It’s back-to-school season, and because of the coronavirus pandemic, many students will be hitting the books virtually this year. Consequently, Google for Education has announced a robust set of updates that will enhance Google Meet, Google Classroom and other aspects of the service. The updates were unveiled at Google’s The Anywhere School event -- but if you missed the product keynote, here’s what you need to know about Google’s new tools to facilitate learning in 2020.
Google Meet has already seen several updates in the recent months, and updates that will make the app more accessible to teachers and students are still to come. Soon, meetings will not be able to start without a teacher present. Features like larger, tiled views, hand raising and whiteboards are planned. Teachers will have new controls, including the ability to mute all, disable chat, lock the presentation screen, block anonymous knocks and end the meeting for all users. More backgrounds, including blurred backgrounds, will also be made available.
Google Classroom, a tool that streamlines teachers’ communication with students, is evolving to facilitate remote learning. The app is getting an improved to-do functionality, improvements to the “join class” feature, new admin dashboards and 10 new languages.
Google also recently launched Teach From Anywhere, an informational hub with remote teaching “tips, training and tools” for both teachers and students, and Google has also said there will be additional updates for Meet and Classroom over the coming school year. You can also get more details on the Anywhere School event over at Google’s news blog.