The latest Google for Education update has landed and with it come a host of new abilities and features to help teachers get more out of their tech in the classroom and beyond.
Google has announced updates for Google Classroom, Meet, Slides, Docs, Sheets, Chrome, and more, with new features for admins, teachers, and students.
In the face of faster technological developments owing to AI and data analytics jumps forward, Google has been focusing on how that affects education. It has landed on a few key points, including being more collaborative, accessible, and privacy-forward in the learning experience.
As such, Google Classroom has been given an AI boost to help to grow with these changes so as to best serve educators, students, and admins. Here are the most important updates that have landed in this new Google for Education update.
Google for Education update: Google Classroom gets AI
Google Classroom has been upgraded to start taking advantage of what artificial intelligence has to offer. One area this has been introduced is in creating practice sets. Now as educators create questions they will be offered suggestions on skills that they may wish to focus on, for example, solving equations with decimals or writing thesis statements.
Crucially, if students get stuck while working through these questions sets, based on the skills selected by the teachers, the AI-powered system will be able to offer them helpful hints to ensure progress.
Google has also given YouTube a teacher-focused AI upgrade. Now, using Classroom, teachers will be able to add questions to YouTube videos that are actually interactive.
Consequently, students can answer questions as the video plays, with real-time feedback. Teachers can then see how students are progressing through the set video and questions set task.
Smart canvas get upgraded
Following last year's launch of smart canvas in Docs, Sheets, and Slides -- through which collaboration can happen -- Google has upgraded the experience. Now teachers are able to enter a smart canvas in Docs and add a timer for class activities, insert a stopwatch, and create custom building blocks.
Soon there will also be the ability to add voting chips within Docs too. But that's not all the features that have had upgrades. Slides and Meet have also have gotten an overhaul.
AI in Meet and Slides upgrade
Google has added AI to Meet, which is now intelligently able to recognize when a student raises a hand. This will then be able to activate the hand raise icon automatically so that teachers are notified, ensuring students wishing to contribute don't get missed.
Slides in Meet has been updated to offer co-presenting as a feature in the new version. This allows two teachers to manages slides at the same time while presenting to a class over the Meet system.