9 Chromebook and Google Workspace features to make learning more accessible

Around the world, students with disabilities and diverse learning needs have been learning remotely, and teachers are finding new ways to practice inclusive teaching. In South Korea, Ryu Changdong, a blind teacher at Seoyun Middle School, when switching to online learning, struggled to gauge his students’ level of interaction with the lessons. While teaching remotely, he turned to Google Forms for quick surveys, knowledge checks and feedback before every lesson to help fill the void after not being able to rely on verbal clues like he would in class- and then used that feedback to inform his planning for the next lesson. In every school that’s using Chromebooks and Google Workspace for learning, students with disabilities are also benefiting from tools that help them read, listen, and connect with classmates and teachers.

In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we’re shining a light on improvements to Chromebook and Google Workspace accessibility features.

1. More colors for cursors on Chromebooks

To help students see cursors better on Chromebooks, they can choose from seven colors—red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta and pink—in addition to default black. They can also make the cursor size bigger for more visibility. To change cursor sizes, go to the “Mouse and touchpad” section of Settings. 

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2. Select-to-speak and ChromeVox improvements

To make it easier to focus on the spoken text, students can shade background text that is not being spoken aloud using Select-to-speak. This can be helpful for people with low vision and learning disabilities like dyslexia. To enable this select-to-speak feature, search for “Select-to-speak settings” within Settings

Voice Switching automatically changes the screen reader’s voice based on the language of the text being read, providing more clarity for pages containing multiple languages. We’ve also added Speech Customization, Smart Sticky Mode, and improved navigation in ChromeVox menus. Search for ChromeVox in Settings to try these new features. 

3. Accessible test-taking for students on Chromebooks

Administrators can set Chromebooks into kiosk mode, so an exam app can run in full-screen mode on a device. When using kiosk mode for testing, Chromebook accessibility features are now more readily available and customizable- like screen readers, magnification, and more. And some testing providers like Pearson make it possible to access third-party accessibility tools from partners like Don Johnston and Texthelp. Later this year, we’ll add the ability to set device accessibility policies so students with disabilities can use personalized accessibility settings. We also enabled the use of accessibility features built into Chromebooks when using locked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms, along with tools from partners mentioned above.

4. More support for braille in Google Docs

Students can use a braille display to read and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings. Now, with several improvements to braille support in Google Docs, like new keyboard shortcuts, faster typing echo and screen reader navigation, improved handling of punctuation and spaces, and more.

5. Live captioning in Google Meet

Live captions help make meetings more accessible by reducing barriers among students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, regardless of whether they’re participating remotely or in person. And now, captions are rolling out in Spanish, French, German and Portuguese.

YouTube playlist of accessibility videos

Watch this series of training videos on Google’s accessibility tools

6. Smart to do’s in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

In Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, when you use comments to assign tasks or action items, suggested action items will appear based on the content in your file. This is helpful for working quickly and making sure follow ups are noted.

7. Work hands-free in Google Workspace apps

Students can use voice commands to carry out actions in G Suite such as navigating, selecting, and editing in Google Docs, sending emails in Gmail, and joining or leaving Google Meets. 

8. Closed captions in Google Slides

With this Google Slides feature, everything students and teachers say during a presentation in Slides can be shown as a caption at the bottom of viewers’ screens. It’s a helpful feature for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, and can likely help all users better absorb a presentation’s content.

9. Live edits in Google Docs

Live edits are accessible through screen readers. This includes announcing changes, reading edited text, and also naming who’s doing the editing.

Where to get support

Read our Guardian’s Guide for advice on using Chromebooks and Google Workspace for learning from home. For additional support, check out Teach from Anywhere and the Chromebook accessibility hub.

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Making Chromebooks work for people with disabilities

As a visually impaired woman, I use assistive technology everyday to make my working environment accessible and productive. I feel grateful to work on the Chromebook team, which values my perspective as someone with a disability. Seeking and embracing a diverse set of perspectives is the only true way to build for everyone. 

