Celebrating 10 years of Chromebooks in education

A decade ago, we launched a small pilot program with a handful of schools. Council Bluffs in Iowa and Fon du Lac in Wisconsin were among the very first to use Chromebooks. Today, Chromebooks are as essential as a backpack for students learning in the US and in places like Australia, Brasil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden. As we celebrate our 10th birthday, we’re taking a look back at how far Chromebooks have come in the classroom, and announcing new features for educators and students. 

From pilot program to 40 million 

Googlers took the first Chromebooks into schools in the U.S. for a pilot program in 2010, and we found that students, teachers, and education leaders immediately loved how fast, simple and secure they were — three principles we still adhere to today. And with the rapid introduction of Chrome Education Upgrade, which unlocked advanced features in the operating system, Chromebooks rapidly became a hit with schools and IT administrators for their shareability and ease of management at scale. With Google Admin Console, school administrators were suddenly able to manage devices remotely, which has fundamentally shifted the computing model for schools from “computer rooms” to “shared carts” to today, assigned Chromebooks for most students – because hundreds of thousands of devices can all be managed by a single person.

Chromebooks expanded globally, scaling up in partnership with manufacturers like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung. More recently, NEC and Sharp have all started building Chromebooks for the Japan Education market–making Chromebooks the #1 device in K-12 education globally for the last year. To open up possibilities for note taking, digital reading, art, filming video reports, podcasts, and early learning apps, Chromebooks are now available in multiple formats, like convertibles, clamshells and tablets, and come with stylus support and touchscreen functionality. And to increase access, Chromebooks now come with multiple connectivity options including WiFi and mobile broadband. Today there’s a device for every learner and a growing ecosystem of apps for students and teachers alike– over 40 million of them around the world– with the Chromebook App Hub offering engaging apps and fresh lesson ideas. 

Chromebooks were built to be the foundation for teaching and learning, no matter where you are. And in 2020, as schools turned to distance learning, we’ve worked hard to improve the video conferencing capabilities of older as well as newly released devices to run Google Meet and Zoom, and introduced new features like Zero Touch Enrollment to help admins remotely enroll and ship devices to students and teachers at home, and extended support for automatic updates to eight years, so devices stay secure and equipped with the latest features for years to come. 

Building for the future of teaching and learning

With over 40 new devices for education, we’re launching new devices for not only students, but educators and faculty as well. We’ve heard from teachers that they love having a high-powered, lightweight convertible with a stylus that fits perfectly in the nook of their arm, because it untethers them from their desktop to enable them to roam freely about the classroom and engage with students 1:1 – or use those same devices to help teach remotely. 

So we’re kicking off Chromebook’s next decade with helpful productivity features for educators and students like the new Screen Capture tool that lets you take screenshots and screen recordings, perfect for recording lessons and sharing with students. When taking a screen capture, it’ll immediately show up in Tote, a new space that keeps important files right at your fingertips – perfect for adding images or videos to presentations or group projects. To help keep track of the many links and homework assignments, Chromebook now has a Clipboard that saves the last five items copied so you can easily paste any or all to a new page without needing to switch between tabs. And with support for eight Desks, students can have separate desks for each class, and teachers can keep their lesson planning separate from grading. Best of all, when you reboot, your windows will restore to their previous desks so workflows aren’t interrupted. 

We’re continuing to make improvements to Select-to-speak to support students with dyslexia and those who need additional reading support. Now, students can press pause and resume play, adjust the speed at which content is being read and skip between sentences and paragraphs using the new Select-to-Speak control panel or keyboard shortcuts. 

We’re also launching an API for user and printer policies, meaning IT administrators sometimes managing hundreds of thousands of Chromebooks can now write scripts to manage policies at scale, in addition to using Admin Console. And to help figure out when it’s time to switch legacy devices over to Chrome OS, the Chrome OS Readiness Tool is there to help, and our TCO Calculator will help schools determine which Chromebooks are right for them with our helpful guide, For more for IT administrators, head here.

