As many educational institutions are facing or planning for closures due to COVID-19, the Google for Education and the Google Cloud for Higher Education teams are providing product solutions, training and resources to help them stay connected. Schools now have free access to advanced features in Hangouts Meet, and to resources using G Suite for distance learning on the Teacher Center.

Advanced Hangouts Meet features

  • Google are making advanced features in Hangouts Meet available to schools around the globe using G Suite for Education, so that educators can continue connecting with students and facilitating remote learning. This will include the ability to record meetings, livestream up to 100k people and add 250 people to a Hangout. These features will be available at no additional cost to all G Suite for Education customers until July 1, 2020. The team is expediting approvals in the most highly impacted markets, and providing ways for sales team members to request exceptions.

Training and resources 

  • As educators and administrators set up contingency plans and consider making classrooms fully virtual, Google is working to help. Google have seen educational leaders reaching out to one another, sharing ideas and providing support through Google Educator Groups, Certified Innovators and Trainers, and other social networks, including Twitter and Facebook. Check out this webinar on distance learning strategies, find resources in the Teacher Center, and share ways you support remote learners.
  • For educators preparing for potential school closures—or currently facing them—Google for Education tools can help them navigate the challenges of distance learning. Google are committed to helping students and their teachers continue learning outside of school. Check out tips on the Google for Education blog for inspiration and ideas, and submit your own ideas for other educators.

Sending Chromebooks home for distance learning

  • School admins can quickly and securely prepare their school’s Chromebooks to go home with students. Chromebooks are remotely managed through the Google Admin console, making it simple for schools and IT administrators to deploy and manage thousands of devices. For example, Admins can restrict device access to managed student accounts or set “Off Hours” when students can sign in with their personal accounts. They may also use URL blacklists to set content restrictions and ensure that students are held to the same responsible-use policies off-campus as they are inside their classrooms. For more information, please see the Google Help Center article on how to prepare Chromebooks for e-learning days at home.

YouTube Learning Hub

  • In partnership with education-focused content creators on YouTube Google also launched the Learning Hub which they’re in the process of expanding and localizing as a destination for safe, curriculum-relevant learning content.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Research credits grant

  • Given GCP tools and unique differentiation around big data analysis, Google would like to offer grant-based support to both academic and government researchers to proactively reach out to and provide support where the most impactful research is taking place around COVID. If you would like to benefit from this grant please reach out to your GCP contact and fill in the form here.

If you have ideas or suggestions for supporting distance learning with Google tools, please submit them via this suggestion form.

For more information on  the range of Google Tools for education visit https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/g-suite/helping-businesses-and-schools-stay-connected-in-response-to-coronavirus