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month in the U.S.—it’s a meaningful time because it makes me reflect on how far technology has come. However, it also reminds me how much more opportunity there is to build with accessibility in mind to create a more inclusive world.

Today, I’m shining a spotlight on some recent features that make Chromebooks more accessible for people with disabilities. 

Change your cursor color

Now you can change the color of your cursor to improve its visibility and add a personal touch to your Chromebook. Choose from seven new colors: red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta and pink. This feature is designed to help people with low vision and complements other ways Chromebook cursors can be customized, like adjusting its size for further visibility. To adjust your cursor, go to the “Mouse and touchpad” section of Settings.

Visual shows cursor colors changing.

Select-to-speak gets better

Select-to-speak lets people choose text on screen to be spoken aloud. You now have the option to shade background text that isn’t highlighted, which makes it easier to focus on the words being recited. This can be especially helpful for people with low vision and learning disabilities like dyslexia. To turn on this feature, search for “Select-to-speak settings” within Settings. 

Visual shows select-to-speak reciting highlighted text

New ChromeVox enhancements

ChromeVox is the built-in screen reader on all Chromebooks. Screen readers are critical for people who are blind or low vision to use computers. Voice Switching on ChromeVox now automatically changes the screen reader’s voice based on the language of the page. If the page is in both English and Spanish, ChromeVox will detect which voice to use when reading it aloud. We also added more speech customization options, Smart Sticky Mode and improved navigation in ChromeVox menus. Search ChromeVox in Settings to try these new changes. Learn more details about ChromeVox here.

Visual shows menus that have been updated in ChromeVox with new search functionality.

We’ve simplified the ChromeVox menus to make them easier to navigate.

Say hello to the Chromebook accessibility hub 

We recently launched the Chromebook accessibility hub for people to learn about getting started with accessibility features on Chromebooks. It includes info on key Chromebook accessibility features, including links to video tutorials and useful Help Center articles. 

Export accessible PDFs in Chrome 

Now it’s easier to export websites as accessible PDFs in Google Chrome, including on Chromebooks. Chrome is now the first browser to generate PDFs with auto-generated headings, links, tables and alt-text that make them more easily legible for screen-readers. This makes the web more accessible for people with low vision or who are blind. 

Guide kids with disabilities who are distance learning

If you have a child with a disability and they’re distance learning, check out our new Guardian’s Guide for advice on how to best use Chromebooks for learning from home. The guide includes tips tailored for different types of disabilities to help your family get the most out of Chromebooks and adapt to distance learning.

We’re constantly making updates to Chrome OS to make all Chromebooks more accessible for people with disabilities. Stay tuned for more highlights on Chrome OS improvements soon.

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More controls and transparency for your selfies

Since the dawn of the front-facing camera, and even before it, selfies have been a crucial way we express ourselves. So crucial, in fact, that more than 70 percent of photos taken on an Android device use the front-facing camera, and over 24 billion photos have been labeled as selfies in Google Photos. And of course, emojis, filters, stickers and captions have all become part of the fun, and help us show what we’re feeling and thinking at any given moment. 

Filters have rapidly increased in popularity over the past few years. Many of us love to play around with filters and try different ones on our photos—but sometimes, filters are turned on by default in our photo apps without our knowing. 

We set out to better understand the effect filtered selfies might have on people’s wellbeing—especially when filters are on by default. We conducted multiple studies and spoke with child and mental health experts from around the world, and found that when you’re not aware that a camera or photo app has applied a filter, the photos can negatively impact mental wellbeing. These default filters can quietly set a beauty standard that some people compare themselves against.

Building guidelines on control, transparency and design language

To put our research into practice, we created a framework to build and design products that support your wellbeing as well as an intentional relationship with technology. These people-centered guidelines inform and respect your personal choices regarding face retouching and center around control, transparency and design language. This means you should get to choose if and when your appearance is changed in pictures.

These guidelines suggest that face retouching settings should be off by default so you choose  when you want to turn them on. If face retouching filters are on, this should be clearly indicated in the product experience. And when it’s off, it should stay off. We’ve steered away from references to “beauty,” by using iconography and language that is value-neutral, so you can decide what retouching means to you.

