Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Updates to Google Classroom

Two years ago when Google Classroom was first released, I was very excited to share it with teachers because of the ease in which documents could be distributed, shared, and collected. Although Google Classroom was a great tool, there were limitations. Fortunately, Google for Education has been very responsive to teacher requests and continues to make updates and improvements.

Several updates to Google Classroom were released in August. I wanted to highlight a some of those updates here.

Guardian Summaries
One of the common requests I have heard is the need for parents to access Google Classroom. There is now a feature named Guardian Summaries in which teachers can invite guardians to sign up for email summaries so that they can keep up with student progress. Summaries include student's missing work, upcoming due dates as well as announcements and questions posted by the teacher. Guardians can choose when they receive a summary daily or weekly. The can also choose to unsubscribe at any time. Sample Guardian Summary.

Topics for Stream Organization
When creating an assignment, teachers now have the option to organize the class stream by adding topics to their posts. Next to the due date is a spot for topic. Teachers can type a new topic or select from a previously used topic. Then students or teachers can filter the stream by topic.

Adding Assignments to Multiple Courses
Although this is not a new topic, the location of this option has moved, so I wanted highlight the change.

Additional Updates

  • Teachers and students can preview materials attached to assignments or posts.
  • Teachers and students can view email notifications by class using Inbox by Gmail. important updates from recent emails are highlighted in each bundle.
  • Teachers can add a subject when creating a class.

Mobile App Updates

  • Teachers and students can draw on, highlight, and write notes on documents and PDFs in the Classroom mobile app.
  • Teachers can poll their students using multiple-choice questions and allow students to see a summary of their classmates' answers.
  • Teachers can now post to multiple classes on Apple iOS.

If you would like to start using Google Classroom with your students, or you have questions about the updates, please contact your Ed Tech Coach for help.

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This is a professional blog associated with the Ed Tech Department of Aurora Public Schools. Comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated, but please keep in mind that this can be used in classrooms and viewed by anyone.