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'Stalkerware' Phone Spying Apps Have Escaped Google's Ad Ban

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 22:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Several companies offering phone-spying apps -- known as "stalkerware" -- are still advertising in Google search results, despite the search giant's ban that took effect today, TechCrunch has found. These controversial apps are often pitched to help parents snoop on their child's calls, messages, apps and other private data under the guise of helping to protect against online predators. But some repurpose these apps to spy on their spouses -- often without their permission. It's a problem that the wider tech industry has worked to tackle. Security firms and antivirus makers are working to combat the rise of stalkerware, and federal authorities have taken action when app makers have violated the law. One of the biggest actions to date came last month when Google announced an updated ads policy, effectively banning companies from advertising phone-snooping apps "with the express purpose of tracking or monitoring another person or their activities without their authorization." Google gave these companies until August 11 to remove these ads. But TechCrunch found seven companies known to provide stalkerware -- including FlexiSpy, mSpy, WebWatcher and KidsGuard -- were still advertising in Google search results after the ban took effect. Google did not say explicitly say if the stalkerware apps violated its policy, but told TechCrunch that it removed ads for WebWatcher. Despite the deadline, Google said that enforcement is not always immediate. "We recently updated our policies to prohibit ads promoting spyware for partner surveillance while still allowing ads for technology that helps parents monitor their underage children," said a Google spokesperson. "To prevent deceitful actors who try to disguise the product's intent and evade our enforcement, we look at several signals like the ad text, creative and landing page, among others, for policy compliance. When we find that an ad or advertiser is violating our policies, we take immediate action."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Police Use of Facial Recognition Violates Human Rights, UK Court Rules

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 21:02
An appeals court ruled today that police use of facial recognition technology in the UK has "fundamental deficiencies" and violates several laws. Ars Technica reports: South Wales Police began using automated facial recognition technology on a trial basis in 2017, deploying a system called AFR Locate overtly at several dozen major events such as soccer matches. Police matched the scans against watchlists of known individuals to identify persons who were wanted by the police, had open warrants against them, or were in some other way persons of interest. In 2019, Cardiff resident Ed Bridges filed suit against the police, alleging that having his face scanned in 2017 and 2018 was a violation of his legal rights. Although he was backed by UK civil rights organization Liberty, Bridges lost his suit in 2019, but the Court of Appeal today overturned that ruling, finding that the South Wales Police facial recognition program was unlawful. "Too much discretion is currently left to individual police officers," the court ruled. "It is not clear who can be placed on the watchlist, nor is it clear that there are any criteria for determining where AFR can be deployed." The police did not sufficiently investigate if the software in use exhibited race or gender bias, the court added. The South Wales Police in 2018 released data admitting that about 2,300 of nearly 2,500 matches -- roughly 92 percent -- the software made at an event in 2017 were false positives. The ruling did not completely ban the use of facial recognition tech inside the UK, but does narrow the scope of what is permissible and what law enforcement agencies have to do to be in compliance with human rights law. Other police inside the UK who deploy facial recognition technology will have to meet the standard set by today's ruling. That includes the Metropolitan Police in London, who deployed a similar type of system earlier this year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Best Interest Rates on Cash – August 2020

MyMoneyBlog.com - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 20:38

Is it August? The days are all melding together in the MMB household. We’ve also reached the point where anything above 1% APY is worth a second look. Being willing to switch to bank or credit union CDs can still beat out Treasury bonds and/or brokerage cash sweep options that also pay nearly zero.

Here’s my monthly roundup of the best interest rates on cash for August 2020, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. I track these rates because I keep 12 months of expenses as a cash cushion and also invest in longer-term CDs (often at lesser-known credit unions) when they yield more than bonds. Check out my Ultimate Rate-Chaser Calculator to see how much extra interest you’d earn by moving money between accounts. Rates listed are available to everyone nationwide. Rates checked as of 8/11/2020.

High-yield savings accounts
While the huge megabanks make huge profits while paying you 0.01% APY, it’s easy to open a new “piggy-back” savings account and simply move some funds over from your existing checking account. The interest rates on savings accounts can drop at any time, so I list the top rates as well as competitive rates from banks with a history of competitive rates. Some banks will bait you with a temporary top rate and then lower the rates in the hopes that you are too lazy to leave.