Wherever you’re learning from, Chromebooks are easier than ever to use and manage remotely. For families helping their children learn from home, they can add a school account to their personal Google account managed with Family Link to approve content and help kids develop healthy device habits, and even create a PIN to make sign-in easier for young kids.

We’d love to hear from you on what you love most about Chromebooks. Reach out to @GoogleForEdu on Twitter, and join in the fun. 

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Chromebook turns 10: Looking back and moving forward

10 years ago, computing was complicated. Slow boot times, clunky hardware and intrusive updates were the norm. Computers were invented before the internet, and they hadn’t fully caught up to how people were using the web. So Google set out to design something new. The idea was to create a cloud-first experience that was fast, secure and easy to use — with software that stays up-to-date, automatically. A computer that boots up in seconds, and stays fast over time. 

In 2011 we launched the first Chromebooks in partnership with Acer and Samsung. Today Chromebooks help millions of people stay connected while they work, study and stay entertained; this has never been more true than over the past year. As we celebrate the 10th birthday of Chromebook, we’re taking a look at how Chromebooks have evolved and where we’re headed.

For the past decade, we’ve stayed true to our original vision to make computing simpler and more accessible for everyone. Highlights include the Chromebook Pixel, the first Chromebook with a big, beautiful 3:2 touchscreen, which launched in 2013 and changed how people used their laptops. Then there was the first Chromebook with USB-C technology, introduced in 2015, enabling people to fast-transfer their data  and charge their device quickly — all by using what’s now the  universal standard. And in 2017 we launched Chromebooks with the Google-designed Titan C security chip to keep devices secure and protect user identity. 

Plus, Chromebooks for Education has continued to help teachers and students modernize the learning experience, and Chromebook Enterprise has made IT administration simpler for businesses. Our Google Admin console fundamentally changed how devices are controlled, making it easy to manage thousands of Chromebooks centrally. It helps administrators get their school or business up and running in no time, and removes the day-to-day pains of running IT in large organizations.

All along the way, we remained committed to making all Chromebooks faster and smarter automatically, with updates that run in the background every few weeks.

Today, we work with several important partners — Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, AMD, Intel, MediaTek, Qualcomm, among others — to make Chromebooks of all shapes and sizes, and collaborate with over 20 Works With Chromebook partners like Anker and Logitech on compatible accessories so you can get the most out of your Chromebook. And with apps from the web and the Google Play Store, you can get more things done, boost your creativity or simply find fun ways to pass the time. If gaming is your thing, Cloud gaming platforms like Stadia and GeForce NOW are available on your Chromebook.

Here’s to the next 10

I remember getting my first computer and using it for just a handful of basic tasks; typing things up in a word processor, doing simple math with its calculator, things like that. Fast forward to today, where we bounce from work to school to watching shows and chatting with friends and family.  We make all of these transitions across multiple devices — phones, tablets, laptops.  And unlike the past, people should have access to their data and a consistent experience across all these tools. So today, we’re celebrating the 10th birthday of Chromebook by launching a suite of features for Chromebook that lets people move between devices with ease, and tools that drastically improve your productivity. 

We are also continuing to make Chromebooks the best devices for teaching and learning, and to help businesses scale.

It’s been 10 years, but this is still just the beginning. We’re continuing to find ways to make the Chromebook experience even more helpful for everyone. Examples include things like utilizing our artificial intelligence technology to help people proactively, integrating sensor technologies for more personalized experiences, expanding our portfolio of devices with cellular connectivity and working endlessly to make your devices work better together. 

Our vision for Chromebooks is to keep helping people get things done and to provide helpful and secure experiences. So here’s to the next 10 years of delivering an intelligent, powerfully simple computer for all.

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Chromebook turns 10

Celebrate the 10th birthday of Chromebook with a look back and lots of new features.

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Apple TV+ is now available on Google TV

Starting today, the Apple TV app, including Apple TV+, is now globally available on the new Chromecast with Google TV, with more Google TV devices to come. To access the Apple TV app, navigate to the Apps tab or the apps row in the For you tab.

