Google Meet is getting an automatic transcription feature for educators signed up to Google’s Workspace for Education Plus and Teaching and Learning Upgrade plans. The text-based documents should take up less space than a full recording for educators looking to store or share their past lessons and may also make it easier to review, search through, and send lessons to students.
Google is also bringing polls and Q&A sessions to teachers who use Meet to livestream their lessons, potentially opening up more opportunities for interactivity. These features were already available in standard meetings but not during livestreams.
Google is expanding the reach of Meet livestreams as well, as it now allows schools to livestream events, like school board meetings or assemblies, directly to YouTube. Previously, Google gave Workspace users two options for creating livestreams. While one limits the audience to only 500 people within an organization, another gives users the ability to create live stream events for up to 100,000 people who are a part of the same Workspace. This update should give more people the chance to tune in since livestreaming to YouTube means anyone can watch (unless the video’s made private).
Outside of Meet, there’s also a new Screencast app that Google says is built into ChromeOS as part of its M103 update. This lets teachers record, trim, transcribe, and share on-screen lessons while giving students the opportunity to rewatch lessons from Google Drive and create their own videos with the screen-recording tool. Google notes that teachers can also use Screencast to draw or write on the video if they’re using a Chromebook with a touchscreen. There’s an update coming to Gmail, too, which lets users add alt-text to their images. This is helpful for people using screen readers, as it lets them know what’s included in their email.
While these updates may seem minor, they align with Google’s larger efforts to expand its foothold in education, which Google has been building up since the boom in remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.