Google has released Expedition and Cast for education apps and also introduced quizzes in forms
Google has launched new tools that will further enhance its presence in the classroom. It has launched four tools that are free to use and will be helpful at schools as well. The tools announced at the ISTE in Denver include Cast for Education, Quizzes within Google Forms, creative apps on Google Chromebook, and the launch of Expedition app.
Google’s Chromebook has turned out to be a major success for both students and teachers due to their cost-effective nature. The company wrote in its blog post, “Teachers are great communicators, collaborators, creators and critical thinkers. It takes a teacher to empower students with these skills and create the leaders of our future. As technology becomes an increasingly integral component of our classrooms, the role of teachers becomes even more important.”
Since the launch of its beta program in September last year, more than 1 million students have already taken virtual field trips to 11 countries. But now the app will be available to everyone on their Android devices. Google is offering more than 200 Expeditions to students and the app can be downloaded from Google Play Store. The app will soon make its way to Apple's devices as well.
Teachers can download the app to get started, while students will get a chance to learn from new experiences. Google is looking to get more content providers on its platform to develop Expedition content including Pearson. Expedition can be used by people if they have Google Cardboard on their smartphones or 2D screen mode in their tablets.
Expedition has helped students amass experiences that they had never thought of before according to Mary Cullinane, Chief Content Officer at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Schools can now even purchase Expedition kits with the help of Best Buy Education. These kits include a virtual reality viewer, a tablet, and a router to connect all of them. The kits are ready for pre-orders and will be ready for shipment before school starts in Fall.
Sharing screens at schools can be a problem as one has to physically connect their computers to connect with the class projector. But with Google Cast app, both students and teachers will be able to share their screens wirelessly from anywhere in the class. Teachers turn their computer into a Cast destination.
Once they turn it into a destination, teachers will have the authority to accept or reject the Cast request of students. If approved, students can then cast their screens onto the classroom projector. It also doesn’t require the installation of new hardware for the teacher since it runs on their existing computer. The free app is now available to download on Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS.
Quizzes in Google Forms
Google forms will have an additional feature i.e. quizzes. Starting today quizzes will be integrated right in the forms. On popular demand of the teachers, the company has decided to incorporate them as it allows the teacher to spend more time teaching rather than checking.
Now quizzes will be automatically graded, including the MCQs and checkbox questions. Teachers can provide feedback in the forms and send supplemental links of the review material to the student. Teachers will also get a student progress report which will point out if the lectures need more explanation and what should be taught next in the class.
Apps on Chromebook
The last announcement made by Google was the collection of creative apps that can be bought in a bundle. It collaborated with EdTechTeacher to provide Soundtrap, WeVideo, and ExplainEverything as a bundle of creative apps which would help students nurture their skills and creativity.
These apps can be bought by the school at a discounted price, with or without Chromebooks. The apps will be liable for an annual subscription fee as well from the Chromebook resellers. All these apps help students understand the curriculum in their own voice.
The introduction of new tools by Google highlight the company's efforts to expand its Cardboard program and improve the popularity of Chromebooks in classroom. With Chromebooks getting support of Android apps as well, it will be able to compete with the likes of Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon who have rolled out their education services recently.