Google Expects 40 New Chromebooks This Year
- By Dian Schaffhauser
announced that the education world would see 40 new Chromebooks along
with accessibility improvements during this year. The announcements
came during a 90-minute virtual session on "learning
with Google." (Replays of the event will be
available for viewing by registered users after Feb. 19, 2021.)
Among the updates
will be a new screen recording tool built into the Chrome OS,
available in March. The tool will enable both teachers and students
to record lessons and reports in the classroom and at home.
The company has also
its screen reader, with improved tutorials, the ability to search
ChromeVox menus and voice switching that changes the screen reader's
voice to match the language of the text.
To tighten device
and app usage, Google has also added the ability for families to link
Workspace for Education account (previously known as G
Suite for Education) to their students' personal Google Accounts and
manage it with Family Link. This enables kids to log into apps and
websites they need with a school account and enable the parents to
set usage guidelines.
Also, the company
has developed created a resource to help schools identify which
devices are best suited for their needs. The Google
document provides a four-step process for choosing the
1. Setting out the
primary use case ("basic classroom use," classroom and
distance learning use" and "advanced" use);
2. Mapping out the
device specifications needed;
3. Determining the
right device by specific configurations, such as auto-update
expiration or those that have LTE connectivity; and
4. Comparing across
the "device ecosystem" to find the one that fits the
criteria. Devices in the comparison include lists of machines (but
not links) from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung.
the Chrome updates is openly available on
the Google Education blog.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.