Classroom & Chromebooks
Google's New Edu Features Boost Accessibility, Differentiation, Collaboration, and Security
- By Kristal Kuykendall
Google for Education has unveiled a host of new features and integrations at ISTELive 23 happening this week in Philadelphia, all aimed at amplifying teacher impact and improving student outcomes, the company said on its blog.
Among the new features in Google Classroom are a new Read Along integration, supporting easier differentiated learning and better educator insights on student progress. Teachers can sign up for the early access program here.
The Read Along integration within Classroom will allow educators to assign reading activities based on lexile level or grade level, and show teachers auto-generated metrics on fluency, speed, and areas of struggle.
Other new Classroom integrations include:
In Meet, tile pairing will allow teachers to “pair two people together so both are highlighted whenever one of them speaks, like a presenter and their sign language interpreter, for example,” Google said. Additionally, the limit on number of attendees has been raised to 1,000 for Education Plus subscribers, and Q&A and polls are now available to use in livestreams.
YouTube video lessons can now be edited more and faster: Educators can select or edit suggested questions, or ask the AI tool to auto-generate questions based on video captions; and teachers can assign their video lessons within Classroom, Google said.
Teachers in the same school or district can now share their class templates in Google Classroom; this feature is in beta now and teachers may apply to participate in early access at https://goo.gle/shareable-classwork-beta.
Additionally, designated school leaders and support staff can now “temporarily visit a class” within Classroom, i.e. to help a teacher on a short-term basis without being assigned as a co-teacher in that classroom.
Chromebooks are also getting new features:
Thanks to newly integrated PDF OCR technology, Chromebooks will become more accessible: Screen reader users will be able to convert images to text so they can access and read them, and get image descriptions, Google said.
Chromebook data controls are growing: Admins will be able to set up rules to prevent copy and paste (such as from AI text generators), screen capture, screen sharing and printing.
New Chromebook privacy toggles will enable teachers and students disable the camera and microphone when they’re not needed.
Screencast updates include new demo tools and the ability to watch screencasts on any desktop or tablet with the web player, Google said.
New security features for Chromebooks include integrations with CrowdStrike, Palo Alto Networks and Netskope through the Security Insights and Reporting connector and Identity and Access connector, Google said.
Google also introduced an expanded Google for Education App Hub, where all the apps that connect with Google Workspace for Education and Chromebooks are listed in one place. Examples Google shared include Classroom add-ons, tools to help streamline class and grade management with SIS integrations, and apps that can be easily provisioned within Google Admin Console via app licensing.
A new integration with Adobe Express that will make Adobe Express free for all schools using Chromebooks across the United States was also announced. Admins will be able to provision free licenses and install the app, and students and teachers will be able to access their work made with Adobe Express from within Google Classroom using add-ons, the company said.
Learn more about all the new features and integrations at Google for Education’s newest blog post.
Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can
be reached at [email protected].