Google is announcing a swath of new features for its education-focused products today, including that G Suite for Education is being rebranded to Google Workspace for Education. The company first unveiled the Workspace branding for its office apps suite in October, but the education-focused suite had retained the G Suite branding until now.
Among other changes to the different tiers, the free edition of G Suite for Education is being renamed to Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals and G Suite Enterprise for Education is being renamed to Google Workspace for Education Plus. If you’re already a G Suite Enterprise for Education customer, you’ll automatically roll over to Google Workspace for Education Plus.
Google is also announcing data storage policy changes for its education customers. Previously, Google offered unlimited storage to qualifying institutions, but starting next year, the company will move schools toward a pooled storage model, offering a baseline of 100TB of pooled storage shared among an institution. The policy will go into effect for all existing Google Workspace for Education customers in July 2022 and will be in place for new customers that sign up in 2022.
There are also new features on the way for Google’s Meet videoconferencing service to make it better for virtual learning, and some of those features are coming to non-education customers as well. The new features include:
- The ability to mute everyone on a call and end a call for everyone attending. This is rolling out soon and will come to education customers first
- Emoji reactions, which will launch by August for all Meet users
- Meeting transcripts, which are launching for education and enterprise Meet customers later this year
In addition, Google is integrating Meet and its Google Classroom product more tightly. Students won’t be able to join Meet calls created from Classroom before the teacher does, and Meet will be able to restrict meetings to just students and teachers in a class based on a Classroom roster. These features, and others, will launch later this year.
There are also new features in the works for Google Classroom, including support for add-ons from third-party services (available for Google Workspace for Education Plus or Teaching and Learning Upgrade customers) and offline support for the Classroom Android app.