Welcome back, everyone! I hope that you all had a fun and relaxing summer! The beginning of the 2017-18 school year is here, and I hope that you all have an awesome start to the new school year! Throughout this spring and summer, there were many updates to G Suite for Education. While I will try to summarize many of them in this post, I encourage you to visit Google for Education for all of the latest news and updates.
1. Team Drive: A more efficient & streamlined way to collaborate!
2. New Google Earth
In your browser (preferably Chrome), go to earth.google.com to explore the new Google Earth. There are TONS of new features, including Voyager, which takes the user on an interactive field trip in many content areas. The potential for interdisciplinary teaching & learning is endless. For those who use Google Classroom, the new Google Earth allows you to share content directly to your classroom. Other features include virtual tours, time lapses, and many more! Another powerful resource is Google Earth Education Resource Center, which has many excellent tools for educators. There is also a new Google Earth App for mobile devices (iOS and Android).
3. Google Classroom Updates
- Classroom now allows users outside of a school domain to join a class.
- G Suite Admin can transfer ownership of a classroom from one teacher to another.
- Classroom teachers can add another teacher as a co-teacher to their Classroom (inside or outside the domain).
- New app integration with Classroom: Quizizz, EdciteTeam, and OfficialKamihq. Others coming soon!
- Grade using decimal points (i.e. 84.5/100).
- Export grades from Forms to Classroom.
4. Updates to Slides
Have you noticed that the "Research" button is now called the "Explore" button? Next time you are working on a presentation in Slides, hit the "Explore" button and Slides will suggest layouts based on the content that you have on your slide. It is a great way to build beautiful looking slides effortlessly!
5. G Suite Training (extension for Chrome)
This is one of the most powerful resources available. By installing this extension, you have all of the training and resources for G Suite available in one click. G Suite Training recognizes the G Suite App that you are using, and when you click on it, it will generate a list of training videos based on the app. You can learn how to do anything in all of the G Suite Apps at your fingertips.
6. Other Awesome Chrome Extensions
- Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, & Slides (allows you to edit an Office Doc right in Google Drive)
- Awesome Screenshot (takes screen shots, allows editing, and can also take screencast videos)
- OneTab (combines all of your tabs into one history)
- GIFit! (create your own GIFs)
- uBlock (blocks adds and other content in YouTube)
Ben is the Technology Integration Specialist at ESU 4 in Auburn, NE. He is also a Google for Education Certified Trainer.