Google has taken the opportunity presented by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to reveal new updates for its Google for Education Chrome OS-based tools for teachers. First, the newly updated Google Classroom has been redesigned to allow for an organizational approach that's much closer to how teachers traditionally sort classroom materials. Educators will effectively be able to organize assignments, questions, and other components into modules and units. The goal is to make things easier to find and the change will apply to both the teachers' and students' Classroom interface starting this fall. A new "People" page is in the works alongside changes to settings to bring classroom management together in a single place. Teachers will be able to use the section to manage students, co-teachers, and guardians as well. Google is also introducing a Teacher Center to help educators connect with a library of training materials, resources, certifications, and communities of educators.
A new curriculum is being added on top of that, with a focus on meeting ISTE and CSTA standards in teaching Computer Science. That tool will be free and is designed to help teach student grades four through eight, regardless of the teacher's experience with the topic. It will be ready in time for the upcoming school year. Setting aside new organizational tools, Google also announced the creation of tools that allow teachers to create quizzes for their classes directly from Google Classroom. There's still no launch timeframe attached to that package. Moreover, a new toggle will be added to quizzes which essentially locks students to the quiz page until the answers have been submitted in order to limit distractions. Feedback for those can be scoring can be conducted question by question or for each individual student along with room to provide students with individual feedback. Once scored, the quiz scores will be able to be imported directly back into other pertinent areas of the Classroom interface. Setting aside Classroom, Google Earth can now be used by teachers to instruct on the mathematics of measurement. The new Measure tool can be used to assist in teaching to measure distance or area, connecting the practicality of math to interesting or relevant places in the real world. Tying into that, Google took a moment to tout its new Tour creation tools for Expeditions which allows students and educators to create collaborative AR and VR experiences to be shared with the world.
On the hardware front, Google is touting the Chromebook Tab 10 tablet for the education sector and the incoming wave of Chrome OS tablets that are bound to follow, in addition to a new stylus created in partnership with STAEDTLER. The latter of those is the STAEDTLER Noris digital for Chromebook and brings a similar functionality to a wide variety of tablets without the need for batteries or recharging. That will be available sometime this summer and the design is centered around interoperability and affordability. The company's digital whiteboard, Jamboard, will also be making the jump to the education sector with new pricing and a free app that allows interactivity across any touch convertible Chromebooks via a free Android companion app. More details will be released over time as each new update and innovation gets closer to release, the tech giant said.