Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Google Classroom: New features for a new year!

This summer the big buzz at Tech Camp wasn't the Skyward gradebook or online assessments...it was GOOGLE CLASSROOM!  Google Classroom is a document management system from Google that really helps teachers organize and manage their classes.  It allows you to easily handout and have students turn back in assignments in a logical and organized manner.  This product launched just over a year ago and since that time it has taken the classrooms around the country by storm.  Learn more about Google Classroom in this blog post.

Now since Google never leaves well enough alone when it comes to any of their products, it is no surprise that they have recently made some substantial feature adds to Google Classroom just in time for the start of a new school year.  These new features include some of the most requested items we heard from our PPS teachers who were piloting Google Classroom last year.  Here is what Google had to say about the new features they have added in their most recent Google Apps Newsletter.

Head back to school with new features in Google Classroom

What’s new: As teachers gear up for the new school year, we’re adding a number of new features in Google Classroom to help them save time, engage with students, and keep everyone organized.

Keep students engaged with question-driven discussions

Since Classroom launched last year, teachers have been using their class stream to host student debates, Q&A, and discussions. With this launch, they’ll be able to do this in a more collaborative way. They can post questions to their class and allow students to have discussions by responding to each other’s answers (or not, depending on the setting chosen). For example, teachers 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.

Question-driven discussion in Google Classroom (animated gif)

Reuse posts

Teachers can now reuse assignments, announcements or questions from any one of their classes — or any class they co-teach, whether it’s from last year or last week. Once they choose what to copy, they’ll also be able to make changes before posting or assigning it.

Reuse posts in Google Classroom (animated gif)

And a couple more improvements based on teacher feedback:

  • Bump a post: When teachers want to make sure an older item is easy for students to find, they can now move any post to the top of the stream.

  • Due dates optional: For long-term projects or student-driven assignments, teachers now have the option to create assignments that don’t have due dates.

For more information:

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