This week Google announced a bunch of updates that will be coming soon to Google Workspace for Education products. If you missed them, as I did earlier this week, here’s a short summary of the key updates to note.File / Video Security Updates
- Some shared files in your Google Drive will require using a URL that contains a resource key. This change will impact users who haven’t previously viewed a file that you’re sharing. As an end-user, this shouldn’t change anything for you other than the link that you initially share if you use the “anyone with the link” option to share a file. This change will be implement beginning in late July with full implementation in September. Google Workspace administrators may want to read more about this update on this Google Workspaces Admin Help page.
- Videos in your YouTube account that were uploaded prior to January 1, 2017 and were marked as “unlisted” will be changed to “private” on July 23rd. You can revert them back to “unlisted” after the 23rd. Read more about this change here. This update doesn’t affect videos uploaded after January 1, 2017.
Google Classroom Updates Coming Later This Summer/ Fall
- Schedule assignments to multiple classes at once.
- Offline mode for the Google Classroom Android app.
- Student activity view. This will let you see when a student was last active in your Google Classroom. Activity can include accessing assignments and commenting on posts.
All three features listed above will be available in all versions of Google Workspace for Education. The following Google Classroom features will only be available to those using one of the various paid Google Workspace for Education plans.
- Roster import via Clever. This will let IT administrators create classes based on classroom rosters as written in Clever. (While great in theory, I wonder if this will impact how much control teachers get over their own Google Classroom rosters. I’d hate to see this turn into a situation where a teacher has to submit an IT help ticket whenever a student needs to be added or removed from a Google Classroom. That could be a nightmare during add/drop periods).
- Classroom add-ons. This will let IT administrators add third-party services into Google Classroom. Some of Google’s preferred vendors for this include Adobe, Kahoot, and Nearpod. Students will use those tools inside of Google Classroom.
- Twenty new font choices are being added to Google Forms.
- The settings menu is going to be revamped to “simplify” the application of settings. (I’m not sure what there is to simplify in Google Forms settings, it’s pretty simple now).
- Create interactive checklists in Google Docs. There’s a new checkbox option that you can add in place of bullet points in Google Docs. This is available now. See my screenshot below for an example.
Hopefully, we can all use Google Meet and Zoom a lot less next year. That said, Google is making some updates to Google Meet for those who are hosting virtual class meetings.
- When launching a meeting from Google Classroom teachers and co-teachers will automatically be assigned the roles of host.
- Students who are on the Google Classroom roster will automatically be admitted but will be placed in a waiting room until the teacher is ready to admit them.
- Anyone not on the Google Classroom roster will have to ask to join and can only be admitted by the teacher or co-teacher.
- Hosts can turn off all webcams at once with a “video lock” setting.
- New viewing options will let you control how much of a presentation you see compared to how much space is allotted for viewing your students’ cameras or profile icons.