Google TV gives users with subscriptions to Apple TV+ the ability to tune into award-winning original shows, movies and documentaries from the world’s most creative storytellers. You can enjoy Apple Originals, including series like “Ted Lasso,” which was recently nominated for two Golden Globes, “For All Mankind” season two debuting tomorrow, “The Morning Show” and “Servant,” as well as movies like “Greyhound” and “Palmer.” The Apple TV app also gives you access to your library of movie and TV show purchases from Apple, as well as personalized and curated recommendations and Apple TV channels. And with Family Sharing, up to six family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV+ and Apple TV channels.

With Google TV in the U.S., you can browse Apple Originals in your personalized recommendations and search results. And with Google Assistant, you can also use your voice to ask Google to open the Apple TV app or play an Apple Original title. If you aren’t ready to watch right away, you can add Apple Originals to your Watchlist for later. These features will roll out globally in the coming months.

The Chromecast with Google TV is packed with the latest technology—it streams crystal-clear video in up to 4K HDR at up to 60 frames per second and now has a voice remote. The remote has a dedicated Google Assistant button that helps you find something to watch, answer everyday questions like “how’s the weather?” or dim your compatible smart home lights with just your voice. It also eliminates the need for multiple remotes thanks to programmable TV controls for power, volume and input. 

In addition to Chromecast with Google TV, the Apple TV app will also be available on Google TVs from Sony and TCL. We plan to roll out to more Android TV-powered devices in the coming months.

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Chromebooks get an education refresh

Chromebooks — which last year were largely used as classroom tools for writing reports and working on projects — are now the main way many students go to school. As distance learning takes place around the world, educators and students have had to quickly adapt to teaching and learning through Chromebooks. And along the way we’ve updated features and tools to make learning from anywhere easier. 

This year, we have 40 new devices and accessibility improvements coming so that every student can learn the way they want to. 

Tools to help educators teach from anywhere 

Teachers have long recorded lessons to help students do homework and study for tests, but in the past year it’s become downright critical for virtual learning. Which is why we’ve built a screen recording tool right into Chrome OS that is coming in the latest Chromebook update in March. With this tool, teachers and students can record lessons and reports in the classroom and at home. 

Screen recorder for Chrome OS

Easier ways for leaders to manage technology

Chrome Education Upgrade unlocks access to Google Admin Console, making it possible for schools to centrally manage massive fleets of Chromebooks. Now, there are over 500 Chrome policies in Google Admin Console, including new ones like Zero Touch Enrollment, which make it easier to deploy and manage Chromebooks at scale — even remotely.

As schools buy hundreds or even thousands of Chromebooks for teachers and students, it’s overwhelming to find the best device to purchase. To make it easier we’ve created a resource to help you find the right Chromebook for whatever you’re looking for — whether it’s in-class learning, virtual learning or devices for faculty and staff.

Updates that equip every student, everywhere  

We’re launching over 40 new Chromebooks. Many of them include convertible Chromebooks that function like a laptop and a tablet, and come with a  stylus, touchscreen, and dual-cameras for students to take notes, edit videos, create podcasts, draw, publish digital books and record screencasts. Every new Chromebook is equipped to deliver exceptional Google Meet and Zoom experiences — right out of the box. We also have devices that can better support students with limited access to the internet, or in countries with strong mobile broadband networks. These devices, called Always Connected devices, have an LTE connectivity option that allows you to connect via your preferred cellular network.

Making education products that work for all students, also means creating accessibility features. And it turns out these features are helpful to everyone — including people with disabilities. ChromeVox, our full-featured screen reader, has new features including improved tutorials, the ability to search ChromeVox menus, and smooth voice switching that automatically changes the screen reader’s voice based on the language of the text. 

We are also making significant audio, video and reliability improvements to Meet on Chromebooks so it continues to work smoothly for everyone. 

Gif of switch access on Chromebooks

How we’re setting the bar higher

As many students are learning from home, it has become even more important for parents and guardians to help support their child’s learning, while also making sure they’re safe online. We’re making it possible for families to add a Google Workspace for Education account to their child’s personal Google Account managed with Family Link. This lets children still log into the apps and websites they need with a school account, while making sure parents can still set guidelines for device and app usage. 

