Google's next target? The classroom

You can use more than its search engine to learn

Even if you're not in education, you're no doubt familiar with what Google now refers to as its education applications.

Though we use them separately as and when we need them, Google says that its Gmail, Sheets, Hangouts, Docs, Drive and Calendar apps (when combined Power Rangers style) can "help teachers and students share and learn together in innovative ways."

Ten years after Google launched Google Apps for Education, it's renaming the app collection 'G Suite for Education' to better highlight the fact that they can and should be used together in the classroom.

Faster and easier

To further improve how the apps can work specifically in a school setting, Google has also added new features to the tools "that make work easier and bring teachers and students together."

The basis for most of these new features is Google's Explore tool. The Explore tool and its machine intelligence is being added to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides in order to make them faster and easier to use.

Thanks to Explore, students will be able to easily summarize spreadsheet data without learning formula in Sheets; find relevant images and additional topics for research while they're writing in Docs; and quickly create polished presentations using suggested layouts.

While students will find these streamlining features useful, teachers are likely to benefit from the improvements made to Calendars. To make organizing staff meetings easier, Calendar will suggest times when all invitees are available and if no such time exists will suggest ways to solve the scheduling conflicts.

Google says its Education Suite is "built on the idea that when people can work together easily from anywhere, they accomplish more" and that these improvements should "help teachers and students take back the time they spend on repetitive tasks."

Promising to continue to focus on developing machine intelligence and "transforming schools", Google says we should expect many more improvements to come.