The new updates are to help teachers engage better among themselves and with students

New Delhi: Google has announced a roll out of about 50 new features to bolster its Meet and Classroom platforms to help with seamless interactions in schools and a smooth academic calendar. With the pandemic putting a halt to global activities and gatherings around the world, tech giant Google introduced platforms to enable schools hold classes virtually as well as organisations to continue to work remotely. One major introduction that is getting Indians talking is that of 10 Indian languages to be included.

Google revealed during its Anywhere School 2020 event held recently that the new updates are to help teachers engage better among themselves and with students. Google aims to give schools an alternative option, to enable them finish the syllabus for this year with this initiative. The search engine company gathered reviews and feedback from users to have a clear idea of how their product was received by the general public.

The result of that activity is what has led to several updates and 50 new features to Google Classroom, GSuite, Google Meet and other products. Furthermore, teachers are now allowed to create and share links to enable students join classes to learn. This has significantly made joining a class on Google Classroom quicker and easier.

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Google has also introduced reports of originality to Google Classrooms and Google Meet to inspect homework or assignments given to students and check for plagiarism. This has seen to an increase in the number of reports to five and made the reports for enterprise users unlimited.

Also, Google has included a to-do widget to the class page in the Google Classroom. This feature enables students to check their works that have been graded, events that are yet to come up, and events that are missing. Google has also included an additional 10 indigenous Indian languages to the Google Classroom to enable wider participation. These languages include Telugu, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Urdu etc, with further plans being made to extend it to over 54 global languages from the 45 languages it currently supports. There are indications that even more languages will be introduced in the future.

Teachers and students can now enjoy Auto Correct and Smart Compose in Google Docs. This new feature will enable students and teachers to create top quality materials in shorter time by reducing the amount of repetitive writing while eliminating the chance of grammatical and spelling errors. It is also pertinent to note that this feature can be disabled if required. Google has also included attendance tracking and breakout rooms for several of their educational platforms.

Perhaps, one highlight of the new updates is a feature called ‘Assignments’, which is an application for the Learning Management System (LMS). This feature makes the job of teachers easier and faster. The assignments feature is a simpler and quicker method of analyzing and grading the work of students and then sending it back to them.

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Google also noted that it plans to improve the Classroom mobile apps to be able to work with unstable connectivity. Google Meet is also not left out. There have also been some new changes that are to be implemented to improve the overall experience with this product.

From all indications, Google Meet is poised to get a much larger tiled view by September. This larger tiled view will be able to accommodate up to 49 people and it will also include an integrated Jamboard whiteboard for partnership. There are also plans by Google to introduce blurred and custom backgrounds to Google Meets to improve security and provide some more privacy for users.

These features are included to improve overall customer experience by resolving the current problems that users encounter while using these apps. Online learning doesn’t have to be too cumbersome for students. It can discourage learning and slow down teachers trying to cover the entire syllabus within stipulated times.

At the moment, it is unsafe for any Government around the world to reopen schools. Schools may remain under lock and key for a long time to come unless there is a rapid, yet significant reduction in new Coronavirus cases and vaccines are made available. Until that happens, these platforms remain the best available choice for online learning that students and teachers can both enjoy.

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