We’ll continue to listen and evolve Google for Education products so they benefit educators, leaders and students. To learn more about all of the upcoming improvements to Chromebooks and Chrome OS, subscribe to our Chrome Enterprise Release notes.

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How we’re improving Meet’s performance on Chromebooks

Today, students everywhere are using computers more and more. Not only to complete schoolwork, but even to livestream their lessons.  And they’re using the same networks as their parents, guardians and siblings, putting heavy demand on bandwidth.

No matter how today’s students are learning — at home, in a hybrid model or in school — they deserve a clear connection to educators and classmates. Making sure devices can handle video conferences all day while running various apps and software that require a lot of power is incredibly important. That’s why we’ve been focused on  improving Chromebooks, so they can work harder in the background as teaching and learning proceed smoothly. 

These Chrome OS updates will help students run video calls at home while they’re using apps like Google Classroom, Docs, Sheets, Slides and other tools, regardless of the device or the strength of their internet connections. Here’s how we’re making Chrome OS and Chromebooks even better behind the scenes.

Animated gif of Google Meet on Chromebooks

Adapting to distance-learning challenges

In Chrome OS, we’ve improved how Meet videos are streamed. The improvements will make it easier for educators and students to choose a feature like grid view, where they can see images of other Meet attendees without affecting the performance of other apps. So if students are taking notes in a Google Doc while in a Meet, or running a Kahoot! game at the same time, they’ll be able to see everyone.

Better camera performance 

We’ve also improved Chromebooks’ camera and video feed performance and efficiency by making sure that audio and video data don’t require any unnecessary processing. This means  your device will have more processing power available for other tasks.

Meet now adjusts dynamically

We’re working on making Google Meet adapt more intelligently to your device, your network and what you’re working on. That means if students or teachers need to share their screens or take notes while in a Meet, the Meet’s video resolution or frame rate may be decreased slightly so that video performance doesn’t suffer.  Meet will now also adapt to the speed of your network by temporarily turning off some video feeds, to make sure you’re not interrupted if many people are using your connection at the same time. 

Features built with education in mind

Educators use Meet to run their virtual classrooms similarly to how they’d run class in person — they call on students to participate, send students into small groups and answer questions in real time. That’s why we’ve built features like hand-raising, digital whiteboards, polls, Q&A and breakout rooms, so educators can continue to use many of their in-person teaching methods in the virtual classroom.

Teaming up on Zoom improvements

Educators and learners who use Zoom should also see performance improvements during their videoconferences: Google and Zoom engineering teams have been working together on service enhancements for Chrome devices. Just like Meet, Zoom will adjust video performance based on devices in use and what participants are using their devices to do.

If you need more help getting the most out of videoconferencing, start by going over the basic  hardware and software requirements for using Meet or Zoom. Plus, check out this training guide to strengthen your Meet skills, or sign up for this training for educators. And if you’re looking to  support educators as well as students, help them by troubleshooting common issues with Meet.

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Sign in to sites faster and personalize your lock screen

We’re always finding ways to make using Chromebooks as seamless as possible. Today, with our latest Chrome OS release, we’re introducing a faster sign-in experience as well as personalized lock screens. 

And in case you missed it, we’ll share the exciting new Chromebooks that were recently announced at CES 2021.

Faster and easier web sign-in

Forget the hassle of typing in a long password or trying to remember which one you use for a specific online account. Now you can securely sign in to websites with the PIN or fingerprint you’ve set up to unlock your Chromebook with our new Web Authentication (WebAuthn) feature. Websites that support WebAuthn will let you use your Chromebook PIN or fingerprint ID—if your Chromebook has a fingerprint reader—instead of the password you’ve set for the website. And if you use 2-Step Verification to sign-in, your Chromebook PIN or fingerprint ID can be used as the second factor, so you no longer need to pull out your security key or phone to authenticate.

