What you need to know
- Google's Classroom sees a rise in users as more education takes place online.
- The service's userbase has doubled, now reaching 100 million users.
- Classroom has seen rises in regions previously underserved like Italy and Indonesia.
As could be predicted, Google has seen a rise of users to its Google Classroom service as more and more students and teachers pop online even in regions where it used to be weak. It has reportedly doubled its user-base to more than 100 million.
Alphabet Inc.'s Google has jumped ahead of its big technology peers in the education market in recent years by giving away software and aggressively courting teachers. The pandemic is entrenching the tech giant even further. Google Classroom, a free service teachers use to send out assignments and communicate with students, has doubled active users to more than 100 million since the beginning of March.
That's boosting other products. Meet, a videoconferencing app is being used 25 times as much as it was in January, and the broader G Suite for Education offering has 120 million users, up from 90 million a year ago.
Google Classroom was already popular in the U.S., but demand is now coming from places with few customers before the virus, such as Italy and Indonesia, according to Avni Shah, Google's vice president for education. "All these places were really lighting up in the last month," she said.
As more students work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, Google has done its part to help. The company teamed up with the governor to provide Wi-Fi by way of hotspots to 100,000 households in California. It also delivered Chromebooks to 4, 000 underprivileged students.
Of course, the company's moves aren't always appreciated. Google's reputation for being a company that's careless with user privacy means that it faces more lawsuits as it becomes more mainstream. Case in point, the parent of two children recently sued it over data privacy concerns.