The Anywhere School 2022 event that took place yesterday brought us many exciting announcements about the future of Google Classroom and the role Workspace features and Chromebooks will play. Things like auto-transcribing Meet calls and “cast moderator” mode in the new Screencast app will be pivotal in today’s digital classroom.
There was one more announcement made that we thought warranted its own headline — the partnership between Figma and Google for Education. For those not familiar, Figma is a web-based graphics editing and UI design app where you can collaborate with others and share designs. Best of all, there is a fully functional free version that allows you to work on up to three projects at a time. I’ve used it a few times to work with Lottie files and device mockups. In addition, you can get a lot of incredible design resources just by browsing their Community page.
As part of this partnership, school districts will be able to deploy and manage free Figma licenses from the Google Admin Console. This means that students will get to use this software for free on their school-provided Chromebook. This will start as a beta this summer for U.S. High Schools, and those interested in participating will need to apply at figma.com/chromebooks.
Through this partnership, we hope to equip students with the visual communication, problem-solving and collaboration skills they need to thrive in a digital-first world.Google via Education Blog
Figma co-founder and CEO Dylan Field says that he has heard from teachers trialing Figma in their classrooms that “students are now more engaged and excited to come to class.” Additionally, it has sparked many students’ interest in pursuing design as a career choice. Figma also has a companion collaboration called FigJam, which serves as an online whiteboard for teams to brainstorm together, and which is available for students to use as part of this partnership.
Having access to this tool will be game-changing for students who cannot afford an expensive design computer and the accompanying software needed. Furthermore, it will provide a fun, interactive way of learning design basics using the hardware they already have and receive immediate feedback from teachers and peers. Looking forward to seeing how Google for Education will continue to form partnerships that will undoubtedly enrich students’ lives.