  • Affirm has the top rate at the moment at 1.30% APY with no minimum balance requirements. I wonder how long this will last, as the rate is high but Affirm also charges really high interest to let folks buy jeans on a payment plan. There are several other established high-yield savings accounts at up to 1% APY for now.
  • Side note: HM Bradley is still advertising 3% APY for those that spent the previous quarter saving at least 20% of your direct deposit. Might be worth a gamble to open now and hope that it somehow stays at 3% APY at the next rate reset on October 1st.

Short-term guaranteed rates (1 year and under)
A common question is what to do with a big pile of cash that you’re waiting to deploy shortly (just sold your house, just sold your business, legal settlement, inheritance). My usual advice is to keep things simple and take your time. If not a savings account, then put it in a flexible short-term CD under the FDIC limits until you have a plan.

  • No Penalty CDs offer a fixed interest rate that can never go down, but you can still take out your money (once) without any fees if you want to use it elsewhere. Marcus has a 7-month No Penalty CD at 0.90% APY with a $500 minimum deposit. AARP members can get an 8-month CD at 1.10% APY. Ally Bank has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 0.75% APY for all balance tiers. CIT Bank has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 0.50% APY with a $1,000 minimum deposit. You may wish to open multiple CDs in smaller increments for more flexibility.
  • CommunityWide Federal Credit Union has a 12-month CD at 1.10% APY ($1,000 min). Early withdrawal penalty depends on how early you withdraw. Anyone can join this credit union via partner organization ($5 one-time fee).

Money market mutual funds + Ultra-short bond ETFs
If you like to keep cash in a brokerage account, beware that many brokers pay out very little interest on their default cash sweep funds (and keep the difference for themselves). The following money market and ultra-short bond funds are NOT FDIC-insured and thus come with a possibility of principal loss, but may be a good option if you have idle cash and cheap/free commissions.

  • Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund currently pays an 0.08% SEC yield. The default sweep option is the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund which has an SEC yield of 0.10%. You can manually move the money over to Prime if you meet the $3,000 minimum investment.
  • Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund currently pays 0.92% SEC yield ($3,000 min) and 1.02% SEC Yield ($50,000 min). The average duration is ~1 year, so there is more interest rate risk.
  • The PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Bond ETF (MINT) has a 0.66% SEC yield and the iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF (NEAR) has a 0.86% SEC yield while holding a portfolio of investment-grade bonds with an average duration of ~6 months. Note that there was a sudden, temporary drop in net asset value during the March 2020 market stress.

Treasury Bills and Ultra-short Treasury ETFs
Another option is to buy individual Treasury bills which come in a variety of maturities from 4-weeks to 52-weeks. You can also invest in ETFs that hold a rotating basket of short-term Treasury Bills for you, while charging a small management fee for doing so. T-bill interest is exempt from state and local income taxes. Right now, this section probably isn’t very interesting as T-Bills are yielding close to zero!

  • You can build your own T-Bill ladder at TreasuryDirect.gov or via a brokerage account with a bond desk like Vanguard and Fidelity. Here are the current Treasury Bill rates. As of 8/11/2020, a new 4-week T-Bill had the equivalent of 0.08% annualized interest and a 52-week T-Bill had the equivalent of 0.15% annualized interest.
  • The Goldman Sachs Access Treasury 0-1 Year ETF (GBIL) has a 0.08% SEC yield and the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL) has a -.01% (yikes!) SEC yield. GBIL appears to have a slightly longer average maturity than BIL.

US Savings Bonds
Series I Savings Bonds offer rates that are linked to inflation and backed by the US government. You must hold them for at least a year. There are annual purchase limits. If you redeem them within 5 years there is a penalty of the last 3 months of interest.

  • “I Bonds” bought between May 2020 and October 2020 will earn a 1.06% rate for the first six months. The rate of the subsequent 6-month period will be based on inflation again. More info here.
  • In mid-October 2020, the CPI will be announced and you will have a short period where you will have a very close estimate of the rate for the next 12 months. I will have another post up at that time.

Prepaid Cards with Attached Savings Accounts
A small subset of prepaid debit cards have an “attached” FDIC-insured savings account with exceptionally high interest rates. The negatives are that balances are capped, and there are many fees that you must be careful to avoid (lest they eat up your interest). Some folks don’t mind the extra work and attention required, while others do. There is a long list of previous offers that have already disappeared with little notice. I don’t personally recommend nor use any of these anymore.

