Google launches new tools to help connect teachers and students amid social distancing

Google introduced today new resources for the education sector as part of its broader response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. These include new tools and funding to help connect students and teachers amid social distancing practices recommended by health officials to stop the spread of the virus.

First, the search giant has unveiled a new hub called Teach From Home, designed to give teachers access to information, tips, training, and tools for conducting online classes. The central hub also instructs educators on how to "teach online, make lessons accessible to students, and collaborate with other educators". It's available in English, and teachers can also download toolkits in Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Polish, with more language support planned in the future. Google says it developed this resource together with the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education. The company promises to improve the materials along the way using feedback from teachers and partners.

Google also announced a $10 million Distance Learning Fund to help organizations provide resources to educators dedicated to teaching children in underserved communities. It's part of the firm's $50 million COVID-19 response, and the first organization to receive funding is Khan Academy. The organization will receive $1 million to support students affected by COVID-19 in terms of learning opportunities. Google volunteers will also assist Khan Academy in providing resources to educators in more than 15 languages.

Today's announcement marks Google's latest move in response to the coronavirus fallout. Earlier this month, it offered free of charge some of the premium Hangouts Meet features for G Suite and G Suite for Education customers until July 1.

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