To get started, sign in to a supported website like Dropbox, GitHub or Okta, and you’ll be prompted to switch to using WebAuthn for future sign-ins.

Image showing a web page with the WebAuthn tool pulled up. A pop-up on the screen says "verify your identity" and has spaces for numbers to be entered.

Beautify your space with a personalized lock screen

The Chrome OS screen saver lets you transform your Chromebook’s lock screen into a personalized smart display. Show off your favorite photo album from Google Photos or pick from hundreds of art gallery images. You can use your lock screen to check information like the current weather and what music is playing; you’ll also be able to pause a track or skip songs without unlocking your device. 

Go to your Chrome OS Settings  and select Personalization > Screen saver to turn it on now.

Image shows an Android tablet next to an Android tablet pen. On the screen is a photo of a mountain and behind it is a pink-hued sunset.

ICYMI: New Chromebooks announced at CES 2021 

Image showing three laptops.

From left to right: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 and Acer Chromebook Spin 514

Our partners, Acer, ASUS and Samsung, introduced five new Chromebooks earlier this month: The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 and the ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 are among the first AMD Ryzen Chromebooks in the market and deliver great performance for work and play at an affordable price. There’s also the ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 and the ASUS Chromebook CX9, which are some of the first Chromebooks to come with the latest 11th generation Intel processors, so they’re a powerful option for working or streaming video. And the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the first Chromebook to feature a QLED display; it has a thin, light design and comes in Fiesta Red and Mercury Gray. 

That’s all for now—but check back here in March when we’ll have more news about what’s coming to Chromebooks.

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Pixel artists take time to refresh, reflect and create

For Tim Kellner, a nomadic photographer and filmmaker in the program, the COVID-19 pandemic led to  taking a step back from his art. “Quarantine gave me time to think more deeply about the types of things I wanted to create,” he says. “I was surprised after that break to feel a drive to create again that I hadn’t felt for a few years.”

Tim is one of Google Pixel’s Creator Labs artists who’s been exploring the side effects of spending more time alone. Creator Labs is an incubator for emerging photographers, directors and YouTubers that launched last winter, pre-pandemic. All nine of the program’s recurring artists pivoted to working virtually with us this past summer.  

Image showing a person standing in a desert at dusk; the sky is dark blue. A small ping light is shining around him while he holds a lit up object in his hand.

Tim Kellner

Armed with the Pixel 5 and their imaginations, the artists set out to create work grounded in social impact and cultural narrative (captured in a COVID-safe way, of course). 

One theme all of the current Creator Labs artists are embracing is the idea of space. Los Angeles-based Creator Labs veteran Glassface has been exploring isolation and mental health throughout his tenure in the program. “We’re all going through a mass shared traumatic experience right now. It feels like a really necessary time for meaningful art. I’ve been able to hone in on the art and music I want to be making, and I’ve been reminded of why I create in the first place,” Glassface says. “I think art can be a guiding light during difficult times like right now, and that’s informed and inspired my approach heavily. I’m taking a lot more risks and only putting my energy into the creative projects that mean the most to me.”

Image showing a person sitting close to the camera, looking up at the sky and at a white house.

Glassface

New York-based program-newcomer,Andre Wagner, like Tim, decided to turn the camera on himself “I’m always making self portraits but something about this time in particular led me to putting more focus on myself as the subject matter. There have definitely been surprises, and for me that’s needed because it helps sustain the effort.”

A black and white image showing a person sitting on a bench in between two trees. The person is sitting on top of the back of the bench looking up at the trees.

Andre Wagner

Other self portraits celebrated the artists’ heritage, including Los Angeles-based photographers June Canedo and Andrew Thomas Huang. June photographed herself wearing an embroidered handkerchief, representing her family’s history of domestic work, while Andrew’s photos pay homage to the Chinese Zodiac—with a Sci-Fi twist. 

Image showing a person with their back to the camera. There's a kerchief in their hair.

June Canedo

Creator Labs also includes artists Mayan Toledano, Kennedi Carter, Natalia Mantini and Anthony Prince Leslie. You can find their work on Pixel’s Instagram page.