Bringing these principles to life

With Google’s Pixel phones, we’ve begun to apply these design principles directly within the Camera app. Starting with the Pixel 4a, the new Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5, face retouching options are available in the camera app, but turned off by default. In an upcoming update, you’ll see value-free, descriptive icons and labels for face retouching options. And if you choose to use face retouching effects, you’ll see more information about how each setting is applied and what changes it makes to your image.

Retouching

Meaningful change takes collective effort, across a broad ecosystem of apps and devices. Our partners have shared customer feedback that echoes what we heard in our research, and we’ve shared our insights and design framework with them as they continue to find ways to update their product experiences as well. 

An app that shares our beliefs is Snapchat. Their default camera experience is always unfiltered, and you have the option to opt-in to lenses. Lens Studio also uses value-neutral terms for its facial retouching feature, and is committed to continuing to make improvements in this area.

These are the first of many steps we’re taking to support wellbeing and bring your voice into our design process.

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Google TV: Entertainment you love, with help from Google

In today’s golden age of television, there are seemingly limitless options for you to enjoy at home—that binge-worthy show, the big game or the latest blockbuster movie. But with more choices than ever, it can take a long time just to find something to watch. That’s why we made Google TV—a new entertainment experience designed to help you easily browse and discover what to watch—available first on the new Chromecast with Google TV.

An experience that’s tailored for you

The new Google TV experience brings together movies, shows, live TV and more from across your apps and subscriptions and organizes them just for you. To build this, we studied the different ways people discover media—from searching for a specific title to browsing by genre—and created an experience that helps you find what to watch. We also made improvements to Google’s Knowledge Graph, which is part of how we better understand and organize your media into topics and genres, from movies about space travel to reality shows about cooking. You’ll also see titles that are trending on Google Search, so you can always find something timely and relevant. 

Searching is as easy as asking Google. Whether you’re looking to “find action movies” or “show me sci-fi adventure TV shows,” just ask Google to see results from across your favorite apps, like Disney+, france.tv, HBO Max, Netflix, Peacock¹, Rakuten Viki and YouTube, among others.

Google TV For You and Search Results

Google TV helps you search and discover movies and shows from across your subscriptions.

With so much content to choose from, you might need help keeping track of what to watch. Google TV’s Watchlist gives you one easy place to bookmark movies and shows you want to save for later. You can even add to your Watchlist from Google Search on your phone or laptop, and it will be waiting on your TV when you get home.

Watchlist

Save movies, shows and Live TV to your Watchlist for later.

What’s playing on Live TV 

Ever switch back and forth between your streaming content and your live content to find something to watch? With Google TV, you’ll see recommendations for both in one place so you’ll never miss the big game, breaking news or a reality show finale. The Live tab shows you what’s airing now and what’s playing next, all just a click away.

Live tv

Access the YouTube TV channel guide directly in the Live tab.

Live TV integration is available now with a YouTube TV membership in the U.S., which includes more than 85 channels, a DVR with unlimited storage space and more. Integration with more live TV providers is coming soon.

A little help from Google

With Google TV, the biggest screen in your home is now more helpful. Ask Google about the weather, sports scores and more, and get answers right on your TV. You can even view and control your compatible connected home devices with just your voice. Simply press and hold the Google Assistant remote button and say “Show me the front door” to see your security camera feed.

When you aren’t watching TV, ambient mode lets you connect to Google Photos so you can showcase images of your favorite people and places on your home’s biggest screen. Google TV is also compatible with more than 6,500 apps built for Android TV OS so you can access your favorites across gaming, fitness, education, music and more. Support for Stadia is coming in the first half of 2021.

Available on the new Chromecast with Google TV

The all-new Chromecast with Google TV comes with a remote and plugs right into your TV’s HDMI port, so you can watch your favorite content in up to 4K HDR. Starting today in the U.S., Chromecast with Google TV is available for $49.99 in three colors: Snow, Sunrise and Sky. We will be bringing Chromecast with Google TV to more countries by the end of the year. 

