Google unveiled the new and improved Google Classroom just in time for the first day of school. So that you are fully prepared for your students, let’s dive in and learn the three most important things you need to know about the new tool. If you want to review all the changes, check out Google’s Back to School 2018 FAQ.
Classwork = Better Organization
When you create a new classroom, you will notice at the top of your new room that you have three tabs:
The stream is no longer where you and your students will spend most of your time. Instead, you will be using Classwork to create, edit, and manage your assignments. One big improvement is that you will be able to group your assignments and posts by using the Topics. Google has also given you more control on the location of the content. This allows you to determine what you want your students to see first and in what order.
Grading Just Got a Whole Lot Easier
When you are ready to grade your students’ work, open the assignment you want to grade and then click on View Assignment. This will take you to your grade book. In the upgrade, Google gave the teacher some tools to help grade assignments that reside in Google Drive. Below is an assignment using a Drawing template to help students identify the cause and effect of the Texas Revolution. To grade it, you would click on one of your student’s assignments. It will open you to a new grading tool. With this tool, you can add comments, assign the grade, and communicate back and forth with the student using the private comment feature.
You’re going to love this next feature. You can create a list of generic comments to make it easier to provide feedback. When you open the comment field, insert a hashtag (#) and the suggested comments will appear. Click on the one you want to use and then post the comment. It is that simple!
When you are finished grading and commenting on the student’s work, use the arrow at the top of the page to move to the next student. That’s right! They have made it super simple for you to scroll through your student’s work.
No About Page
Google has taken away the About Page which teachers have used to post documents and forms their students might use all year long such as a syllabus, a reading log, class rules, etc. Google has announced they will soon provide a way for teachers to upload and post documents on the Classwork page. You will then be able to create a topic such as “Class Resources” that houses these types of documents.
Odds and Ends
At this time, you cannot add a Classwork section to an older classroom; however this is also something that Google is working on and will release this feature soon. One last thing, you can now make a copy of an entire Classroom. It appears that it only works for new Classrooms however. This will allow secondary teachers to create a model classroom that can be copied for additional sections.
What are you waiting for? Start creating magic in the new and improved Google Classroom.