Google has today kicked off its global The Anywhere School event, as part of which, the company has made a ton of announcements to make virtual education easier for students as well as teachers. Notably, some of the features outlined in the blog posts have been announced before as well, but they are yet to roll out widely as of now.
- Arrives in September
- Google Meet is getting a 7×7 grid tiled view that will allow users to see 49 participants at once.
- Jamboard, the company’s virtual whiteboard, is also making its way to Meet so that students can share ideas.
- Arrives in October
- The ability to blur the background or replace it during video calls.
- Teachers will be able to track virtual attendance.
- A new feature called breakout rooms will allow educators to split the class into separate groups for simultaneous discussions.
- Later this year
- Detect raised hands to identify participants who may need help.
- New Q&A features and a polling tool.
- The ability to record a meeting and share it within 30 days before it expires.
- More controls for meeting moderators
- Moderators can stop participants from joining meetings after they’ve been evicted or denied entry twice.
- End the meeting for everyone when the class is over.
- Bulk accept or reject join requests.
- Disable chat and restrict who can do a presentation.
- A new setting that will allow the teacher to join first.
- A new to-do list on the Classes page to help students check the schedule of classes and projects, see what has been assessed, and more.
- Teachers will be able to share invite links with students to attend their class more easily than ever.
- Classroom will soon get support for 10 more languages, bringing the total number to 54.
- Teachers will also be able to assess the interaction between students with an engagement metrics tool.
Additionally, Google has announced a new app called Assignments for a school’s learning management system (LMS) targeted at institutions that don’t use Classroom. It will make it easier for teachers to grade and analyze student’s work, aside from allowing them to automatically create personalized copies of assignments and distribute them directly to students’ Drive.
Docs will soon get native citation tool as well, making it convenient for students to add and manage their sources directly in Docs by allowing them to insert in-text citations.