Starting in 2021, Google TV will also be available on televisions from Sony and other Android TV OS partners.

Last but not least, we know that your TV isn’t the only place for watching entertainment. To make it easy to discover and enjoy your entertainment no matter where you go, Google TV will also be available via the new Google TV app, which will begin rolling out today to Android mobile devices in the U.S. as an update to the Google Play Movies & TV app. 

¹Google TV search and discover functionality for Peacock content will be available soon.

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Educators share their distance learning stories

We hear a lot of talk these days about the finding “new normal,” and while COVID-19 has presented countless challenges for educators, bright spots have emerged. The pandemic has pushed them to take risks, explore digital solutions, and experiment with new teaching methods to engage and support students and their families. We spoke to several educators who took the time to talk with us and share their experiences with distance learning.

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How has your school’s level of digital and innovation changed since the pandemic?

Trinh: A lot of teachers thought that this would be a moment in time—that technology would be a solution for the pandemic only. However, they’re beginning to realize that digital learning will be needed over the long term. This fall, the professional learning is becoming deeper and will be needed to enhance teaching skills for the foreseeable future.

How have teachers’ mindsets changed toward technology since the pandemic began?

Lim:Before the pandemic, we’d have one or two people sign up for technology-related professional learning experiences. Now we’ve had as many as six hundred educators sign up. Since starting the year virtually, we’ve improved and capitalized on our community of teachers to work and plan together for a better distance learning experience. And it’s surprising how well some students do in this setting. They thrive in a space where they have more choice and agency in their learning. They didn’t necessarily have these experiences before because the teachers weren’t familiar with using the digital tools.

Brewster:I’ve seen teachers in my school who have for years have been reluctant to accept coaching or to explore innovative strategies and tech tools. These same teachers have begun to independently seek out support and try new things. They want to make sure their students’ engagement level and experience is more than showing up and turning on their cameras. I’ve also seen how parents are embracing digital learning more than before. In the past, there was concern about screen time but now with this new reality, they see how technology keeps us going and connected.

How have you overcome barriers to device and internet access?

Carraway: This fall, we are much more prepared than last spring. We’ve increased our Chromebook inventory and provided more hotspots to families and staff to better support distance learning. We’ve also opened up office hours for parents and guardians to get the answers they needed when they needed them.

Wright:Our district launched a Connected At Home Learning Support Initiative to expand our existing technology device offerings. In the spring, we allowed secondary students to check out Chromebooks and hotspots until school ended. For the past two years, we’ve participated in the Sprint 1 Million program to provide hotspots to high school students. We’ve now extended that to the Empowered 2.0 T-Mobile program and are partnering with our local cable company to provide low-cost home internet.

In what other ways are you supporting students and their families?

Barcenas: We thought that internet access was going to be the biggest barrier to learning, but in reality it was that parents weren’t always able to be home. It was the extended family members—the abuelitas and abuelos—who were sitting side by side with the students, and they didn’t have the digital skill sets to help them with digital classwork. This fall, we’ve opened office hours for grandparents and we’re “translating” our technological vocabulary to make sense to older-generation family members.

Farinas:At the start of the school year we were hyper-focused on building community before tackling content. It’s paramount that teachers create safe online learning environments and build positive relationships with students and families. We do this by conducting routine wellness checks with students and families—making ourselves available during office hours and responding to calls and emails as soon as possible. We created a helpline to support families struggling with technology and even have staff who “walk” students to their virtual  classrooms.

Jaber: Thinking ofMaslowe’s hierarchy of needs, students cannot self-actualize if their basic human needs and feelings of safety and inclusivity are not at the core. Give students safe spaces and opportunities to share. That means teachers sharing with students because they are encouraged when they see we are vulnerable too. Call them to check in if they are not “present.” Build in options and flexibility in teaching. Really get to know the kids beyond their persona as learners.

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Levelling up gaming on Chromebooks

In the last few months, we’ve seen the amount of time people use gaming apps on their Chromebooks nearly triple. So, we’ve worked with our partners to expand our gaming offerings. We’re increasing the breadth of high quality games on the Google Play Store and are also enhancing Chromebooks’ gaming credentials with support for hugely popular titles on Stadia and through GeForce Now.

