Like any online tool, changes come and changes go! This year many educators were shocked when they went to update or create new Google Classrooms to find the familiar gone. Google has updated Classroom and while there were some shocked teachers who waiting until the school year commenced to explore, there is much to be excited about in this new version of Google Classroom.
I will use this blog to explore the updates and share some cool tips and tricks with my readers.
- I still feel it is best to create a new classroom each and every school year. It is tough to navigate the endless stream of posts and assignments if you hand over a used classroom to new students. Plus we all know that we update, redevelop, and alter lessons each year so it makes sense to begin with a fresh canvas each year.
- The tabs have changed. Be advised that there is some basic formatting changes to Google Classroom. No longer will you see 3 tabs at the top that say Stream, Students, and About. Now you will see 3 tabs that have different functions. The stream is the default tab and will allow you to post new and old posts from archived classrooms. This is useful if you had questions you asked a class every year and want to save some time. Here is a simple video on how to post a new announcement.
- The second tab is the classwork tab. This is where you can assign assignments or questions to your class. This is also where you can reuse assignments that were posted in past, archived classes.
- Creating questions is a great way to give your students a ticket out the door. They can be open ended responses or multiple choice questions. The image below shows users that questions can be added to the classwork tab. These questions can be given a point score and due date. You can offer an short answer response or a multiple choice format to your students. If you are grading their responses I would most likely turn off their ability to edit their response.
- Using topics can help your students and yourself to organize and find assignments in Google Classroom. On this question I added a topic and I will use this topic for all of these types of questions.
- Reusing assignments is simple. You must be in the classwork tab to view previous assignments. Watch this video to learn how to reuse assignments.
- Rearranging your assignments has gotten easier. Especially if you chose to use topics. You can move individual assignments or topics up or down in Google Classroom to rearrange your feed.
- Giving feedback and grading is easier than ever before! Check out this video on graded work and offering feedback: https://goo.gl/dgpkbW
- The last tab is the people tab and you will go here to manage all students and co-teachers, as well as add parents emails to the classroom. Here is a snapshot of my people tab on a new course. I have redacted student names for privacy purposes. I can invite students to my classroom through a code or via their email.
- Neat tip; if a student is posting silly, nonsensical posts or being inappropriate in the chat feel free to mute this student. That student can still complete assignments, but will no longer have his/her posts viewed by other students in the class.
- The student view was updated as well. The students view defaults to the stream as well. Then they can move to the classwork tab where they will view all their assignments nestled under the assigned topic headings.
There are many more updates coming to Google Classroom soon, but these are the big ones that are up and running for educators currently. Feel free to share any comments about these new features or any Google Classroom tips and tricks you want to share with others here as well.