Google Lens, Chromebooks, and Meet gear up for school

School is starting soon for many kids in the US and some countries around the world but it won’t be the same kind of school they’ve been used to for years. For many, school will be synonymous to home as educational institutions try to grapple with the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. School will now be dependent on technology and the Internet more than ever and Google is more than ready to meet the growing needs of learning with its suite of products and features geared towards education.

One of the biggest problems with remote learning, at least next to the lack of face-to-face interaction between teacher and student, is having no access to the usual tools and labs available at school. One can always search on Google, of course, but that may be a poor stand-in for some kinds of material. With Google Lens’ AR and computer vision powers, however, students can not only “project” molecules and other 3D objects inside their room, they will also be able to search for solutions to math problems just by taking a picture of the equation.

Studying remotely doesn’t mean you have to study alone but neither does being in a classroom mean you have to physically be in one. As with work, Google Meet is rising to the needs of students everywhere, launching with new features in the coming months designed specifically to simulate classroom experiences. September will see the addition of a 7×7 grid to fit 49 students at once while October will let you change or simply blur your background to your comfort.

Education will also become more dependent on devices and smartphones and tablets might not be enough. Google’s Chromebooks have always been targeted at education in addition to the enterprise and the platform is getting more features to help students, teachers, and parents adjust to the new normal of learning. Chromebook App Hub, for example, now includes more education-focused apps, including Minecraft: Education Edition, while the newly launched Family Link for Chromebooks will allow parents to keep their kids protected while learning online.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of Google’s stronger thrust to put its products at the center of a world that has become increasingly Internet-dependent. More are coming, including new features for Google’s dedicated Classroom platform, including a better mobile experience that will let students study and work on their assignments even from their phones.

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