A new premium gaming section on Google Play

The Google Play Store on Chromebooks now has a Premium gaming section that makes it easier for you to discover exciting games designed for Chromebook. These include favorites like Incredibox, Gamedev Tycoon and Bridge Constructor Portal. 

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Score special perks on popular hits 

With special gaming perks that come with your Chromebook, you can be a winner even before you play. Enjoy hits like House of Da Vinci and Project Highrise on us or try out special bundles on favorites like Fallout Shelter. Visit chromebook.com/perks from your Chromebook to find and redeem these offers and more.

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Instantly play your favorite games with Stadia and GeForceNow

Playing high quality video games on your Chromebook is now easier than ever. With Stadia, you can instantly stream and play games like PUBG, Destiny 2 and more on your Chromebook1 without waiting for installation, downloads or updates. Chromebook users also get three months of Stadia Pro free2,  giving you access to more than 20 popular titles to play. Visit chromebook.com/perks to redeem the offer and get playing.

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Nvidia GeForceNow, which launched on Chromebooks last month, makes it easy to instantly play your favorite PC games across different game libraries including Steam, Uplay store and more. Visit play.geforcenow.com to subscribe to the service and enjoy favorites like Fortnite, Apex LegendsTM, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2 and more. 

Controllers to enhance your gaming experience

Pick up your perfect teammate for gaming on Chromebooks from our Works with Chromebook-certified controllers. Take control of Stadia gameplay with the Stadia controller or try out Logitech F710 and F310 wireless gamepads to play games from the Play Store on your Chromebook.

Stadia Controller.png

We’re working to bring more updates in the coming months to make Chromebooks even better for work and play—watch this space for more. In the meantime, check out our app showcase on chromebook.com, where you just might find your new favorite game.

1Chromebooks launched before June 2017 may not provide an optimal gameplay experience. Find here a list of devices launched before then.

2This offer is only available to Chromebooks launched June 2017 onwards. Please see here for a list of devices launched before June 2017. Stadia Pro is $9.99/mo after trial, cancel anytime. Terms apply.

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Details make the difference: Wi-Fi Sync, Settings and a mic slider

Over time, small changes can save you time and help you avoid headaches in your daily routine or with the technology you use. These new improvements for Chromebooks, like Wi-Fi Sync, add up to make it easier for you to get things done.

Wi-Fi passwords on your keychain with Wi-Fi Sync

Chromebooks are designed to be shareable. If you borrow your friend or family’s Chromebook, you can log in with your Google Account and easily access your documents, open tabs and bookmarks. 

Now, thanks to Wi-Fi Sync, forget having to hunt down that 20-digit Wi-Fi password printed on the back of your router. With the latest Chrome OS update, when you enter a Wi-Fi password on your personal profile on one Chromebook, that info is securely saved with your account even when you log in to another Chromebook. Your Wi-Fi passwords become part of your profile’s keychain, so they follow you regardless of which Chromebook you’re using. Wi-Fi Sync is especially helpful for households that share multiple Chromebooks. 

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Wi-Fi Sync is especially helpful for households that share multiple Chromebooks. 

Paired with Instant Tethering—which automatically links your Chromebook to an Android phone’s hotspot when you’re on the go—Wi-Fi Sync makes managing Wi-Fi on Chromebook even easier. Look out soon for more features that help you work across Chromebooks and share info with friends and family with Android phones, all while protecting your privacy.

Simpler Settings

The search bar at the top of Chromebook Settings now makes it easier to find what you’re looking for, thanks to an improved design and more intelligent search model. When you type in a query, like “wifi,” your Chromebook will display results for matching settings and related suggestions, even if you used different terms in your query.

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The search bar at the top of Chromebook Settings now makes it easier to find what you’re looking for.

