Yesterday Google released their latest updates just in time for the start of the 2016-17 school year
And I was probably more excited than a person should be. They've made some pretty awesome updates to Classroom and Forms and I couldn't wait to dive right in and try them out.
Organizing your Classroom Stream
One of my biggest issues with Classroom was that the stream could not be organized. Working in the resource room, I like to make everything easy to access and locate. Having students scroll through the Stream or constantly moving everything to the top for easy access was difficult. So, this might be my favorite new feature Google has released. Now you can create topics associated with each assignment, announcement or question you post. These topic categories appear on the sidebar and allow students to click on the topic names to move to a new stream of only posts associated with that topic. So, now you can filter assignments by:
Parent and Guardian Access
This is either your dream come true or your worst nightmare. Classroom, formerly private to anyone outside of a school domain, now has the capacity to contact parents. But don't panic just yet. Parents will have access to summaries of their student's work, not direct access to Classroom itself. If you provide parents access, they will receive weekly reports that indicate:
The students tab will also have an option to add parent/guardian emails. Now, parents can be emailed individually or as a whole class directly from Google Classroom.
Students can draw/annotate on their work
Note: This is only available on the Classroom app.
When you create an assignment for your students and they open it through the Classroom app, they will now be met with a screen that looks like this:
Students can use their smartphones or tablets to draw and annotate images from within the Classroom platform, which makes it simpler than using an outside app to create the image and then upload it. This feature would be great for:
Google Forms Multiple Choice Images
I have been waiting for this opportunity! Google has made it easier to add images to questions in Forms. And better yet, now you can add individual images to each multiple choice selection on Forms!
Some possible uses:
Expanding on Expeditions
There are a few more expedition possibilities to use now in the Classroom, like
Take the time to try out all of these new updates while you're prepping for back-to-school!