download the Expeditions app onto a set of devices and choose where in the world they want to take their class. The app is available today for Android and will be available for iPhones and iPads soon.
While Expeditions can be used with many of the devices schools or students already have, Best Buy Education will also be making Expeditions kits available for schools to purchase. These kits will contain everything teachers need to bring their classes on amazing Expeditions: a tablet, virtual reality viewers and a router to connect them all.
Sharing information on the classroom’s big screen helps students learn from one another. But today, students have to physically connect their computers to the projector to share their screens with the class. To open classroom collaboration and bring projecting into the 21st century, we’re announcing Google Cast for Education, a free Chrome app that lets students and teachers share their screens wirelessly from everywhere in the classroom, no new hardware required. Cast for Education carries video and audio across complex school networks, has built-in controls for teachers, and is integrated with Google Classroom.
Quizzes in Google Forms
Getting feedback helps students learn and teachers teach. But grading tests and quizzes is time-consuming; teachers often have to take time away from other tasks to do it, and if it’s not done promptly, everyone misses out on the opportunity to learn from the things students got wrong. Starting today, Quizzes in Google Forms will grade multiple choice and checkbox questions automatically—so teachers can spend less time grading work and more time teaching.
Teachers can set correct answers in Forms and even add review materials in the form of explanations, supplemental websites, or review videos—so students can get quick, informative feedback on how to improve. Plus, teachers can get an instant snapshot on what their students understand, so they know which lessons need more explanation or what to teach next.
Teachers tell us educational apps on Chromebooks help them improve skills like problem-solving, teamwork, communication and creativity. In collaboration with teachers at EdTechTeacher, we’re announcing a collection of creative apps on Chromebooks that schools can now purchase at a discount: Explain Everything, Soundtrap, and WeVideo. These apps let students demonstrate their understanding of curriculum in their own way by creating unique animations, music, and videos.
Students use creative apps at Muller Road Middle School in South Carolina
As technology becomes an integral component of our classrooms, we also want it to be so easy to use that it fades into background, allowing teachers to spend their time doing what they love: engaging and inspiring students.