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Education news from Google I/O: tools to take learning further

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Editor's note: We’re writing to you today from Google I/O, our annual conference for developers. Over 7,000 developers gathered for the three day event at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California —right down the street from Google. If you missed the live-stream this week, don't worry; we've got four highlights so far for education below.

Even more apps for Chromebooks

Earlier today we announced that Android apps are coming to Chromebooks, which means teachers and students will have access to more content on their Chromebooks, including a large amount of offline and touch-optimized apps. From Google’s Admin console, administrators will be able to deploy Android apps such as Skype, LightSail, Open eBooks, Office & Explain Everything to students. This feature will be available to administrators during the 2016/17 school year for use on supported Chromebooks. Learn more, including when you can preview some of the apps, in the blog post.

More than one million students have gone on an Expedition

When we look back on our favorite memories from school, many of us think of field trips. Last May, we introduced the Expeditions Pioneer Program, which lets teachers take their students on virtual reality trips to over 200 places using Cardboard. This year at I/O, we announced that over one million students from more than 11 countries have taken an Expedition through the Pioneer Program, to places like Buckingham Palace, the polar bear capital of the world—and in seventh grader Lance Teeselink’s case—Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. 

Our team is hard at work to make Expeditions more widely available. Stay tuned to our blog for the latest information. And if you’re ready to bring your class on their first Expedition, sign up for the beta here.

Stronger integrations between Classroom and other apps

Teachers use Classroom as mission control for their classes, launching assignments & discussions across subjects and topics. We announced on Wednesday that we added new coursework integrations to the Classroom API, which lets reporting systems like gradebooks and student information systems sync assignments and grades from Classroom, so that teachers don’t need to manually transfer the data. It also allows learning tools to create assignments, turn in work, and send back grades to Classroom. See how developers like Tynker, GeoGebra, and OpenEd are already using coursework in the Classroom API to strengthen their integrations.

Expanding coding resources to younger students

On Monday, at I/O Youth (our third annual conference for Bay Area students and teachers) we announced a new collaboration with Scratch, MIT’s programming language and community for children. The new partnership will enable developers to design creative coding and learning experiences for kids. We took the first step this week, releasing an early developer preview of Scratch Blocks code. We hope that developers will use Scratch Blocks to create consistent, high-quality programming experiences for kids everywhere.

Keep exploring

Watch the live stream or recordings of this year’s events in full on the Google I/O website. And for more behind-the-scenes looks at Google, from self-driving cars to Project Loon, check out Nat & Lo’s YouTube channel.

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