  • The only notable card left in this category is Mango Money at 6% APY on up to $2,500, along with several hoops to jump through. Requirements include $1,500+ in “signature” purchases and a minimum balance of $25.00 at the end of the month.

Rewards checking accounts
These unique checking accounts pay above-average interest rates, but with unique risks. You have to jump through certain hoops, and if you make a mistake you won’t earn any interest for that month. Some folks don’t mind the extra work and attention required, while others do. Rates can also drop to near-zero quickly, leaving a “bait-and-switch” feeling. If you want rates above 2% APY, this is close to the only game in town.

  • Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking (my review) still offers up to 4.09% APY on balances up to $10,000 if you make $500+ in ACH deposits, 12 debit card “signature” purchases, and spend $1,000 on their credit card each month. The Bank of Denver has a Free Kasasa Cash Checking offering 3% APY on balances up to $25,000 if you make 12 debit card purchases and at least 1 ACH credit or debit transaction per statement cycle. If you meet those qualifications, you can also link a savings account that pays 2% APY on up to $50k. (Effective with the qualification cycle beginning August 20, 2020, the rates on Kasasa Cash and Kasasa Saver are changing to 2.5% APY and 1.5% APY, respectively.) Thanks to reader Bill for the updated info. Find a locally-restricted rewards checking account at DepositAccounts.

Certificates of deposit (greater than 1 year)
CDs offer higher rates, but come with an early withdrawal penalty. By finding a bank CD with a reasonable early withdrawal penalty, you can enjoy higher rates but maintain access in a true emergency. Alternatively, consider building a CD ladder of different maturity lengths (ex. 1/2/3/4/5-years) such that you have access to part of the ladder each year, but your blended interest rate is higher than a savings account. When one CD matures, use that money to buy another 5-year CD to keep the ladder going. Some CDs also offer “add-ons” where you can deposit more funds if rates drop.

  • Connexus Credit Union has a 5-year certificate at 1.56% APY ($5,000 min), 4-year at 1.46% APY, 3-year at 1.26% APY, and 2-year at 1.11% APY. Note that the early withdrawal penalty for the 5-year is 365 days of interest. Anyone can join this credit union via partner organization for a one-time $5 fee.
  • You can buy certificates of deposit via the bond desks of Vanguard and Fidelity. You may need an account to see the rates. These “brokered CDs” offer FDIC insurance and easy laddering, but they don’t come with predictable early withdrawal penalties. Vanguard has a 4-year at 0.35% APY right now. Be wary of higher rates from callable CDs listed by Fidelity.

Longer-term Instruments
I’d use these with caution due to increased interest rate risk, but I still track them to see the rest of the current yield curve.

  • Willing to lock up your money for 10 years? You can buy long-term certificates of deposit via the bond desks of Vanguard and Fidelity. These “brokered CDs” offer FDIC insurance, but they don’t come with predictable early withdrawal penalties. At this writing, there are no available offerings. Watch out for higher rates from callable CDs from Fidelity.
  • How about two decades? Series EE Savings Bonds are not indexed to inflation, but they have a unique guarantee that the value will double in value in 20 years, which equals a guaranteed return of 3.5% a year. However, if you don’t hold for that long, you’ll be stuck with the normal rate which is quite low (currently a sad 0.10% rate). I view this as a huge early withdrawal penalty. But if holding for 20 years isn’t an issue, it can also serve as a hedge against prolonged deflation during that time. As of 8/11/2020, the 20-year Treasury Bond rate was 1.10%.

All rates were checked as of 8/11/2020.

“The editorial content here is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone. This email may contain links through which we are compensated when you click on or are approved for offers.”

Best Interest Rates on Cash – August 2020 from My Money Blog.

