As part of the opening keynote presentations, Google added in a short section to reveal several new updates for G Suite for Education (formerly Google Apps for Education). These updates included:
- New ways for students to log into Chromebooks
- Parents no longer need Google accounts for Classroom email summaries
- Graduating students can move email and Drive files to personal accounts
You can view all of the recorded sessions from this year at:
As for the three new G Suite for Education features, see below for all the details…
1) New ways for students to log into Chromebooks
During Education On Air, Google announced two new ways for students to log into a Chromebook: badges and pictures.
Badges - Recently Clever developed a system that allows students to log into their Chromebooks with physical badges. Basically each student gets their own Clever Badge with a unique QR code. The students then hold their badge up to the webcam of their Chromebook, which automatically logs them in.
You can get more details on Clever Badges at their website:
For more information you can visit their website at:
2) Parents no longer need Google accounts for Classroom email summaries
see here for details) that allowed parents and guardians to sign up for periodic email summaries. Basically the teacher would send out invites to the parents’ email addresses, and then they would opt into the system, which would then send them emails with the latest Classroom announcements, assignments, overdue work, upcoming due dates, and more.
The biggest problem with the new system was that it required parents have a Gmail account. Although many people do have Gmail accounts, not everyone does, so this provided an unfortunate hurdle.
However, during Education On Air, Google announced that parents and guardians will no longer need to have Gmail accounts to sign up for the Classroom summaries. It would appear that any valid email address will do.
As of the writing of this blog, the help page from Google still mentions the need for a Gmail account, so this update may still be in the process of rolling out.
3) Graduating students can move email and Drive files to personal accounts
The third and final new feature announced is the upcoming ability for students to transfer their emails and Drive files to a personal Google account when they graduate. Up to now this has always been a pain point for schools. Students spend years creating and communicating within their school G Suite for Education account. When they graduate, it has been a challenge to take their files with them. The best options so far have been a paid service such as Grad Gopher (see my review here) or a free tool such as Google Takeout.
However, sometime in early 2017 we will now get a new tool that will let students transfer their emails and files. This is great news for schools as it gives proper respect to the content students are creating all through their school years. As students use Google tools to tackle real world problems, write stories, and connect with others around the world, they will now be able to take that data with them to college or into their personal lives.
It remains to be seen if there will be any limitations to this service, or if it will be open to all users in the school. If so this would mean the same transfer tool could be used when a teacher retires or takes a job in another school district, or when a student moves and enrolls in a new school.
Watch the new feature announcement
For even more details, see below for the Google video announcing these new features:
Post by Eric Curts. Connect with Eric on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1