Google is adding a native screen recorder to Chrome OS, its operating system that powers Chromebook devices. Due to the pandemic, more students are learning from home than ever before and Chromebooks, for which education is a big market, have become more popular than ever. The screen recording feature will be rolled out as part of an education-focused update in March.
Around the world, how students go to school has changed. In many places, students are learning remotely and using virtual meetings to participate in lessons. Google Chromebooks have been a huge part of this online shift due to their low cost but also because of their native integration with online learning tools like Google Classroom, Docs, and Slides. The system hasn’t been perfect, however, leaving teachers and students looking to third-party tools for simple tasks like screen recording.
That’s about to change. Last week, Google announced an upcoming education refresh which will add native screen recording, as well as new accessibility tools for students with special needs, and administrative schools to aid entire districts. These updates come alongside the announcement of more than 40 new Chromebooks, many of which include advanced features like stylus control, LTE connectivity, and touchscreen control.
Using Google’s screen recording tool, users will be able to capture exactly what’s occurring on their screens. Virtual teachers have long used similar third-party tools like Screencastify to create digital lessons, using their own screens as a model. For students, these tools can become important reimgs for completing projects or presenting reports online. Though Google doesn’t say so specifically, it’s exceedingly likely that users will be able to record their voices using each Chromebook’s built-in microphone.
So far, details on how to use the new tool are scarce, but Google did include a helpful animation showing it in use. The demonstrator displays a Google Slides presentation and, without using their mouse, a screen recording interface appears, hinting at hotkey or perhaps even a dedicated button on one of the latest Chromebooks. From there, they simply click the record button and a countdown timer ticks down until the recording begins. The demonstration also shows a camera icon for quick screen grabs and icons to select what portion of the screen should be recorded.
As the world of education has changed, both schools and big tech have raced to meet its changing demands. The absence of a native screen recorder has forced users to use third-party apps that sometimes carry extra fees. This update will surely be a welcome addition to Google’s learning suite.