On January 24, 2017, Google announced some powerful enhancements for Chromebooks available for education, both for educators and students. These features (available in devices from Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung) enhance the Chromebook’s versatility. With more than 20 million teachers and students employing Chromebooks, both will soon have access to devices that rely on “apps, stylus, and increased touch capabilities,” as well as USB-C charging (source).
For teachers, Chromebooks will come with world-facing cameras. This enables teachers, as well as students, to capture videos and photos from all directions. Teachers will also have access to many Android apps, as well as specially designed cloud apps. These include Adobe Creative Cloud apps (such as Photoshop Mix, Lightroom Mobile, Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Comp CC, and Creative Cloud Mobile). Teachers will be able to combine these intelligent enhancements with Chromebooks. They can use just-announced Google Classroom notifications for better assignment management and tracking with the new models.
Chromebooks for Students
Students, in addition to a greater variety of bundled Android apps, will be able to enjoy access to creative applications:
- Explain Everything: An incredible, robust presentation, digital whiteboard app, and video annotation tool that is indispensable.
- Soundtrap: This web-enabled audio editing and podcasting tool is a much needed addition for Chromebooks.
- WeVideo: A browser-based video editing solution that, like audio editing, remains in high demand in Chromebook environments.
All these solutions are available at discounted pricing for schools.
Even more exciting, especially in math and other classes where drawing is involved, students are able to take advantage of the inexpensive, high-quality stylus. This is an advantage when using the Google Classroom Android app. Styluses can be shared or easily replaced if lost since they do not require charging or pairing with a Chromebook.
Thanks to Google for continually listening to educators about the needs of the Chromebook-powered classroom!