Top 5 Google for Education features released at BETT 2023
This week we have in store for you a rousing update on recently announced features that will be available to users of Google for Education. As our in-house trainer and Google product fanatic, I couldn’t be more enthused to tell you about these stellar enhancements.
At the end of March, some of the brightest and most creative minds in the education technology world descended upon London for a BETT 2023 to showcase and inspire. The Google EDU team didn’t come lightly to this event and dropped a few massive improvements that will impact several different tools available to Google EDU users. The upgrades will be far-reaching, ranging from Youtube, Document Editors (Slides & Docs), Google Classroom, and Google Meet. Let’s dive deeper into each of these doozies.
Similar to the polling feature using Google Meet, Educators will soon be able to include questions in the YouTube videos they upload to Classroom when assigning videos to students. The questions will appear throughout the video at chosen times, and from there, students can answer the prompts and get crucial input from instructors. Finally, there will be no maximum number of attempts to view the questions; students can watch the recordings as many times as needed to grasp the concepts and truly understand the material.
The evolution of Smart Canvas continues here in Docs. Within the last year alone, we have seen the addition of Building block templates and Smart Chips, with the most recent addition being the @stopwatch which is live now to users. At BETT, the good times continued to roll in the smart chip wheelhouse with the announcement of the much-requested @voting chip, allowing students to non-verbally cast their vote when asked and garner feedback when needed. @voting is not immediately available at this time but will be released in the near future.
A week before BETT, the EDU team provided a sneak peek into Practice Sets, and oh my, did they not disappoint. For the uninitiated, think of practice sets as an assignment that drives home a specific concept. They can be customized and created as needed by the instructor, but as opposed to a mere set of questions, they are supercharged. These practice sets enable teachers to provide instant oversight on answers, giving them additional insight into how each student is engaging with the lesson and empowering them to lend additional guidance where needed on an individual basis.
So that covers Practice Sets in a nutshell. The real kicker here is what is being added on top of an already promising tool for Classroom, and that is the addition of AI to the Practice Set mix, which will make itself known in the form of suggestions as our eager young scholars work through the questions. Not only will students get immediate input from teachers, but that will also soon be coupled with audio and video clues to aid all types of learners preventing potential roadblocks and points of frustration. This brilliant new wrinkle to Practice Sets will work like this: teachers create the questions, and AI in the background interprets the subject and provides the requisite pointers. This goes to show how far advancements Google has made in language models have progressed.
For a more organic feel similar to being in a physical classroom, Meet has now been graced with a hand-raising detection feature. Need to ask a question? Instead of hitting the raise hand button, simply raising your actual hand will now accomplish that task for you.
Group presentations of the past, which required standing in front of the classroom doing a team presentation, will now be possible virtually via a combo of Meet and Slides. This will take form in what is being called the co-presenting feature. Starting with two or more users, they will both be able to simultaneously control the progress of the deck that is being presented live on a Google Meet.
The ingenuity and tireless effort of the Google EDU team never cease to amaze me, and they nailed it again with these 5 new updates. Not all of these updates will be available to every tier of EDU and the exact release dates have not been made official, so bear that in mind. If you are looking for assistance navigating a Google Workspace for Education deployment or simply have more questions about how to get the most out of your current EDU setup, please reach out to us to get the conversation started.