Categories
Tech

Google to Deploy Its Free Digital Learning Tools For 23mn Students & Teachers in Maharashtra

Image for Representation.

Image for Representation.

This makes Maharashtra the first state in the country to launch G Suite for Education and Google Classroom for the students currently engaged in online learning.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: August 7, 2020, 12:28 PM IST

As part of the policy for universal education, the Maharashtra government has tied up with Google to enable remote learning for 2.30 crore students and teachers, officials said here on Thursday. Under this collaboration, students and teachers will access blended learning programmes that combine classroom approach with online learning including free tools like G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, Google Meet and others.

This makes Maharashtra the first state in the country to launch G Suite for Education and Google Classroom for the students currently engaged in online learning, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The state government will provide individual educators and students with their own G Suite ID to ensure all students in private or government schools in the remotest areas can experience continuity in learning, besides enhancing the teaching capabilities of educators.

“In the Corona crisis when the world is at a standstill, how to restart education is one of the primary concerns we face today. I feel this global crisis has led us from the present to the future,” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said at the launch. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said during these tough times, education must not stop and everyone should get access to education like before.

“With this cooperation, Google has enabled access to G Suite for Education and Google Classroom programme for our state schools, students can sit at home and learn, ask questions, clarify doubts, save lectures, etc,” he said. School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad stressed the power of the Internet to take education to the masses and reduce the learning gap.

“With an emphasis on online resources, platforms, bandwidth, and availability of technological solutions, we aim to make Maharashtra the most progressive state on education,” she said. Google India Vice-President and Country Head Sanjay Gupta said since the Covid-19 outbreak, over 32 crore children have been hit by school closures, making access to quality education even more critical.

“This collaboration builds upon our commitment to create useful tools that make information accessible over the internet so that teachers and students continue to benefit from it,” he added. Gupta said that this month, the Maharashtra government rolled out a survey asking teachers to register for the first batch of training programmes and out of the 700,000 educators across the state, Google received 150,000 sign-ups in less than 48 hours.

Google for Education solutions helps teachers provide excellent educational experiences and enable students to learn better by nurturing individual needs. Each solution has been designed to be easy to use, flexible and scalable. They are built for collaboration, secure by design, and will now be available to scores of teachers and students across Maharashtra, for free.

At the sixth Google for India event, Google announced that it will enable over 1 million teachers across 22,000 schools in India with blended learning by the end of 2020. Earlier this year, Google collaborated with FICCI Arise to ensure teachers and students can transition to remote learning seamlessly, and trained teachers in over 250 schools across 23 states to use digital tools such as Google Meet.


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Categories
Tech

Facebook Unveils Messenger Rooms Shortcut on WhatsApp Web: Here's How to Use It

Users first have to update the latest WhatsApp Web version in order to create a room shortcut. However, the feature is not available on the mobile app yet.

Categories
Tech

Facebook Now Allows Users to Livestream Video Calls from Messenger Rooms

Representative image. (Photo: Reuters)

Representative image. (Photo: Reuters)

The move bolsters Facebook’s efforts to grab a share of the coronavirus-driven boom in demand for video conferencing services which has turned Zoom Video Communications Inc into a household name.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: July 24, 2020, 11:15 AM IST

Facebook Inc said on Thursday it was rolling out a feature that would allow users to broadcast live a video call with up to 50 people. Users can invite people to join “Messenger Rooms”, including those who do not have a Facebook account, for group video calls and then broadcast the room live on any profile, page or group on the platform, the company said.

The move bolsters Facebook’s efforts to grab a share of the coronavirus-driven boom in demand for video conferencing services, which has turned Zoom Video Communications Inc into a household name. Other technology companies have rolled out similar features to attract users, with Alphabet Inc’s Google allowing users to host free video conferences on Meet.

Facebook said it was rolling out the feature in some countries on its platform and Messenger web starting Thursday and would soon expand to all countries where Messenger Rooms was available. Live broadcasts from Facebook pages doubled in June compared with a year earlier due to a jump in live streams since March, when several countries began imposing lockdowns and social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Categories
Tech

Zoom Surpasses TikTok's Record of Most Downloads on Apple's App Store

FILE PHOTO:  A 3D printed Zoom logo is placed on the keyboard in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File photo

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Zoom logo is placed on the keyboard in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File photo

From April through June-end, Zoom was downloaded from App Store 94 million times more than TikTok’s previous record of 67 million downloads.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 21, 2020, 2:14 PM IST

US-based Video meet app Zoom app has broken Chinese short video making app TikTok’s record of most downloaded app on Apple App Store. From April through June-end, Zoom was downloaded from App Store 94 million times ’40 per cent more than TikTok’s previous record of 67 million downloads, reveals data from analytics firm Sensor Tower.

YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Google Meet, Messenger, WhatsApp, Netflix and Microsoft Teams rounded out the top 10 for the App Store. Overall, Zoom was downloaded 303 million times during Q2 on both App Store and Google Play Store. According to Sensor Tower data, the spread of COVID-19 made a dramatic impact on the app landscape.