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Categories: Finance

Facebook Removed Seven Million Posts In Second Quarter For False Coronavirus Info

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 20:25
Facebook said on Tuesday it removed 7 million posts in the second quarter for sharing false information about the novel coronavirus, including content that promoted fake preventative measures and exaggerated cures. Reuters reports: It released the data as part of its sixth Community Standards Enforcement Report, which it introduced in 2018 along with more stringent decorum rules in response to a backlash over its lax approach to policing content on its platforms. The world's biggest social network said it would invite proposals from experts this week to audit the metrics used in the report, beginning in 2021. It committed to the audit during a July ad boycott over hate speech practices. The company removed about 22.5 million posts with hate speech on its flagship app in the second quarter, a dramatic increase from 9.6 million in the first quarter. It attributed the jump to improvements in detection technology. It also deleted 8.7 million posts connected to "terrorist" organizations, compared with 6.3 million in the prior period. It took down less material from "organized hate" groups: 4 million pieces of content, compared to 4.7 million in the first quarter. The company does not disclose changes in the prevalence of hateful content on its platforms, which civil rights groups say makes reports on its removal less meaningful.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Xbox Series X Launching In November, But Halo Infinite Is Delayed Until 2021

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 19:45
Microsoft isn't providing a specific release date for its next-gen Xbox Series X console, but the company did reveal it will launch in the month of November. Sadly, Microsoft and 343 Industries also announced today that Halo Infinite is being delayed to 2021. The Verge reports: The lack of Halo Infinite does mean there's no big launch title for the Xbox Series X later this year. Microsoft is choosing to highlight Xbox Game Pass, alongside "more than 50 new games" that are launching this year with optimizations for Xbox Series X. More than 40 existing games will also be optimized for Xbox Series X, which can include anything from hardware-accelerated DirectX ray tracing, 120fps frame rates, faster loading times, and Quick Resume support. Existing backward compatible games across Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One will also run on the Xbox Series X when it launches in November. We're now waiting to hear exactly when the Xbox Series X will be available, its price, and when people can start preordering the next-gen console. In addition to Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft is also highlighting its Project xCloud gaming service. "Project xCloud will enter a beta stage from August 11 as a new version of the Xbox Game Pass app will launch on Android devices," reports NME. "While the full service won't be available in the beta phase, users will have the ability to test a smaller selection of titles ahead of the launch next month. [A]round 30 games will be available in the beta stage, with the full 100+ titles added next month (September)."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

TikTok Tracked User Data Using Tactic Banned By Google

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 19:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MarketWatch: TikTok skirted a privacy safeguard in Google's Android operating system to collect unique identifiers from millions of mobile devices, data that allows the app to track users online without allowing them to opt out, a Wall Street Journal analysis has found. The tactic, which experts in mobile-phone security said was concealed through an unusual added layer of encryption, appears to have violated Google policies limiting how apps track people and wasn't disclosed to TikTok users. TikTok ended the practice in November, the Journal's testing showed. The identifiers collected by TikTok, called MAC addresses, are most commonly used for advertising purposes. The White House has said it is worried that users' data could be obtained by the Chinese government and used to build detailed dossiers on individuals for blackmail or espionage. In a statement, a spokesperson said the company is "committed to protecting the privacy and safety of the TikTok community. Like our peers, we constantly update our app to keep up with evolving security challenges." The company said "the current version of TikTok does not collect MAC addresses."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Russia Claims To Have Registered World's First COVID-19 Vaccine

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 18:20
New submitter Hmmmmmm shares a report from CNBC: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the registration of what Russia claims to be the first vaccine for the coronavirus in the world and said one of his daughters had already taken it. "Although I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity and, I repeat, has passed all the necessary checks," Putin said. Clinical trials of this Russian vaccine have been completed in less than two months and phase three trials are set to begin on Wednesday, despite the vaccine having already been registered. Countries including the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia are taking part in those trials. "The vaccine developed by Russia is a so-called viral vector vaccine, meaning it employs another virus to carry the DNA encoding of the needed immune response into cells," reports Al Jazeera. "[The Gamaleya research institute's vaccine] is based on the adenovirus, a similar technology to the coronavirus vaccine prototype developed by China's CanSino. The state-run Gamaleya institute came under fire after researchers and its director injected themselves with the prototype several months ago, with specialists criticizing the move as an unorthodox and rushed way of starting human trials.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Last Blockbuster Has Been Turned Into An Airbnb