Image showing a person wearing an ornate blue and green suit against a blue green background. They're wearing an intricate mask and holding up their hand, which is painted blue.

Andrew Thomas Huang

The work of our Creator Labs artists is a reminder for all of us that isolation can have a silver lining—in this case, giving us more space to think, reflect, refresh and create. 

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The Apple TV app is on its way to Chromecast with Google TV

As a quick follow-up to welcoming Apple Music to Google smart speakers and displays, we’ll be bringing more of your favorite entertainment into one place with the launch of the Apple TV app on the all-new Chromecast with Google TV. With the addition of the Apple TV app, Chromecast with Google TV users can access Apple TV+ (you’ll need a paid subscription). This makes the Chromecast with Google TV one of the only streaming devices with all the major video subscriptions.

As an Apple TV+ subscriber, you can tune into award-winning original shows, movies and documentaries from the world’s most creative storytellers. This includes titles like “Ted Lasso,” “The Morning Show,” “Defending Jacob,” “Greyhound” and “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.” Also on the Apple TV app, you can access your library of movie and TV show purchases from Apple, as well as enjoy personalized and curated recommendations and Apple TV channels. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV channels

With Google TV, you’ll be able to see Apple Originals in your personalized recommendations and search results, making it even easier to find your favorite shows and movies. And, you’ll be able to save them to your Watchlist to catch up on later.

We will roll out the Apple TV app on Chromecast with Google TV early next year, and even more devices powered by Android TV OS in the future.

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5 tips to tailor your Google TV recommendations

Showverload — noun

Show-ver-load — shō-vər-lōd

Definition of showverload

The feeling that overcomes you when you finally sit down to watch television and are faced with too many options. 

Most of us have experienced the feeling defined above. So we built Google TV to help you easily find what to watch and soothe your showverload with recommendations tailored for you. You can find these personalized recommendations in the For You, Movies and Shows tabs, or when you search with Google Assistant.

To provide you with relevant shows and movies, Google TV factors in your watch history, your interests and your streaming services. But you know you best, so we built tools into Google TV to help you tweak your own preferences.  Do you like all sci-fi shows or just the ones with aliens? Are you an action movies buff or more into date night rom-coms? Here are five ways to tailor your Google TV experience for you:

1.Update your streaming services.  Subscribed to a new service? Check in Settings to make sure you’ve added it to your list of streaming services so you can start seeing recommendations from your newest app.

update your streaming services

Add your streaming services in Settings.

2. Use the Watchlist. Google TV uses the shows and movies on your Watchlist to learn what you like to watch. Teach Google what you like by clicking on a title to add it to your Watchlist to save it for later, or look up a hot new show on Google Search and add it to your Watchlist right from your search results so it’s on your TV when you get home.

Add to your watchlist

Watchlist shows and movies to help Google TV learn your interests.

3. Mark what you’ve watched. If you come across a movie or show you’ve seen and loved, click on the title and mark “Watched it.” Google TV will then recommend other movies and shows based on your watch history.

Mark what you've watched

Mark what you’ve watched to get related recommendations.

4. Rate movies and shows. Visit the details page of any movie or show, or long press on any recommendation to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. Google TV will use your input to figure out your preferences.

Rate movies and shows

Rate what you watch to help Google TV learn your interests

5. Tune your recommendations. Starting this week, you can help train Google TV on the big screen to give you better recommendations by sharing your preferences. In Settings, click “Content Preferences” and quickly rate a series of movies and shows to instantly refresh your recommendations. This feature will be rolling out over the next few weeks.

Fine tune recommendations

Fine tune your recommendations for an instant refresh of your “For you” tab

Google TV is currently available on the Chromecast with Google TV, and, if you prefer your big screen hits on the little screen, get the Google TV mobile app for Android phones and tablets in the U.S. While you won’t find the ability to rate and tune recommendations in the Google TV mobile app, all the tips here will work across your devices. When you use these tips, your preferences will update anywhere you use your Google account. Enjoy all the entertainment you love, with a little help from Google. 

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