Worldwide app downloads reached an all-time high of 37.8 billion in the second quarter – an increase of 31.7 per cent year-over-year. App Store installs grew 22.6 per cent to 9.1 billion, while Google Play saw 34.9 per cent growth, reaching 28.7 billion.

Worldwide app downloads reached an all-time high of 37.8 billion in Q2 2020, an increase of 31.7 per cent year-over-year. App Store installs grew 22.6 per cent to 9.1 billion, while Google Play saw 34.9 per cent growth, reaching 28.7 billion. Zoom in June announced that its revenue surged 169 per cent to $328.2 million in Q1 from a year earlier.


Categories
Tech

Want Zoom, Google Meet, Skype and Other Apps in One Place? NextCall Maybe Your Answer

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a major uptick in video conferencing services, with most sectors working from home. However, after Zoom shot into popularity, and other platforms such as Google Meet and Microsoft Skype firing salvos subsequently, things may have gotten a bit confusing for you as a user. It is this homologous usage experience that a new plugin, NextCall, is aiming to offer by integrating with your Google Chrome browser as an extension.

By installing NextCall, you can sign in with your Google or Outlook account – whichever you use for work. NextCall will gain access to your workplace calendar, and read your schedule to see when you have video conferences scheduled. Once this is scrolled, NextCall simply offers you a one-click interface to access any video call that you have scheduled – no extra fuss about which platform would you need to access for your next meeting, and rummaging through your emails to find the invitation link to the meeting.

NextCall presently has support for Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft’s Skype and Teams, which pretty much covers the most-used video conferencing platforms around the world by global teams. The app’s home page is fairly simplistic, and shows an earnest plugin’s interface that does not appear to have too many complications. A quick look through the site also reveals a crisp privacy policy, although it does not take you through the detailed clauses of privacy redressal steps for specific issues. The plugin has been built by Karthik Kalyan and Charles Scheuer, who are also colleagues that are working on Stilt Inc, a California-based financial startup. Kalyan and Scheuer also state that more video conferencing services and calendar/organiser platforms will be integrated with NextCall in future.

Upon initial impressions, NextCall has great potential to simplify all video conferences that you may have scheduled through the week. Video conferencing has come up as one of the most intensive and important fields in the technology space today, and NextCall’s idea of putting all calls at one place, which you can join from your browser with one click from an extension prompt, can be super useful in streamlining your overall work emails to a large extent.


Categories
Tech

Airtel BlueJeans Could be The Telco’s New Venture Into The Video Conferencing Space

Telecom operator Airtel has reportedly entered the crowded video conferencing space by partnering with Verizon-owned BlueJeans. Airtel BlueJeans is reportedly listed on the company website although an official announcement is pending. This comes just a few days after Reliance Jio launched its own video conferencing platform JioMeet for enterprises and end customers.

Airtel BlueJeans is expected to launch only for enterprise customers initially making it a competitor for existing video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.

It is said to offer enterprise-grade security as well as real-time meetings analytics, live meeting controls, dial-in options starting at 50 paise per call, and a pay-per-use based Airtel Audio Bridge integration to enable India and international dial-in support. The video conferencing solution should be available across platforms including desktop, mobile as well as web browsers and virtual desktop infrastructures.

Airtel is expected to host user data locally and offer local support. The company is also going to offer a dedicated Command Center for administrators to provide an enterprise-grade management console with insights on meeting performance, network conditions, and user-focussed return on investment (RoI). The solution will also offer in-meeting analytics, real-time alerts, and live meeting controls.

For security, all video, audio, and content transmission will be done using AES-256 GCM encryption and all meetings taking place using Airtel BlueJeans will come with two-step authentication.


Categories
Tech

Google Meet Crosses 100 Million Download Globally on Play Store in Less Than Two Months

Popular video conferencing app Google Meet for Android has surpassed over 10 crore downloads globally on Google Play Store. The platform doubled the install base in less than two-months time as more and more people turned to video conferencing owing to the global pandemic, reports Android Police.

According to app traffic and performance observer AppBrain, Google Meet passed 5 crore (50 million) installs or downloads mark on Google Play on May 17. AppBrain figures indicated that the app crossed 10 crore installs on July 7. According to Javier Soltero Vice President & GM, G Suite, the tech giant has seen daily usage of Meet app grow by 30 times, with hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings daily.

The search engine giant had earlier made Meet video platform free to anyone with a Gmail account, as part of Google’s Meet expansion. Google Meet is completely free and anyone with an email address can sign up and get started. Users can see Google Meet on the left menu, with two options: Start a meeting and join a meeting.


Categories
Tech

Jio Takes on Zoom, Google, Microsoft with Simple, Intuitive Video Conferencing Tool

Image for Representation.

Image for Representation.