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 17:40
The world's last Blockbuster is offering movie fans the opportunity to spend the night in the store by booking through Airbnb. The Independent reports: The opportunity to book a one-night stay in the last of the nearly defunct video rental stores, which only remains in Bend, Oregon, will be possible thanks to the property's owner, Sandi Harding. "As the last standing location in the world, our BLOCKBUSTER store is an ode to movie magic, simpler times and the sense of community that could once be found in BLOCKBUSTER locations around the world," Harding explains in the Airbnb listing. Starting on 17 August, residents of Deschutes County will be able to book the store, which has been transformed into a living room complete with TV and pull-out couch, for either 18, 19, or 20 September. According to the press release, guests who successfully book the store, which will be available for just $4, will be treated to "all the movies your heart could desire." "Whether you want to stay up until sunrise or pass out on the couch, we've created the perfect space complete with a pull-out couch, bean bags and pillows for you to cosy up with 'new releases' from the 90s," the Airbnb listing reads. "Crack open a two-liter of Pepsi before locking into a video game, charting your future in a game of MASH, or watching movie after movie." Those who aren't eligible for the opportunity can visit the store's living room set-up as customers starting on 21 September -- or call the store for a personalized movie recommendation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

What Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's VP Pick, Means For Tech

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 17:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: After months of speculation, Joe Biden has picked California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his vice-presidential running mate in the race for the White House. The choice fulfills a pledge from Biden, the Democrats' presumptive nominee for president, to name a woman to his ticket as he seeks to unseat Donald Trump in the November election. [...] Here's what we know about Harris' stance on tech issues: A California senator and former candidate in the 2020 presidential race, Harris made her name in Washington by grilling Trump nominees and officials from her seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Harris, 55, is known for being a tough-on-crime prosecutor earlier in her career. That toughness, however, didn't carry over to Big Tech companies when she was California attorney general, critics charge. During her time as the state's top law enforcement officer, Facebook and other companies gobbled up smaller competitors. Harris, like regulators under Obama, did little from an antitrust perspective to slow consolidation, which many members of Congress now question. During her 2020 presidential bid, Harris' stance on consumer protections and antitrust issues weren't as tough as those of some of her rivals, especially Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who called for the breakup of large tech companies, like Facebook and Google. Still, Harris was vocal last year in urging Twitter to ban Trump from the platform for "tweets [that] incite violence, threaten witnesses, and obstruct justice." This was a demand Twitter rejected. She has also been critical of Facebook for not doing more to rid its platform of misinformation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

University of Michigan Study Advocates Ban of Facial Recognition in Schools

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 16:26
University of Michigan researchers recently published a study showing facial recognition technology in schools has limited efficacy and presents a number of serious problems. From a report: The research was led by Shobita Parthasarathy, director of the university's Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) program, and finds the technology isn't just ill-suited to security purposes, it can actively promote racial discrimination, normalize surveillance, and erode privacy while marginalizing gender nonconforming students. The study follows the New York legislature's passage of a moratorium on the use of facial recognition and other forms of biometric identification in schools until 2022. The bill, a response to the Lockport City School District launching a facial recognition system, was among the first in the nation to explicitly regulate or ban use of the technology in schools. That development came after companies including Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft halted or ended the sale of facial recognition products in response to the first wave of Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Scribd Acquires Presentation-Sharing Service SlideShare from LinkedIn

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 15:45
SlideShare has a new owner, with LinkedIn selling the presentation-sharing service to Scribd for an undisclosed price. From a report: According to LinkedIn, Scribd will take over operation of the SlideShare business on September 24. Scribd CEO Trip Adler argued that the companies have very similar roots, both of them focused on content- and document-sharing. "The two products always had kind of similar missions," Adler said. "The difference was, [SlideShare] focused on more on PowerPoint presentations and business users, while we focused more on PDFs and Word docs and long-form written content, more on the more general consumer." Over time, the companies diverged even further, with SlideShare acquired by LinkedIn in 2012, and LinkedIn itself acquired by Microsoft in 2016.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitter's Reply-Limiting Feature is Now Available To Everyone

Slashdot.org - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 15:05
Twitter is making one of its boldest experiments official. After months of testing, the company is bringing its reply-limiting feature, which allows users to control who can reply to their tweets, to all users. From a report: With the update, which is rolling out now to Twitter's apps and website, users can choose who can reply to tweets before they send them. The options are everyone, people you follow, and people you mention. If you choose people you mention, but don't mention anyone in the tweet, it effectively means no one can reply. The settings don't affect the ability to retweet or quote tweet. The change is one of many experiments Twitter's run in recent years in order to improve "conversational health," on its platform. Though limits on replies has been controversial among some users, Twitter has said it's meant to improve some of the less-than desirable dynamics on Twitter, such as ratios and, of course, the infamous reply guys.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Anywhere School: 50+ Google for Education updatesThe Anywhere School: 50+ Google for Education updates

GoogleBlog - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 14:30

In the midst of all the change and uncertainty in the world over the past several months, the education community has never wavered in its commitment to learning and supporting students. At Google, we’re honored to work on tools that lighten the load for teachers, school leaders, families, and especially the students who have navigated learning from home with grace and resilience. 

