Google for Education today hosted The Anywhere School 2021 to reveal the latest capabilities for teachers and students. Updates include PIN login for Chromebooks and Classroom add-ons, as well as Google Meet.

On Chromebooks, six-digit PIN logins for education let schools replace long passwords. This feature helps students, educators, and admins alike on assigned devices:

When students are logging into a device with an H1 security chip, they will be prompted to set up a PIN, and will be able to log in or unlock their assigned Chromebook using that PIN going forward. Admins will still have the ability to enable this feature for their domains in Google Admin Console.

Meanwhile, Point Scanning will join Chrome OS Switch Access as an alternate input method. Selection involves first choosing the horizontal location of what you want to select, and then the vertical one. Both these features will be available this August. 

Other additions include the Google Admin Console adding a Chrome Insights Report showing the Automatic Update Expiration date for a fleet, new interactive ChromeVox tutorials, and a new panning method for the full-screen magnifier:

In addition to the current ability to pan the screen when your mouse hits the edge of the magnified viewport, you can now keep the mouse centered on the screen and have the viewport pan as you move the mouse.

Google says many schools are using Classroom as their learning management system (LMS), especially over the last year. Today’s updates focus on giving admins “greater visibility and control” over the multi-purpose tool. New capabilities include:

  • Roster import — summer, US, Workspace for Education Plus: Set up Classroom classes and keep them in sync with their Student Information System
  • Add-ons — this year, beta, Teaching and Learning Upgrade or Education Plus: Access third-party tools from Adobe Spark for Education, BookWidgets, CK-12 Foundation, Edpuzzle, IXL, Kahoot!, Nearpod, Newsela, and SAFARI Montage inside Classroom 
  • Schedule assignments across multiple classes — this year
  • Offline app capabilities — “few months”
  • Student engagement activity — this year: Dashboard to see last active time, latest submissions, recent comments/engagement  

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Abner Li

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