JioMeet offers a neat, smart and simple video conferencing platform, with support for hosting online conferences with up to 100 people.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: July 3, 2020, 12:50 PM IST

Reliance Jio yesterday opened its video conferencing platform, JioMeet, for all users in India. The homegrown service was so far on a trial phase, and required invitation codes to work. Now, with the service being opened up for everyone, JioMeet will be directly rivalling services such as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Skype. This brings it head to head with all of these services in terms of the features on offer, which incidentally is right up there with global offerings.

To match the features on offer by Zoom, Google Meet, Skype and others, JioMeet will allow video conferencing with up to 100 participants. Given that JioMeet is available for free, this certainly beats the likes of Zoom and Google Meet, which allows lesser participants in their free versions. JioMeet also allows users to schedule meetings prior to a conference, which would therefore allow companies to set up pre-scheduled conference meets online. It further includes the option for participants to share screens, therefore allowing live sharing of content across computers. JioMeet will further allow participants to instantly join calls directly from their web browsers.

Additionally, JioMeet promises encryption and security for every video conference, therefore enabling complete privacy and data protection for its users. JioMeet is now available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Windows, macOS and also as a web service. JioMeet can also be integrated into enterprise suites that employ Outlook, so that organisations can directly collaborate via video calls on Outlook itself.

With video conferencing becoming a key tool in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, JioMeet will play a key role in streamlining heavy conferencing needs. JioMeet also fills the gap of an Indian video conferencing solution, which the government of India had called for after various security issues were highlighted with a number of global video conferencing service providers.

Reliance Jio took the Indian telecom market by storm, drastically reducing data and telephony costs by offering Indian citizen 4G data and unlimited calling at incomparable prices. Jio then followed this up with robust network coverage and excellent customer support, to give users a truly global network experience. Since entering the telecom space, Reliance Jio has also expanded as a technology platform that is today leading India’s digital revolution for the next billion. Jio’s promise of affordable services at the frontline of technology, in line with leading global innovators, is what makes it poised for playing a pivotal role in India’s technology saga.

Disclaimer:News18.com is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited that also owns Reliance Jio.


Categories
Tech

Google Meet to Roll Out Its AI-powered Noise-cancellation Feature in India Soon

Google has announced that its noise cancellation feature for Meet teleconferencing app will soon start rolling out in more markets, including India. In a support document, Google said apart from India, the noise cancellation will roll out to users in Australia, Brazil, Japan and New Zealand in the coming weeks.

The company also makes clear that it won’t come to people in South Africa, the UAE, and the immediately surrounding areas without stating why. Google introduced its AI-powered noise cancellation feature for the Meet in early June. The search engine giant was working on the feature for around a year and a half, using thousands of its own meetings to train its AI model.

The noise-cancellation feature uses a machine learning model that is capable of understanding the difference between noise and speech. To filter out background noise, a user’s voice is sent from the device to a Google data centre, which is where it goes through the machine learning model. Once the processing is completed, it gets re-encrypted and sent back to the Google Meet call. The feature is expected to become widely available for G Suite enterprise customers by the end of this month.


Categories
Tech

Google Meet Video Calls Can Now Have 49 People, Custom Backgrounds and Calls From Nest

Google has fired its latest salvo at Zoom by throwing on a bunch of new features for Google Meet. These new features in Google Meet include 49 participants in one video call for free/non-enterprise users, customisable backgrounds, 100-people video calls for Google Nest users and a number of additions from rivals, including ‘raise hand’, polling and better moderator controls. On this note, here’s looking at the highlight of everything that’s coming new to Google Meet.

More participants

The addition of more participants in a free Google Meet call can go a long way in letting Google take on Zoom with greater might. Now, Google will allow up to 49 participants at once in a video call through Meet. This is significant, as right now, Meet only allows up to 16 participants in one call. Because of this, Meet was so far rather behind Zoom in terms of free video conferencing ability. This would have a lesser impact on enterprise users, since Google already lets G Suite and G Suite for Education customers to host meetings via Meet with up to 250 participants, and live stream to up to 100,000 people within a single domain organisation.

Custom backgrounds

Already available on Zoom, Google will let users add custom images in the background, while making a call via Meet. Similarly, users will be able to blur their background as well. Apart from these, Google is also introducing a ‘raise hand’ feature for Meet users when they want to join a live presentation feed. There will also be a new attendee system to allow hosts to keep a check on who’s attending a meeting. Google is also working on ‘Breakout Rooms’, where meetings can be split into small groups for parallel discussions, and reconvene once finished. Other interesting features in Meet will include Polling, Q&A and additional controls for managing participants.

Support For Nest displays

Google has also said that it will soon integrate Google Meet with its smart display speaker, the Nest Hub Max. This particular integration means you can now join video conferences through the speaker. Just say “Hey Google, start a meeting”, or “Hey Google, make a group call”, and you can be connected to Google Meet straightway. The feature is currently available to G Suite users as an early access programme.


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