Google has announced plans to launch 15 new Chromebook laptop models over the course of 2024, along with artificial intelligence (AI) upgrades for its Workspace for Education software suite.
The moves aim to provide students and teachers with more advanced tools for learning in the classroom or remotely.
Of the 15 upcoming Chromebooks, 6 are tailored for advanced use by teachers, administrators, and older students with demanding workloads.
The other 9 models are designed for flexible “learning anywhere,” whether at school or home. Many of the new Chromebooks will utilize post-consumer recycled materials and be easily repairable, Google stated.
The company also unveiled Chromebook Plus, a new premium line of Chromebooks powered by 13th Gen Intel processors, up to 16GB of RAM, and more storage.
Chromebook Plus devices deliver up to twice the performance of regular models while retaining security and affordability.
Google is bringing more AI capabilities to its education software as well. New accessibility features in the Chrome browser will help extract text from PDFs to aid vision-impaired students.
ChromeOS’s reading mode adds integrated optical character recognition, read-aloud, and line focus to highlight text while reading aloud.
Natural-sounding text-to-speech voices are also coming to ChromeOS to potentially improve reading comprehension. In Google Workspace apps like Docs and Sheets, the Duet AI feature will help teachers craft lesson plans and assignments using AI writing suggestions.
Classroom is gaining the ability for teachers to create and share interactive lessons with embedded questions in YouTube videos. The Google for Education App Hub, which recommends apps that integrate with Workspace tools, is expanding to more countries and languages this year.
For administrators, Google is enhancing device management and security controls through its Chrome Education Upgrade program. New features like smart fleet notifications and improved policy controls aim to simplify oversight of large device deployments.
Google also introduced Endpoint Education Upgrade, which adds robust management for Android and iOS devices to complement existing Chromebook controls. For $5 per user, schools can now manage their entire heterogeneous device fleet from a unified admin console.
With its slate of new Chromebooks, AI upgrades, and enhanced IT management capabilities, Google aims to make digital learning even more effective and accessible in 2024 and beyond. The announcements align with the company’s continuous focus on education technology innovation.
– Jim Miller