Google Classroom gets updated in this month’s Chromebook Updates

Here you’ll find the Chromebooks monthly updates from the month of May. Are you caught up on everything new? Check out our previous Chromebook updates.

Notable new features:

  • New features coming to Google Classroom
  • Schools using Chromeboxes to display digital signs

New Classroom treats for much-appreciated teachers

A year ago, Google marked Teacher Appreciation Week in the U.S. by telling you that Google Classroom was on its way. This year, they’re excited to celebrate this milestone by adding some new Classroom treats in their mobile app that will make it even easier for you to keep track of your classes, no matter where you are or what device you’re on:

    • Grade assignments from your phone or tablet, and add private feedback to give students guidance, encouragement, constructive criticism or personalized feedback.

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  • You can create and edit assignments on the go, including the ability to make a copy for every student.
  • Just take a photo to create a post or assignment, so you can easily share those whiteboard notes with the class or assign the math problem that you jotted down on that napkin.

Google is also taking a moment to look back: since Classroom became available, students have turned in more than 70 million assignments and Google has added more than 20 new features that you told them were important:

  • The ability to have multiple teachers in a class, so that teaching teams can work together.
  • Prep for classes ahead of time with draft assignments and posts.
  • Autosaved grades allow you to grade in batches.
  • A mobile app for Android and iOS lets you access your classes anywhere, even without cellular data or a WiFi connection.
  • With the teacher assignments page, you can view all of your assignments and track student progress in one place.
  • Stream settings give you control over class discussions; plus you can mute individual students and view deleted items.
  • Archive your finished classes and save everything for next semester.
  • Download grades as a batch, easily exporting them to any gradebook.
  • 48 new visual themes and the ability to upload your own so you can customize your class.
  • +mentions let you instantly add students or other teachers into a conversation, making it easier to follow a comment thread.
  • Students can mark assignments as “done” when they don’t need to submit anything online.

And many more…

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3 ways academic institutions use Chromeboxes for digital signage

Editor’s note: Chromeboxes help businesses and schools update employees and students with timely information and create a sense of community. To learn more about using Chromebox for digital signage and how it can help your business or school work smarter, join Chrome Live today.

Schools and universities across the country use digital signage to share announcements, news and schedules. Chromeboxes give students waiting in dorm lobbies for friends or standing in the cafeteria line for lunch the opportunity to learn about campus events on the go. And digital signage apps for Chrome built by Rise Vision, one of Google’s content partners, power many of these digital experiences that go beyond traditional campus fliers.

Here are three ways academic institutions are using Chromeboxes for digital signage to better engage and inform students:

Personalizing content at Siena College

Siena College, a private liberal arts college in Loudonville, New York, prizes its close-knit community of 3,000 students. In this intimate class setting, individual departments manage their own content featured on Chromeboxes for display. IT and display managers don’t have to be involved in day-to-day content updates, and each department is nimble and flexible with their content. For example, the Student Senate features content from the athletics and academic departments on several of its screens and those departments directly update their content to ensure it’s relevant and timely.

Cutting IT costs and time at University of Toronto Mississauga

The University of Toronto Mississauga uses its 25 digital signage displays to profile professors, highlight research projects and market events to their more than 12,600 undergraduate students. Their previous display technology required extensive IT time to configure and update. Since Chromeboxes automatically update with new features and security fixes, IT can spend time on other tasks. Chromeboxes have also freed up the University’s budget, since they’re much more affordable than their previous display equipment, which cost $1,300.

Reducing power use at Manor Independent School District

The 20 digital signage displays in the Manor Independent School District notify the 8,000 K-12 students about announcements, lunchroom menus, upcoming events and recent posts from a live Twitter feed. Previously, the schools relied on netbooks to power their screens, which consumed a lot of power, were noisy and crashed often. Chromeboxes, which don’t have fans or spinning hard drives, were a natural fit as the district sought more eco-friendly display solutions. As universities and school districts continue improving their digital display technology, they’re finding better ways to deliver informative and entertaining content to teachers and current and prospective students. Join Chrome Live to learn how to use Chromebox for digital signage at your school.

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New Research: The Ad Injection Economy

In March, Google outlined the problems with unwanted ad injectors, a common symptom of unwanted software. Ad injectors are programs that insert new ads, or replace existing ones, into the pages you visit while browsing the web. They’ve received more than 100,000 user complaints about them in Chrome since the beginning of 2015—more than any other issue. Unwanted ad injectors are not only annoying, they can pose serious security risks to users as well.

Today, Google is releasing the results of a study performed with the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Barbara that examines the ad injector ecosystem, in-depth, for the first time. They’ve summarized their key findings below, as well as their broader efforts to protect users from unwanted software. The full report, which you can read here, will be presented later this month at the IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy.

Ad injectors’ businesses are built on a tangled web of different players in the online advertising economy. This complexity has made it difficult for the industry to understand this issue and help fix it. They hope these findings raise broad awareness of this problem and enable the online advertising industry to work together and tackle it.

How big is the problem?

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This is what users might see if their browsers are infected with ad injectors.
None of the ads displayed appear without an ad injector installed.

To pursue this research, they custom-built an ad injection “detector” for Google sites. This tool helped them identify tens of millions of instances of ad injection “in the wild” over the course of several months in 2014, the duration of the study.

More detail is available here, but the main point is clear: deceptive ad injection is a significant problem on the web today. Google found 5.5% of unique IPs—millions of users—accessing Google sites that included some form of injected ads.

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About

Garrett Wenger is a storyteller and marketer at Newmind Group, and a native to Kalamazoo, MI. He received his BFA in English Literature from Western Michigan University, and has heritage in Southwest Michigan’s creative writing community. He published his first book of poetry in late 2013, and he has been featured in numerous literary journals.