Friday, August 28, 2015

Google Classroom...New and Improved Updates!

As referenced from "Head Back to School with New Features in Google Classroom" http://googleforeducation.blogspot.com 

Last year Google Classroom was launched and changed the scope of using Google Apps for Education in the classroom setting. Although the product is only in its second year of infancy, many changes have occurred along the way. Last year we saw the ability for teachers to be able to create co-taught classes and by the end of the year, even archive their classes for the year after. Now as we begin the new 2015-2016 school year, we see that Google has once again solved many of the questions that we wanted answered...AND MORE! Stay tuned over the next few weeks as there will be more role outs to Google Classroom, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, all designed to help you personalize this school year and really make it yours.

Question-driven discussions

Last year, many teachers were using the announcement feature to host student debates, Q&A sessions and discussions. NOW, you will be able to do this in a more collaborative way. You can post questions to your class and allow students to have discussions by responding to each other’s answers (or not, depending on the setting you choose). For example, you could post a video and ask students to answer a question about it, or post an article and ask them to write a paragraph in response.

Reuse posts 

How often do you reuse assignments (or slightly tweek them) from year to year? Or that lesson that worked so well last year that you want to use again? Now you can reuse assignments, announcements or questions from any one of your classes — or any class you co-teach, whether it’s from last year or last week. Once you choose what you’d like to copy, you’ll also be able to make changes before you post or assign it.

Calendar Integration---FINALLY!! 

In the next month, Classroom will automatically create a calendar for each of your classes in Google Calendar. All assignments with a due date will be automatically added to your class calendar and kept up to date. You’ll be able to view your calendar from within Classroom or on Google Calendar, where you can manually add class events like field trips or guest speakers.  If you add this calendar to your website and make this calendar public, then parents will also be able to see all events and assignments.


And a few additional features:

  • Bump a post: When you want to make sure an older item is easy for students to find, you can now move any post to the top of the stream. 
  • Due dates optional: For long-term projects or student-driven assignments, you’ll now have the option to create assignments that don’t have due dates. 
  • Attach a Google Form to a post: When you currently add a Google Form to an assignment and students fill it out it will state that no one has completed the assignment. That is because the students have completed the form and the responses are on the spreadsheet of the form. Many teachers use Google Forms to assign a test, quiz or survey to the class. Coming in the next few weeks, teachers and students will soon be able to attach Google Forms from Drive to posts and assignments, and get a link in Classroom to easily view the answers. This will change the way that Google Classroom perceives and reads a Google Form!