Google is taking education seriously. Its Chromebooks have found huge success in schools around the country, and are now the go-to computers for students, thanks to their low cost. Today, however, Google is launching a number of new tools that could further its presence in the classroom. Not only could the new tools be helpful in schools, but they’re also free to use.
First up is Expeditions. Google first launched this virtual reality app in a trial last year, but is now opening up that program to anyone with an Android device, with plans to bring it to iOS soon. Expeditions has already been used by over 1 million students, but by opening it up to a wider audience, Google hopes to make over 200 million “virtual field trips” available. Expeditions can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
The second big announcement is Cast for Education, which is essentially a Chromecast for the classroom projector. All a teacher has to do is turn their computer into a Cast destination, and they can then approve or deny requests from students to cast their screens to the projector. The tool works as a Chrome app that’s available in Chrome OS, Mac, and Windows.
Google has also announced that Google Forms will be expanded to integrate quizzes directly into it. Forms, according to Google, is extremely popular among teachers, but one of the main requests has been the ability to offer quizzes through the app. Quizzes through Forms will automatically grade multiple choice questions, and can provide feedback to students upon incorrectly answering a question.
Finally, Google is now making it easier for teachers and students to access services like Explain Everything, Soundtrap, and WeVideo. Schools can now purchase these services for Chromebooks at a discounted price.
Clearly Google is making a serious push into education, and it’s likely we’ll see more announcements like these as time goes on and Chromebooks continues to dominate in the classroom.