Anywhere School: Classroom and Meet Recap

Did you pay attention to Google’s Anywhere School Event in August? You may have thought it was geared for teachers – a lot of folks thought that.

While much of the content was instructional-focused there were several major updates and timelines, especially about Google Classroom and Google Meet, that all Google Workspace admins need to be aware of as we head back to school and get settled into the new norm.

While not every feature release is groundbreaking, there were a lot of updates and roadmap changes highlighted in this particular event. Many of the feature updates will impact the bulk of North American educational institutions while many of us are still in a remote-learning environment. So we have pulled together the most important key updates for Google Classroom and Meet from anywhere school and laid them out in this article. 

Join classes via link

Teachers can now send out links to classes, which students can join with a single click. Learn more
EDU, Education Plus

Student information systems (SIS) grade export

Teachers can now export grades from Gradebook to your SIS. Learn more

EDU, Education Plus

Support for new languages

Launching Classroom in 10 additional Indian languages.

EDU, Education Plus

Originality reports

Run originality reports five times per course.

EDU, Education Plus (Education Plus is unlimited)

New to-do widgets

A to-do widget for students and a to-review widget for teachers to help keep track of work in Google

Classroom. Learn more

EDU, Education Plus

Admin audit logs “coming soon”

Troubleshoot Classroom issues with Classroom audit logs directly from the Admin console. Learn more

EDU, Education Plus

Exclusive updates for Google Workspace for Education Plus:

Get usage insights (BigQuery & Dashboards)

Automatically import Classroom logs into BigQuery and create Data Studio Dashboards to see who’s using Classroom and how they’re using it. Learn more

Education Plus

Improved originality reports

Educators will be able to see matches for potential plagiarism not only against webpages but between student submissions at their school. Learn more

Education Plus

 Upcoming feature releases
  • 7X7 Grid View up to 49 participants (September)
    EDU, Education Plus

  • Collaborative whiteboard with Jamboard Meet (September)
    EDU, Education Plus

  • Blur/replace background (October)
    EDU, Education Plus

  • Moderator controls (September)
    EDU, Education Plus

  • Temporary recordings (later this year)
    EDU, Education Plus

  • Hand raising (Later this year)
    EDU, Education Plus

*Moderation controls

  • Prohibit participants from joining meetings after they’ve been ejected (later in August)

  • End meetings for all participants when class is finished (September)

  • Manage join requests with ease by accepting or rejecting them in bulk (September)

  • Disable in-meeting chat and set restrictions on who can present during a meeting  (September)

  • A setting that requires the teacher to join first (September)

Impact: These moderation controls will be rolling out any day and we’ve already heard reports of “weird Meet issues.” It’s my opinion that we’re possibly seeing the effects of these features being rolled out.

When these controls get released it could potentially bring up issues with who creates the Meet (the host will have the controls) and how teachers are working with Meet currently. Will these controls change the workflow for teachers? Teachers may have come up with solutions and workflows to address the limitations of Meet and now with those being resolved, a review on if it changes should be had.

*Temporary recordings

What is a Temporary Recording? 

Any meeting host can record a meeting and share the recording within their domain for up to 30 days before the video expires.

When will it be available?

“Later this year” — Continued free access to premium recordings until temporary recordings are available.

Impact: This is a huge announcement, especially for schools that do not have Google Workspace for Education Plus. Google is trying to address the issue of remote learning and connectivity issues for students. My understanding is that there will be no “gap” for schools having access to a recording feature. What I mean by this is, the temporary recording feature will either come before Sept 30th and if not, that specific recording Education Plus features will continue until the temporary recordings are rolled out.

Exclusive Meet updates for Google Workspace for Education Plus:

  • Breakout rooms (October)
    Education Plus Only

  • Attendance tracking (October)
    Education Plus Only

  • Q & A and polling features (later this year)
    Education Plus Only

Please note – these exclusive updates are ONLY impacting those districts who have upgraded to Google Workspace for Education Plus

It’s times like these where I feel CDW Amplified for Education’s North American Google Technical Collaborative is at its best. Members rely on us to filter important and up to date Google Workspace information and members continue to collaborate and lean on each other as we head back to school.

For the benefit of Google Workspace schools in North American and to get a full idea of what the NAGTC is all about, we’ve opened up our latest monthly Updates Stream. Watch the August Google Workspace update live stream.

If you want to be in the know, join us in our North American Google Technical Collaborative and join the conversation! 

 


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About the Author

Melissa Benson, Google for Education Technical Collaborative Lead

Melissa has been a Google Workspace for Education Consultant for CDW Amplified for Education since 2015. She began working with the Google for Education (GFE) Admin console in 2008 where she helped implement and integrate Google Workspace and Chromebooks into multiple K-12 school districts. Now, as part of the CDW Amplified for Education Team, she continues to help schools set up and manage Google Workspace environments with educational best practices with an emphasis on facilitating the North American Google Technical Collaborative.

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