As educators worldwide have reinvented their practice online, we’re also adapting our tools to meet the evolving needs of their new educational landscape. This year, we’re taking a virtual approach to “back to school” with The Anywhere School, bringing Google for Education announcements to hundreds of thousands of viewers in more than 250 countries around the world. 

Inspired by your feedback, we’re sharing over 50 new features across Meet, Classroom, G Suite and other products. Check out our other posts for deeper dives into the features, and continue to watch the keynote sessions, which are running live for the next 24 hours and will be available on demand if you need to catch up later. Here’s a birds-eye view of what’s coming. 

A safer, more engaging Meet experience

Earlier this year, we announced new features coming to Google Meet to improve moderation and engagement. Today, we’re sharing more details about these upcoming launches and when they’ll be available. Here are a few highlights:

  • 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). 

Better support for students, educators and admins in Classroom

With more teachers around the world using Classroom more than ever before, we’re working to make Classroom simpler and more efficient with new features.  

  • A new to-do widget on the Classes page will help students see what’s coming up, what’s missing, and what’s been graded. 
  • Teachers can now share a link to invite students to their class, which makes joining a class much easier. 
  • Classroom will soon be available in 10 additional languages, for 54 languages total.

Classroom also gives you access to originality reports, which are now better than ever. For example, educators can soon run originality reports five times per course (up from three previously). And with G Suite Enterprise for Education, educators will be able to see matches for potential plagiarism not only against webpages, but between student submissions at their school.

We’re giving admins more powerful tools to manage G Suite and Classroom. For example, school leaders with Enterprise licenses will have greater visibility into Classroom usage via new Data Studio dashboards, which allow admins to see active classes, measure feature adoption, and monitor teacher and student engagement. To support teachers and admins, we’re making it easier to sync Classroom grades with a push to your Student Information System (SIS), starting with Infinite Campus customers (and more SIS to come). Keep reading for more details on what’s new in Classroom.

Enhance your learning management system with AssignmentsOur newest product for non-Classroom users is Assignments, an application for your learning management system (LMS) that gives educators a faster, simpler way to distribute, analyze and grade student work. This time-saving application helps educators automatically create and distribute personalized copies of classwork to each student's Google Drive folder, quickly provide feedback, and keep grading consistent and transparent with originality reports. Assignments is compatible with any LMS that supports LTI 1.1 and higher such as Canvas, Schoology, Blackboard and more. 
Help students turn in their best work with Docs

We recently launched SmartCompose and Auto Correct in Docs for educators and students. This will help them compose high-quality content faster by cutting back on repetitive writing, while reducing the chance of spelling and grammatical errors (by the end of this month, admins will be able to disable both SmartCompose and Auto Correct if they choose). Soon we’re also launching citations so students can format and manage their sources directly in Docs. With the citations tool, after adding the relevant attributes for a source, students can insert formatted in-text citations or a bibliography.

New resources and tools that continue to support families

As many parents and guardians supported their childrens’ learning from home this year, we heard about a big need for more resources and training for families on Google’s tools. To help, we’ve created the Tech Toolkit for Families and Guardians, which helps parents better understand the technology that their kids use in the classroom. Plus, we’ve added school accounts to Chrome OS so students can access Classroom and their school files while having the safety net of Family Link. We’re sharing many more product updates for families here.

Finally, educators can find free training, resources, and professional development programs like the new Certified Coach program to support them as they use these tools and features in their classroom in the new Teacher Center

Moving forward together

There’s so much more to share with you about what’s coming to Google for Education, and we encourage you to take some time to watch the keynote sessions from The Anywhere School event for all the updates. 

Most importantly, thank you for your partnership. We’re grateful for the insights you’ve shared with us, and we’ll continue to evolve our products to meet the unique needs of this moment. By working together, we can provide students with the education they deserve, no matter where it’s taking place.

Today we’re sharing over 50 new features designed around educator feedback and insights to support learning from anywhere.
Categories: Technology

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