As back-to-school approaches, Google has just released a grab-bag of new features aimed at K-12 educators—mostly upgrades to existing Google products like Classroom and Expeditions—announced in a new blog post.

For Classroom, Google’s still relatively new LMS, the company is adding summaries of student work that can be automatically shared with parents by teachers, who can send the summaries (or classroom announcements) daily or weekly as they choose.

Classroom’s mobile app is also getting some tweaks, namely the new ability to annotate documents, turning them into whiteboard-like screens. Teachers, too, can use the annotations to grade assignments, highlight passages, or demonstrate concepts. To help organize classrooms, teachers can now also add topics to posts and students can filter their streams for specific topics.

New virtual field trips for Google’s virtual reality program, Expeditions, which uses smartphones paired with cardboard viewers, are also being added, letting classes virtually travel to places like Bhutan or inside the human body. Expeditions now features more than 200 trips.

Cast for Education, a free Chrome app that lets teachers share their screens wirelessly to a projector, is now available for all classrooms. Google Forms is also getting an update—namely allowing images to be added to questions or as multiple-choice answers.

About the Author:

Stephen Noonoo

Stephen Noonoo is a former editor of eSchool News. He has served as a consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and as managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.