Soon, you’ll also be able to search through Settings from the Launcher. This is a big step in helping the Launcher work like an “everything button”—our vision is to create one place for you to access Google Search, your Drive, Settings, apps, local files and more. So you can hit one button, type what you’re looking for, and then your Chromebook will intelligently figure out what to find for you.

Making tech easier for everyone

With many Chromebook users working from home, we’ve learned that they want to more easily control the volume of their voice on video chats so that others can hear them clearly. So we built a new mic slider that people can access from their Quick Settings to control how soft or loud they sound on calls.

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A new mic slider allows people to control how soft or loud they sound on calls.

Without being able to see friends and family in person, some people are recording videos to express themselves and stay in touch. We’ve made video recording in the Camera app on Chromebook more versatile. Now, you can pause and resume video recording, and take a still snapshot while recording. Videos are automatically saved in MP4 format, which makes it easy to share them with friends and edit videos in other apps.

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Details make all the difference. Stay tuned for even more highlights from Chrome OS in the next couple months.

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Make your Google Meet and Duo calls better—and bigger

2020 may go down as the year of the video call. It’s become an indispensable tool, one we all use more than we likely would have imagined. But meeting fatigue is probably hitting you hard in the afternoon. Using the right devices can make a big difference in making video calls more enjoyable and engaging. Here are a few new ways to use Google Meet and Duo across a series of new devices to create a better meeting experience. 

Take your video calls to the big screen

With Google Meet on Cast, you can turn any room in your house into your own personal conference room, taking advantage of your TV or a Smart Display. Whether you want to step away from the notifications on your laptop or phone to be more present in a meeting or you’re on mute in a larger meeting and want to concentrate on your task at hand, casting to your TV can help you be more productive and stay focused. 

Meet and Cast can also pair up to simplify distance learning. Students can view their classmates and lesson plans on the big screen while working from their laptops, and teachers can get a broader view of their students on a call. 

To get started, you‘ll need to have a Google account, update to the latest version of Chrome and ensure that your Chromecast device has the latest firmware installed. Google Cast functionality is available for all Meet users, and casting works on Chromecast, TVs with built-in Chromecasts and Nest displays.

Duo Cast

The big screen isn’t just for work meetings, though: We also want to make video calling your friends and family better, too. In an effort to bring the video calling experience to more parts of your home, Google Duo is rolling out a Beta on Android TV in the coming weeks. With Google Duo, you can initiate one-on-one and group calls from your TV, and if your TV doesn’t have a camera built-in, you can simply plug in a USB camera. 

Meet Hub Max Cast

Beyond TVs, Duo and Meet also work seamlessly with Nest Hub Max. You can simply say “Hey Google, join my next meeting” or “Hey Google, start a group call” and jump right into the video hands free, staying productive from a separate device on your desk.

Build the ultimate home office

Meet Home Office

With the Acer Chromebase and ASUS Remote Meet Kit from Google Meet hardware, you can elevate your work-from-home space into a dedicated home office. Google Meet hardware syncs automatically with Google Calendar so you can join meetings with a single touch, and is built on Chrome OS which brings over-the-air updates, peripheral support and advanced management capabilities. This frees up your laptop for more immersive meetings. 

Video calls aren’t going anywhere. But with new developments from Meet + Cast, Duo, Android TV, Nest Hub Max and Google Meet hardware, they can be a little more enjoyable. 

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The Anywhere School: 50+ Google for Education updates

In the midst of all the change and uncertainty in the world over the past several months, the education community has never wavered in its commitment to learning and supporting students. At Google, we’re honored to work on tools that lighten the load for teachers, school leaders, families, and especially the students who have navigated learning from home with grace and resilience. 

As educators worldwide have reinvented their practice online, we’re also adapting our tools to meet the evolving needs of their new educational landscape. This year, we’re taking a virtual approach to “back to school” with The Anywhere School, bringing Google for Education announcements to hundreds of thousands of viewers in more than 250 countries around the world. 

Inspired by your feedback, we’re sharing over 50 new features across Meet, Classroom, G Suite and other products. Check out our other posts for deeper dives into the features, and continue to watch the keynote sessions, which are running live for the next 24 hours and will be available on demand if you need to catch up later. Here’s a birds-eye view of what’s coming. 

