About a year ago, Cody uncovered signs of the Google Maps app introducing special labels for School and Gym, similar to Home and Work. We didn't see those materialize for a long time, but over the past couple of weeks I've seen them pop up in Maps for me, either as a suggestion when adding a label or when requesting directions to the same place a few times repeatedly. The functionality isn't new, per se: I have vague memories of the labels showing for me many months ago, and I can spot it in the super old Maps v9.56.
Some people use the anonymity afforded by the internet to be jerks. Meanwhile, other people share too much personal information or get taken in by fake news. Google is looking to help the next generation be better at using the internet than we are, and it's doing it with the "Be Internet Awesome" campaign. It's a program that includes resources for parents and educators, and some games for kids. Well, they're educational games, but that still counts.
Google Classroom is a fantastic tool for collaboration in schools, but the requirement to use G Suite for Education was a barrier of entry for some teachers and schools. Now Google is opening up Classroom access to normal Google accounts.
The day is approaching when kids will be back in school and out of your hair. For schools that use Google Classroom, there will be a number of nifty new features to help both kids and their parents stay on top of things. There's even a new tool for VR field trips, no permission slips needed.
Canadian college goers, there might just be one less book tucked under your arm as you head to class this semester. Google has announced that Google Play textbooks are now coming to Canada. Students north of the border will have the option to rent or purchase digital textbooks and read them using Play Books on phones, tablets, and PCs.
As is the case in the US, textbooks aren't filtered out from other books on Google Play, so discovering them isn't as easy as it could be. Search works well though, with students able to find works by title, author, or ISBN.
Back in May, Google announced "a new classroom," powered by Google's own tools. Appropriately, the effort was dubbed Google Classroom and previewed to educators around the world. Today, Google Classroom will become available to all Google Apps for Education users in 42 languages, optimized for both desktop and mobile use.
For those unfamiliar, Google Classroom is basically a web platform for managing assignments and projects - educators can assign projects, dispense information (through announcements or real time discussions), and collect assignments using Google's tools to spend "a little less time at the photocopier and a little more time doing what you love—teaching."
Developer Moondrop Apps has brought Drawp for School to Android, a collaborative creation tool that gives teachers the means of producing content and sharing it with their students. Considering the amount of time they spend both distributing and collecting assignments from their pupils, this is a clear itch for tech to scratch. Drawp can cut down on the time lost to the process and add in that extra bit of pizzazz.
Drawp serves as an all-in-one solution that deals with both ends of the experience. Teachers can fire up the app to create projects, use the provided cloud storage (or the Google Drive/Dropbox integration) to save them, and then tap a button to send them out.
Going to school online is what all the cool kids are doing. And the really cool kids are doing it without paying a dime (if you can stretch the definition of "school" to services offering commitment-free classes to thousands of people at once who don't earn college credit). Coursera is one of the more popular options for this non-traditional learning, and now it's got an Android app to make it even easier.
Coursera offers real college and university courses from real schools, allowing dedicated students to get useful learning without the huge time and money it usually takes just to get access.
Back at Google I/O 2013, Google Play for Education was announced. This is more or less a curated app market inside of Google Play that offers apps designed specifically for the classroom setting, which works well for both developers and teachers. As of today, Google Play for Education is officially open.
If you're a developer, getting your app into GPfE is actually quite simple – just mark your app for inclusion in the Developer Console. From there, it will be reviewed for approval and assigned an appropriate grade level according to the GPfE guidelines. Once approved, you're good to go.
You like to learn stuff? That fancy book learnin' don't come cheap though, right? Well, the new Chegg app on Android could make it a little more affordable and simple. Chegg is an established web service that offers tons of real and electronic textbooks, as well as guided solutions. But now it's on your phone.
You can search for any book by subject, title, author, or ISBN. The app is mainly aimed at giving you access to eTextbooks on your mobile device, but some more features for physical books are coming soon. Here's what the app includes so far:
Free 7-day instant access to your Chegg textbooks rented on the web
Tap into our library of over 2.5 million guided solutions
Read eTextbooks on any device – desktop, tablet, or smartphone
2 FREE guided solutions each week
Chegg for Android will eventually add rental and purchase of physical books, and eTextbook previews.