Google for Education just announced some AH-mazing updates!
In this podcast series, Kasey explains the important updates teachers need to know.
In this episode (Part 1), we explore Smart Canvas, Building Blocks, Chrome Reading Mode, Cast Moderator, Slides and Meet integrations, and more!
Teachers, there are some powerful tools coming your way this year.
Listen to this article.
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AI-Powered Google for Education Updates (Part 1)
Building for a More Collaborative, Accessible Classroom
Last year, Google announced the Smart Canvas which gives us time-saving tools like an AI-powered summary in a Doc, a smart formula suggestion in a Sheet, or using the @ symbol to access shortcuts.
Custom Building Blocks
Soon you will be able to use custom building blocks to create and insert lesson plan templates, curriculum guides, and more. Using the @ menu, you can use saved templates instead of starting from scratch. (Will be released in the coming months to Education Plus users.)
Teachers and students can use voting chips to quickly gather feedback directly in a Google Doc. Voting chips, which you can access by typing @voting in Docs. (Will be released in the coming months to Education Plus users.)
Timer & Stopwatch
Teachers and students can use timer and stopwatch chips for class activities, keeping track of how much time is left or how long a certain exercise took. Timer and stopwatch chips are currently rolling out. (This one is only for Education Plus users as well.)
Google Chrome & Chrome OS Updates
Reading Mode in Chrome
Reading mode is a customizable reader view coming to the side panel in Chrome browser. Reading mode will clear the junk on the screen, like advertising, images, and videos, to help students focus on the text. You can also customize settings like the typeface, font size and spacing, and text and background color. (Reading mode will be available in Chrome browser in ChromeOS in M114.)
Cast Moderator has gotten some upgrades! If you aren’t familiar, Cast Moderator allows students and teachers to “cast” their screens to a central display using an access code. Soon any presenter will be able to freeze their screen and continue working. (Think of taking attendance while students work on the warm-up!)
They’ve also added more language support, including Dutch, Japanese and Spanish.
Google Slides & Google Meet
Google has also improved the way Slides and Meet work together. These updates are available for Teaching and Learning Upgrade and Education Plus users.
View Speaker Notes
Speakers in Google Meet can now view their Google Slides speaker notes while sharing in a Google Meet. (available now)
Two or more people can control the slides in a Google Meet so co-presenting just got a lot easier! (available in the coming months)
You can now add captions in English, French, German, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish to your Google Meet recordings, with more languages coming later this year.
Custom Meet Backgrounds
Admins with Education Plus can add custom background images for teachers and students to use. This is a great way to add some standardization and branding for your school.
AI-Powered Hand Raise Gesture Detection
Say that three times fast! LOL When someone in a Google Meet physically raises their hand, Meet will automagically recognize this and notify you. (Roll out in the coming months)
Google Updates Summary Video
TLDR; check out the video below for a quick overview of all the updates.
Stay tuned for next week’s podcast episode and blog post where we will dig into the Google Classroom Updates and safety and security.
Learn more: BETT Google for Education Updates
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