Summer 2020 Technology Newsletter

By: Michael Kealy

Google Updates

Welcome back! This newsletter will primarily focus on new releases and updates made to Google products throughout Summer 2020.

Check Out The New Google Meet Features In The Video and Document Below

Rollout Timeline For New Features From Google

  • In September, we’ll kick off with a larger tiled view of up to 49 people and an integrated Jamboard whiteboard for collaboration. We’ll also release new controls so moderators can choose to always join first, end meetings for all participants, disable in-meeting chat, and much more.

  • In October, we’ll launch custom and blurred backgrounds to provide some extra privacy. Breakout rooms and attendance tracking will also be launching for all Google Enterprise for Education customers, allowing for more engaged classes and insights on participation.

  • Later this year, we’re rolling out hand raising for all customers and Q&A and polling for G Suite Enterprise for Education customers. Plus, we’ll launch a new temporary recordings feature which will be available to all Education customers for free (premium recordings will still be part of G Suite Enterprise for Education).

Watch What's New with Google for Education The Anywhere School 2020 Google Chrome 2020 08 27

Anonymous users will be blocked from Google Meet for G Suite for Education meetings by default

What’s changing

To increase the privacy of education meetings in Google Meet, anonymous users (users not signed into a Google account) can no longer join meetings organized by anyone with a G Suite for Education or G Suite Enterprise for Education license. This prevents participants from sharing a link publicly to encourage anonymous users to request access.

Who’s impacted

Admins and end users

Why it’s important

Anonymous users can cause disruption to learning by making noise and sharing content, and become a distraction for the meeting organizer when they try to join meetings.

Getting started

Admins: There is no admin for this feature. G Suite for Education admins can request to have this feature disabled to allow anonymous participants to join Google Meet calls by contacting G Suite support to request an exception. This will allow meetings organized by users in their domain to allow anonymous users to join.

End users: This feature will be ON by default. Visit the Help Center to learn more about setting up Meet for distance learning.

Rollout pace


  • Available to G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers


Google Originality reports and rubrics now generally available for Google Classroom users

What’s changing

Last year, we announced betas for originality reports and rubrics, two new tools for Google Classroom. Beginning today, these features are generally available for G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education Classroom users.

Who’s impacted

End users

Why you’d use them

Help students turn in their best work

Originality reports check a student's work for matches across billions of web pages and books. This can make it easier for instructors to evaluate the academic integrity of the student’s work and provide them constructive feedback.

Students can also use originality reports to check for missed citations or poor paraphrasing before they turn in a document. This gives them the opportunity to improve their work and learn from their mistakes before final submissions.

Enhance feedback to students with rubrics

A rubric is a scoring framework that makes it easier for educators to evaluate student assignments, set clear expectations, and provide actionable feedback.

With the new rubrics feature, educators can now:

  • Create a rubric as they create an assignment.

  • Reuse rubrics from previous assignments rather than creating them from scratch.

  • Export and import Classroom rubrics to share with other instructors.

  • Grade students work with a rubric from both the “student listing page” and Classroom’s grading view, where instructors can select rating levels as they review the assignment.

Additionally, rubrics can be helpful for business users. For example, you can create a rubric to assess marketing plans or performance in key business areas.

Additional details

Language availability for originality reports:

Note that originality reports are only available in English and for Google Docs at the moment. See below for details on expanded language options available in beta.

Number of originality reports available per assignment:

Classroom instructors can enable originality reports on three assignments per class for free. Instructors who use G Suite Enterprise for Education can turn on originality reports for unlimited assignments per class.

Regardless of what G Suite for Education edition their instructor uses, students can run originality reports on a document three times per assignment before submitting. When students submit their work, a new originality report is created for the instructor.

More options for originality reports available in beta:

  • International language options: Originality reports are launching in beta for the following languages: French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

  • Student-to-student comparison: Originality reports will also compare student work against past student submissions within a school's domain. This feature is only available to G Suite Enterprise for Education customers.

Filter out disruptive noise in Google Meet

Quick launch summary

To help limit interruptions to your meeting, Google Meet can now intelligently filter out background noise like keyboard typing, doors opening and closing, and construction outside your window. Cloud-based AI is used to remove noise from your audio input while still letting your voice through.

We had previously announced this top-requested feature and are now beginning to roll it out to G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers using Meet on the web. We will bring the feature to mobile users soon, and will announce on the G Suite Updates blog when it’s available.

Getting started

Spanish grammar suggestions now available in Google Docs and Gmail

Quick launch summary

We’re expanding our advanced assistive writing features in Google Docs and Gmail to Spanish. Last year, we introduced grammar suggestions powered by neural-networks for the English language. Now, we’re using the same technology to provide grammar suggestions as you type in Spanish.

Language will be detected automatically, and even if you switch between writing in Spanish and English, we will provide the appropriate grammar suggestions. These capabilities can help you write faster, more accurately, and with more confidence.

Later this year, we’re also planning to make spelling autocorrect and Smart Compose available to Spanish language users. Keep an eye on the G Suite Updates blog to know when those features become available. Learn more about the expansion of our Spanish language assistive writing features on our Cloud Blog.

Getting started

Rollout pace


  • Available to G Suite Basic, G Suite Business, G Suite Essentials, G Suite Enterprise Essentials, and G Suite Enterprise customers.

  • Not yet available to G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits customers, as well as users with personal Google accounts.

  • Resources

Better visualize shorter meetings in Google Calendar

Quick launch summary

In Google Calendar, events fewer than 25 minutes will now better reflect the true duration of the event, occupying less space in your daily view. This change will also show in the printed version of your calendar.

Previously, these shorter events were displayed the same as 30-minute events. With this update, we hope to make your schedule easier to understand and manage.

New chart text and number formatting options in Sheets

Quick launch summary

We’re adding new features to help you customize chart text and numbers in Google Sheets. Specifically, you can now:

  • Directly click on almost any chart text element and update both its content and style, most notably individual data labels and legend items.

  • Set advanced number formatting options on both your data labels and axis labels, including the option to conditionally format by color.

  • Use a contextual sidebar editing experience, making it easier to format individual data labels, legend items, and single data points.

Getting started

Rollout pace


  • Available to all G Suite customers and users with personal accounts


Meet in Gmail on mobile now rolling out on iOS

Quick launch summary

Last month we announced that Meet in Gmail would be coming to Android and iOS. We’re starting to roll out the feature today to iOS, meaning users can join secure video meetings directly from a dedicated Meet tab in the Gmail mobile app on iOS. This feature will be coming soon to Android and we’ll post on the G Suite Updates blog when the rollout begins.

See our announcement on the G Suite Updates blog for more information on this launch.

Getting started

Admins: There is no admin control for this feature.

End users: Meet in Gmail on mobile will be ON by default when users update their Gmail app. Users can hide the Meet tab inside of the Gmail app in their Gmail settings by deselecting “Show the Meet tab for video calling” under “Meet.”

Rollout pace


  • Available to all G Suite customers and users with personal accounts

  • Users with a G Suite for Education account that is enabled to create Meet video meetings will have the Meet tab enabled in Gmail. G Suite for Education accounts that are not able to create Meet video meetings will not see the Meet tab in Gmail and should use the Meet Android or iOS apps to join meetings instead.



Michael Kealy

Director of Technology

Beacon City School District