Google has been adding new features to Classroom throughout the summer in order to prep for the upcoming fall semester, particularly with the recent launch of the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, which is the first tablet to run Chrome OS. Now, Google has announced it will bring ARCore support to the tablet, allowing educators to become a virtual Ms. Frizzle and lead their students on augmented and virtual reality adventures.
The Chromebook Tab 10 is compatible with all of Google’s Classroom apps, and it allows students to have Magic School Bus-like experiences through the Expeditions app. Teachers can place active volcanoes on students’ desks or show spinning ladders of DNA reaching to classroom ceilings.
These virtual adventures dive into the VR realm, too. There are 30 new activities and lesson plans in the Google Earth app for use with the Cardboard and Daydream headsets. Students can go on their own safaris in Africa and explore basically any country or city in the world with these devices. Google Drive will be integrated into Classroom as well, which will allow students to save their photos and assignments from these adventures easily through the cloud.
The Classroom app will also see a few smaller upgrades, including the ability to set margins or use hanging indentations in Docs. There are some design changes to further highlight tools for better student-teacher feedback and quicker access to Google Form quizzes. Google says it will implement Teacher Center training tutorials in order to help educators get up to speed with all the new updates. When it launches this fall, the new Chromebook Tab 10 and Classroom will face off with Apple’s Schoolwork platform and cheaper, “education-focused” iPad that launched earlier this spring.