A safer, more engaging Meet experience

Earlier this year, we announced new features coming to Google Meet to improve moderation and engagement. Today, we’re sharing more details about these upcoming launches and when they’ll be available. Here are a few highlights:

  • In September, we’ll kick off with a larger tiled view of up to 49 people and an integrated Jamboard whiteboard for collaboration. We’ll also release new controls so moderators can choose to always join first, end meetings for all participants, disable in-meeting chat, and much more.

  • In October, we’ll launch custom and blurred backgrounds to provide some extra privacy. Breakout rooms and attendance tracking will also be launching for all Google Enterprise for Education customers, allowing for more engaged classes and insights on participation.

  • Later this year, we’re rolling out hand raising for all customers and Q&A and polling for G Suite Enterprise for Education customers. Plus, we’ll launch a new temporary recordings feature which will be available to all Education customers for free (premium recordings will still be part of G Suite Enterprise for Education). 

Better support for students, educators and admins in Classroom

With more teachers around the world using Classroom more than ever before, we’re working to make Classroom simpler and more efficient with new features.  

  • A new to-do widget on the Classes page will help students see what’s coming up, what’s missing, and what’s been graded. 
  • Teachers can now share a link to invite students to their class, which makes joining a class much easier. 
  • Classroom will soon be available in 10 additional languages, for 54 languages total.

Classroom also gives you access to originality reports, which are now better than ever. For example, educators can soon run originality reports five times per course (up from three previously). And with G Suite Enterprise for Education, educators will be able to see matches for potential plagiarism not only against webpages, but between student submissions at their school.

We’re giving admins more powerful tools to manage G Suite and Classroom. For example, school leaders with Enterprise licenses will have greater visibility into Classroom usage via new Data Studio dashboards, which allow admins to see active classes, measure feature adoption, and monitor teacher and student engagement. To support teachers and admins, we’re making it easier to sync Classroom grades with a push to your Student Information System (SIS), starting with Infinite Campus customers (and more SIS to come). Keep reading for more details on what’s new in Classroom.

Enhance your learning management system with Assignments

Our newest product for non-Classroom users is Assignments, an application for your learning management system (LMS) that gives educators a faster, simpler way to distribute, analyze and grade student work. This time-saving application helps educators automatically create and distribute personalized copies of classwork to each student’s Google Drive folder, quickly provide feedback, and keep grading consistent and transparent with originality reports. Assignments is compatible with any LMS that supports LTI 1.1 and higher such as Canvas, Schoology, Blackboard and more. 

Help students turn in their best work with Docs

We recently launched SmartCompose and Auto Correct in Docs for educators and students. This will help them compose high-quality content faster by cutting back on repetitive writing, while reducing the chance of spelling and grammatical errors (by the end of this month, admins will be able to disable both SmartCompose and Auto Correct if they choose). Soon we’re also launching citations so students can format and manage their sources directly in Docs. With the citations tool, after adding the relevant attributes for a source, students can insert formatted in-text citations or a bibliography.

New resources and tools that continue to support families

As many parents and guardians supported their childrens’ learning from home this year, we heard about a big need for more resources and training for families on Google’s tools. To help, we’ve created the Tech Toolkit for Families and Guardians, which helps parents better understand the technology that their kids use in the classroom. Plus, we’ve added school accounts to Chrome OS so students can access Classroom and their school files while having the safety net of Family Link. We’re sharing many more product updates for families here.

Finally, educators can find free training, resources, and professional development programs like the new Certified Coach program to support them as they use these tools and features in their classroom in the new Teacher Center

Moving forward together

There’s so much more to share with you about what’s coming to Google for Education, and we encourage you to take some time to watch the keynote sessions from The Anywhere School event for all the updates. 

Most importantly, thank you for your partnership. We’re grateful for the insights you’ve shared with us, and we’ll continue to evolve our products to meet the unique needs of this moment. By working together, we can provide students with the education they deserve, no matter where it’s taking place.

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