Despite our constant complaints that technology is making us more anti-social and less physical, etc, we have to admit that the benefits far outweigh all the negative things that we’re harping on and on about. Education is one aspect of our lives where technology can help expand the student’s universe and also make learning more fun and interesting. Google has announced a bunch of updates and improvements to their tools that can be used in the classroom.
The Expeditions Pioneer Program is probably the cheapest field trip that you can take your students on. Launched in September of last year, these virtual reality trips have already brought more than a million students to more than 200 hundred places around the world. The great news is that it will now be available for everyone, as long as you have an Android device. Just download the app and you will be able to access the virtual reality tours in famous places like the Macchu Picchu, Great Barrier Reef, etc. Schools can also purchase Expeditions kits through Best Buy Education and this includes a tablet, a VR viewer, and a router.
A new thing that schools can use is Google Cast for Education, a free Chrome app that you can use to cast your screen from anywhere in the classroom and you don’t need hardware. It also has built-in controls for teachers so they can control what will be shown on screen. This is integrated with the Google Classroom program. Quizzes in Google Forms can also now automatically grade multiple choice and checkbox questions so that teachers can get this part of grading off their plates.
There are also new creative apps available for Chromebooks to help students improve their teamwork, cooperation, and of course creativity. These apps include Explain Everything, Soundtrap, and WeVideo. They can be bought at a discount through the Chromebook itself.