Artificial Intelligence

Google Brings Gemini AI to Teens in the Classroom

Google is making its Gemini large language model available for free for students ages 13 and up in the United States (age minimums vary by country), via Google Workspace for Education accounts. The update includes free data protections for all education users; data from users' chats will not be used to train the AI model.

Gemini has been available to teens using personal Google accounts since last November. At that time, the company did not extend access to school-issued accounts, taking time instead to "get more feedback from education communities and build additional controls to meet education privacy and compliance standards," Google explained in a blog post. Now, school or district IT administrators can opt to enable or disable the feature within the Admin Console, and can install the Gemini web app on Chromebooks for easy access.

The news is part of a host of AI-themed Google education updates announced this week at the ISTELive conference in Denver. Highlights include:

  • A new pilot for Read Along in Classroom, the Google Workspace for Education service that helps students get real-time reading support with the help of AI, will give teachers the ability to generate personalized stories tailored to student needs.
  • A pilot of LearnLM-powered AI features for Gemini in Google Classroom will enable educators to define groups of students within the Classroom platform and assign them different learning content based on each group's needs.
  • AI-suggested questions for certain science videos are now available (in English) to help teachers create YouTube assignments.
  • Gemini will soon be available on Chromebook Plus devices, adding features such as Help me write, Help me read, generative AI backgrounds, and AI-powered noise cancellation (for users over the age of 18).
  • Google Vids, the company's collaborative video creation app, will be released (without generative AI) to Google Workspace for Education users later this year. A generative AI version of Google Vids will be available with a Gemini for Google Workspace add-on.
  • Google's Be Internet Awesome project is launching a new Media Literacy handbook, developed with experts such as the National Association of Media Literacy Education, designed to help teachers build students' foundational media literacy skills in the age of AI.

Additional Google announcements include:

  • Google Task and Calendar integrations;
  • Google Meet integrations for Canvas and PowerSchool Schoology Learning;
  • Google Assignments integration for PowerSchool Schoology Learning;
  • Google Classroom integration with OneRoster student information system partners, such as Aspen, Infinite Campus, Skyward, and PowerSchool;
  • 16 new Google Classroom add-ons (including Kami, Quizizz, Screencastify, and Boom Learning) launching in the Google for Education App Hub, with more partners coming soon (Canva, codeSpark, Equatio, Genially, Sora, and Sumo, to name a few);
  • New safety settings for students in Google Chat, enabling administrators to restrict students from initiating direct messages and creating spaces;
  • Improved Google Admin controls; and
  • New accessibility features.

For more information, read the Google blog post.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].