Skip to main content

Google Classroom: A Whole New World!

Hello, all you Google Classroom users! If you've signed into Classroom in the past few weeks, you'll have noticed a slew of changes. As a matter of fact, the entire interface looks different and, for the most part, these updates improve the overall experience for both teachers and students. As Aladdin would say, Classroom has entered, "A whole new world!"

So, let's fly through some of these updates and don't you dare close your eyes!

First, what's all the buzz about Topics?

Organizing assignments into Topics will make life way easier for students. You no longer need to have multiple Classrooms for each subject area. Instead, use one Classroom and create a Topic for each subject. Each Topic will have its own heading that you can drop your assignments into. No longer will you have a long stream of assignments dating back to September, now assignments will be broken into sections that will be easy for students to find!

Cool, but I can't find the Class Code anywhere!

I used to think Classroom hid the Class Code away in a secret corner where no one would ever find it. Now, they've moved it into plain sight, but still, no one can find it! Here's the top secret information revealed...It lives under the 'Stream' tab where you land by default when you open your Classroom page. You can click the dashed box to expand it so all your students can see it. This is one secret that needs to be let out!

But it's such a pain to organize assignments in Classroom!

Yes, it used to be, but not anymore! You can now click and drag assignments to organize them in any order you want. If you've used Classroom for the last few years, you've probably been pining for this for a long time. It's pretty sweet, am I right?

I just wish I could put my grades in Classroom and not have to toggle to a different program!

Hey, wish granted, plus you've still got two more! The grade book feature is a new tool, and definitely worth investigating! Currently, one strike I have against it is I can't figure out how to organize assignments by topic, but I've contacted Google about it. Faithful readers, please let me know if I've missed something and organizing by topic is actually doable.

Okay, that's kind of cool, but it's still no fun to grade assignments using Classroom.

Well, saying that grading in Classroom is 'fun' might be a stretch, but it has gotten a whole lot better! You can now assign a grade, write a comment, and mark up an assignment from one easy-to-use window! You can also 'bank' comments you use frequently to make grading all that much quicker. Also, the new grading interface lets you click between students without going back to the assignment page!

What about assessments? This 'carpet ride' includes those, right?

Totally! There's no way we could complete the trip back to Agrabah without a stop in Assessment-Land! You can create quizzes directly in Classroom with Google Forms. But wait, there's more! Classroom now offers a 'locked quiz' option so your students won't be able to simply Google all the answers! When students begin working on a locked quiz, all of their other browser tabs will disappear. They CAN exit the quiz, but if they do and then relaunch it, the teacher will get an email explaining this has happened and who did it. Also, when the teacher goes to grade the quiz, there will be an alert that the student closed the quiz and then relaunched it. Obviously, this should lead to a conversation with the student about what was going on. It's never good to just assume they were cheating. On the student end of things, before they exit the quiz, they will see a warning that if they leave their teacher will get a notification.

I hope you've enjoyed this grand tour of Classroom's new features! Thanks for riding along!



Popular posts from this blog

How Do I Share the Summary of Results from Google Forms with Others?

Google Docs: Add Numbers and Prefixes to Lists

GMail: Create a Parent Distribution List from Skyward