In what Google is calling “An Educational Refresh” for its Chromebooks, the tech giant has announced in a recent blog post that it will be sprucing up its upcoming OS with an array of new features that will make life easier for those who are learning and operating from home.
Among the most important additions is Google’s announcement of an all-new, built-in screen recorder which will make it easier for students and teachers to record virtual lessons. “Teachers have long recorded lessons to help students do homework and study for tests, but in the past year it’s become downright critical for virtual learning,” reads Google’s blog post. According to the working of this feature, once you’ve pressed the appropriate button on your Chromebook, you’ll see a countdown in the center of your screen. While your Chromebook is recording, a red circle will appear on the right side of the shelf.
Across its rainbow of 40 new Chromebooks, Google aims at “ accessibility improvements coming so that every student can learn the way they want to.” To ensure this, the Google Admin Console will now make it possible for schools to centrally manage massive fleets of Chromebooks. Now, there are over 500 Chrome policies in Google Admin Console, including new ones like Zero-Touch Enrollment, which make it easier to deploy and manage Chromebooks at scale — even remotely.
ChromeVox, Google’s full-featured screen reader, has new features including improved tutorials, the ability to search ChromeVox menus, and smooth voice switching that automatically changes the screen reader’s voice based on the language of the text. The company is also making significant audio, video and reliability improvements to Meet on Chromebooks so it continues to work smoothly for everyone.
Additionally, parents can now use Family Link (Google’s parental-control app) to manage their children’s school accounts in addition to their personal accounts. This lets children still log into the apps and websites they need with a school account, while making sure parents can still set guidelines for device and app usage. This means screen-time limits, bedtimes, and other restrictions parents place on their children’s personal accounts can apply to their school accounts as well.