The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed the game for teachers around the world who have had to rapidly adapt their classroom teaching skills to an online format that certainly has a lot of challenges. Thanks to video conferencing software like Zoom though the experience has been made a lot easier and gives teachers more control of their virtual classroom. And now Google is joining them with a host of new features for its Meet software designed to make the virtual classroom experience a lot better.
Google announced the new features to its G Suite Enterprise for Education tier this week that will allow educators to create breakout rooms to facilitate smaller class discussions, track attendance, and even includes a new homework helper tool that just requires a photo from a phone.
The updates will also allow for improved moderation of the classrooms, giving teachers and other moderators the ability to stop people from joining meetings after they’ve been kicked from the room or denied from entering twice, which might help prevent people from nefariously disrupting classes. It will also let moderators end a Meet class for everyone at the same time, bulk approve or reject requests to join a class, turn off in-meeting chat, restrict who can present in a class, and turn on a setting that won’t start a meeting until the teacher has joined.
Google also shared new tools to help students learn using their phones. For example, students can now visualize nearly 100 concepts in biology, chemistry, and other STEM topics by searching for them on Google and then looking at a model of that concept in augmented reality on Android and iOS devices. Google will let students get help with a homework problem just by taking a photo of it using Google Lens or Google-owned education app Socratic.
Some of these features have been available in its rival Zoom for a while now, but Meet’s greater virtual room control and additional homework tools will certainly appeal to educators and hopefully make virtual learning from home even easier. Not that you’re going to have any luck convincing parents who are desperate to just send their kids away to school soon.
Last Updated: August 18, 2020