Thursday, March 23, 2017

Google NEXT '17 Highlights for Teachers

Google recently held a conference in San Francisco entitled Google NEXT ‘17.  While I wasn’t there, I have been reading a lot about news and announcements coming out of this event.  There are lots of exciting things going on, so I thought I would share some of them with you.  I am certain that they will impact your teaching in some way in the next five years.  

  1. Team Drives - Greg has already shared this one with you, which allows you to create a shared space in Google Drive for teams that work together often.  This could be departments, grade level teams, or classes.  Any file that is placed into this area can be manipulated by any member of the team, so plan accordingly.  For more information on team drives, watch this video.
  2. Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat - Google Hangouts is getting an overhaul.  If you use this to collaborate with colleagues, you may have noticed a number of changes over the past few years and none of them seemed efficient.  This is an attempt to compete with a company known as Slack to create a place for whole teams to collaborate in real time.  There are improved video features, too.  I just want the original extension back, but I’m ready to try it out!
  3. GMail Add-Ons - You may use some add-ons in other G Suite products, such as Doctopus or Flubaroo in Sheets.  Now you will be able to add functionality to your email with add-ons for GMail.  Right now they are just announcing that developers can start creating, so once something great comes out, we will let you know.
  4. Jamboard - Will the next interactive whiteboard be mobile?  All other classroom tech is.  This whiteboard comes on a stand and can be used by a whole team at once, to allow for seamless collaboration.  I would love to get my hands on one, but they price at $4,999.00!

I’m beginning to feel like every blog post I make has a list.  I hope you appreciate lists, cause I’m definite a list creator.  Check these things out because they will definitely impact your working in the future!

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