Google introduces new tools and initiatives to help enhance virtual education
Google has announced a slew of new updated tools on the modes to help make virtual education much easier.
The new tool comprises of updates to its Google Meet conferencing service and a new research homework helper assistant tool that just needs an image from a phone.
Users will be able to see new updates soon across Google Classroom and Google Meet to help schools function from home. Additionally, Google has even launched a new app called Assignments, the Tech Toolkit for Families and Guardians, and an update to school accounts in Chrome OS.
For Meet, the company has upgraded to a larger tiled view that can show about up to 49 meeting participants. Google had first announced this feature in June, but now it will arrive in September. Google first launched its tiled view for Meet in the month of April with the ability to see 16 participants at a time. Google will integrate its digital whiteboard product, Jamboard, into Meet in September, and in October, Google will add the ability to blur or replace your background in Meet, a feature it had announced in June.
G Suite Enterprise for Education users will be able to create breakout rooms in Meet starting in October. This means it will allow virtual classes to break out into smaller group discussions which will lead to an organized communication between each other. Moreover, in October, the teachers will be able to track attendance in Google Meet meetings.
Google is also announcing when it will roll out new moderation controls to help Meet moderators and educators on the G Suite Enterprise for Education tier manage classes more easily.
The company said that later this month, moderators will be able to stop people from joining meetings after they’ve been denied from entering two times, which might help prevent people from notoriously disrupting classes. In September, Google will add another feature that will increase the rights of the moderators. Moderators will be able to end a Meet class for everyone at the same time. They will be able to bulk approve or reject requests to join a class, turn off in-meeting chat, restrict who can be present in the class, and also turn on a setting that won’t start a meeting until the teacher has joined.
Among some of the other non-Meet updates, Google shared new tools to help students learn using their phones. Now on students will be able to visualize nearly 100 concepts in biology, chemistry, and other STEM topics by searching for them on Google and then looking at a model of that concept in augmented reality on Android and iOS devices.
Google will let students get help with a homework problem just by taking a photo of it using Google-owned education app Socratic or Google Len.
Google also launched the Tech Toolkit for Families and Guardians (PDF). It is will help parents better understand the technology that their kids use in the classroom. Free training, resources, and professional development programs are also available in the new Teacher Center.
The company said its tools will lighten the load for teachers, school leaders, families, and especially the students who are learning from home due to the pandemic.