Monday, May 23, 2016

Lots of great new things coming to Google Apps and Chromebooks!!!

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Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks have become truly awesome resources for schools and Google just keeps improving them.

Here are some of the recent announcements:

Android apps are coming to Chromebooks! - some Android apps have already been available for use on a Chromebook. I've been using the Evernote app for a while and love it. But in order to get them to work, developers had to do some work themselves. With this new announcement, the Google Play Store and most of it's app will work with Chromebooks. Three models are getting access in June with more getting access later. See this link for full details on which Chromebooks will get this and when. This is huge for schools as they will be able to benefit from the low cost and ease of use and management of Chromebooks, and use all of the great Android apps that are out there.

With this announcement, touchscreen Chromebooks are even more functional for schools. For specs, 4GB RAM is always my suggestion and 16GB drives should be fine unless you are installing a ton of apps and syncing lots of data. I have over 100 apps on my smartphone, sync Evernote offline (9,000 notes) and sync Google drive offline and I am only using 9GB (18GB if you count the hundreds of photos and videos of my daughter).

I also think that this would be a good time for Google and OEMs to work on a 7" Chrome OS tablet! Think about it - all the Android apps in a small form factor for younger students or mobility, with the management features and ease of use of a Chromebook!

Google Classroom updates:
  1. Interact with other apps and systems - more software and systems will be able to interact with more data in Classroom. One example that teachers will love is the ability for Gradebooks and reporting systems to sync grades with Classroom, eliminating the need for teachers to manually transfer grades.
  2. Teachers can schedule assignments, questions, or announcements to post at a later date. The post is then automatically published to the class stream at the scheduled date and time.
  3. Teachers can poll their students using multiple-choice questions and allow students to see a summary of their classmates answers.

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Science Journal - a new app that is a digital science notebook that allows students to record data from sensors on an Android phone or connected device, take notes, observer, interpret, predict, create graphs and much more.

Google also announced that they are making their own 3D/Virtual reality hardware that will be prefect for schools - this will fit well with Expeditions and allow students to explore the world, and beyond, right from their classroom.

Some exciting news for schools!!

More Resources:

Benefits of Google Apps and Chromebooks for Schools


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