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Google Classroom users will be receiving a slew of updates, with Google adding 10 new features. The most notable changes include allowing users to keep children locked into Google Forms and block access to browsers or games.

Monitor quiz takers

Teachers can now give out quizzes through Google Forms, and the tool includes settings allowing you to lock users into the quiz screen so they cannot search for answers or browse the internet.

Google also updated Google Classrooms communications tools -- giving teachers the ability to better communicate with students, parents, and other teachers -- and richer organizational tools for student assignments.

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Parents will also be able to set time limites on students school-supplied Chromebooks to turn them off them off at set hours of the day, similar to parental controls in MacOS that lets you set limits on computer activity.

Classroom tools

Created in 2014, Google Classroom has become an increasingly popular education and classroom tool, with its bevy of services to help with classroom management, integrate students into complex digital environments, and expand access to information.

More than 1 billion assignments have been submitted in Google Classroom since its founding, and the tech giant continues to roll out updates and additions to improve the service. VentureBeat says more than half of all primary and secondary school students in the United States use Google education apps and more than 25 million students and teachers use Chromebooks across the world.

Alongside the announced changes to its education apps and platform, Google unveiled the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 tablet that was announced in May and a special stylus, named the Staedtler Noris, designed specifically to work with other Chromebooks and apps that will be released later this year.

Jamboard

Google has been increasing its presence in the educational field for years, even creating the Jamboard in 2016 as an alternative to black boards. The company showcased the product in 2016 and finally started selling it last May, describing it as a "a cloud-based collaborative 55-inch screen with Google Docs-style collaboration."

The devices cost $4,999 with a $600 support fee each year, and Google announced today that it would offer educational prices for schools that wanted them. With the Jamboard, you can use all of Google's services on a big screen in addition to web searches, video conference features, stickers, notes, and built-in Wi-Fi.

Google also announced changes to other digital services for students, continuing with the yearly trend of updates in response to user reviews. Last year, they added features allowing teachers to surf the web with their students, create dedicated pages for each student to track progress, and reorganize or transfer their schedule.

Takeaways

  1. With Google Classroom, teachers and parents can now restrict student access to games and browsers in an effort to stop cheating.
  2. Users will also be able to set timers on Chromebook that shut them off after a certain hour, acting much like parental controls.

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Jonathan Greig is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.