The 8-Bit Instructor: Learning with Google (EP029)

Download the episode here.

Episode 28

In this week’s episode, I take a look at all of the updates coming to Google Workspace for Education. Plus, news and updates from Microsoft, IXL, and Screencastify; and, of course, your question of the week.

News & Updates

  • Microsoft
  • IXL
    • Sign on mobile apps with Schoology and Canvas
    • Spanish support on iPad and iPhone apps for 2-6 grade math
    • Ribbon icon next to proficient skills
    • Students can filter Suggested Skills based on their mastery and proficiency
  • Screencastify
    • Screencastify Submit is now fully integrated with Google Classroom
    • Record a video and assign it to Google Classroom
    • Assign to specific students
    • Assign point values
    • Use Classroom’s comment features easily

Boss Battle: Learning with Google

Google hosted a Learning with Google online session to reveal all kinds of updates and new things coming for Google for Education. Here’s an overview of what’s coming

More options for learning with Google
  • G Suite for Education will now be Google Workspace for Education
    • Still includes all the products you already use: Classroom, Meet, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.
  • 4 versions
    • Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals (once G Suite for Education) is the free version
      • It’s just like what you’re currently using
      • No changes except in name and new features to be added
    • Workspace for Education Standard ($3/student/year)
      • A lot more to do with the admin side of Google
      • Enhanced security tools, audit logs, mobile management
    • Teaching and Learning Upgrade ($4/license/month)
      • Upgrades to teaching and learning in apps
      • Meet & Classroom
    • Workspace for Education Plus (once G Suite Enterprise; $5/student/year)
      • Everything
    • Education Standard and Teaching and Learning Upgrades available April 14, 2021
  • New Storage policy
    • Pooled storage model
    • “We expect that more than 99% of institutions will be within the pooled storage provided by the new policy”
    • Baseline of 100 TB of pooled cloud storage across all users
    • Goes into effect for existing customers July 2022
    • Google will provide tools to identify and manage how storage is used and allocated far in advance of this going into effect
    • Large institutions will be provided with supplemental storage later this year; Education Plus and Teaching and Learning upgrades provide additional storage as well
Chromebook Upgrades
  • Screen recording tool built into Chrome OS (coming in March update)
  • Admin Console easier management of Chromebooks en masse
  • Over 40 new Chromebooks
    • Convertible Chromebooks laptop/tablet combo that come with a stylus, touchscreen, and dual cameras
    • Always Connected devices have LTE capabilities to connect via cellular network
    • ChromeVox screen reader updates and improvement to help with accessibility
  • Family Link
    • Children can still log into apps and websites they need with a school account while making sure parents can still set guidelines for device and app usage
Safety & Engagement in Google Meet
  • Teachers will be able to end meetings for everyone, including breakout rooms
  • Rolling out over the next few weeks, teachers can mute all participants at once
    • Coming months, hosts can control when students can unmute themselves
  • Coming months, key moderation controls coming to tablet and mobile versions
  • When meetings are generated from Classroom, students can’t join before the teacher
    • Only students and teachers in the Classroom can join
    • Every teacher in the Classroom is a host by default
  • Visibility and control for admins
    • Admins can set policies for who can join a school’s video calls and whether people from one school can join a call from other schools
    • Audit logs available in Admin console
    • Investigation tool improvements
      • Admins can access Meet logs to identify and take action on security and privacy issues
    • Admins can end any meeting within their school from the investigation tool
  • Engagement and inclusivity in Meet
    • Emoji reactions; emoji skins to best represent students
    • Teachers and admins control when reactions can be used
    • Improvement to make it work better with low bandwidth
    • Improvements to Meet on Chromebooks
      • Audio, video reliability optimization
      • Better performance when multitasking
    • EDU upgrades – set up breakout rooms ahead of time in Google Calendar
    • Meeting transcripts coming
Google Classroom
  • Not originally created to be an LMS, but they’re evolving with needs of schools
  • Ed+ and T&L Upgrade – Classroom add-ons allow other ed tech tools to be integrated and assigned directly in Classroom without any extra logins or going to other sites
    • Admins can install add-ons for teachers in their domains
  • Ed+ – create classes, populate, and sync rosters directly to Classroom from Student Information Systems
  • Grade Export (now available for Skyward and Infinite Campus) coming to Aspen SIS
  • Admin stuff
    • Classroom audit logs in Admin Console to help with Classroom-related issues
    • Ed Standard or Ed+ – deeper insights about Classroom adoption and engagement
  • Later this year, stats on student interactions in Classroom
  • Later this year, Classroom Android app to work offline or with sparse connection
    • Students can work offline, review assignments, open Drive attachments, write in Docs
  • Later this year, better pictures of work
    • Easier to attach and submit photos in Classroom
    • Combine photos into a single doc, crop or rotate, adjust lighting
  • Later this year, better grading on mobile
    • Switch between student submissions, grade while viewing an assignment, and share feedback
  • Rich Text Formatting (!!!)
    • On web, iOS, and Android, assignments and posts will have rich text formatting so that you can bold, italicize, bullet, etc.
  • Originality reports in new languages
    • 15 languages available
  • CS First integration
    • Import rosters into a CS First class and students can sign in using Google accounts

Compare Editions – Check out the details here

Crew Members’ Board (#8BitCrew)

QOTW: What are you most excited about with the new Google Education updates?

Use #8BitCrew on Twitter, tag me @comicsocks, or post longer stories in the comments section here.

Get connected

Check out my Google Classroom Udemy course.


Music by David Fesliyan (

  • Intro/Outro: “Retro Platforming”
  • Boss Battle: “Boss Battle Rock”
  • Crew Member’s Board: “Pirate Dance”
  • Wrap up: “Game Over” by Patrick de Arteaga

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links to products or services. I may receive commissions or bonuses from your actions on such links.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: