Time for updates: Meet the new Google Classroom
Google Classroom aims to simplify technology so that teachers and students can spend time solely on learning. In 2014, a team of Google employees, including several former teachers, began looking into teacher workflows. They learned that teachers enjoyed using the Google Workspace (ex. G Suite) tools with their students, but some features were difficult to use.
An updated version of Classroom has recently been announced since its launch.
The best way to create, organize and find activities
The Classroom needs to be as easy to use as possible, so Google first offered one Stream class for teachers and students, designed to share new content and ideas. But the single channel, while simple, became too crowded, making it difficult for users to find what they needed. That’s why Google has introduced an updated Classwork page that allows teachers to better organize work tasks and questions by grouping them into modules and units.
Daniel Brennick, a high school teacher in Florida, started using Classroom two years ago. Today it is a daily and integral part of his work: “I distribute the document through the Classroom, where all the children can work on it together simultaneously. I can also project it on the board to facilitate the discussion process. This ensures that everyone hears every student’s opinion. »
Daniel is one of the thousands of teachers who have beta-tested the new Classwork page and is excited to apply the updates to make learning more organized.
“I like it! The school is taking a big step towards implementing effective long-term planning and more thoughtful lessons. I’ve already started using the Classwork page to give myself a visual representation of what I’ll be teaching to students.”
Stream’s dedicated classwork page will become an improved hub for class discussion and general activity. It is conveniently placed on a separate page to reduce clutter and enable students to discuss and develop online communication skills.
Improved and faster feedback with the new assessment tool in Classroom
Providing systematic and active feedback is a crucial part of the learning cycle, but creating thoughtful and personalized feedback for each student can be too time-consuming. Google is rolling out a new tool built directly into Classroom to speed up assessment and encourage student engagement. Educators now have a “bank” of comments where they can easily save and reuse frequently used feedback.
They can also quickly switch between student work while grading without opening each file individually. The new scoring tool works with document editors, Office files, PDFs, videos, and more.
Nick Shuman, the digital citizenship educator at Maine, is excited to use the new assessment tool, which he says makes it much easier to provide feedback. “The less time I spend grading the old-fashioned way, the more time I can spend with each student, in the form of a more personalized response, and help ensure that our communication is two-way. I can’t wait to fully utilize this feature.”
Easily set up and manage your Classroom
Whether it’s a general update to Classroom settings or working across multiple Classroom divisions, Google aims to improve the interaction between teachers and students to quickly achieve their mutual goals.
Other equally exciting updates include:
- Copy and Reuse Classwork: Teachers who want to reuse previous lessons or educators who collaborate on new projects can now easily copy all topics and assignments from one classwork to another. All information will be replicated in draft form, so teachers can make their own modifications before publication.
- Improved People and Setup pages: Google has combined information to help users get the data they need faster. Teachers can now view and manage co-teachers, students, and guardians from the People page. A settings page has also been introduced for all class settings, allowing teachers to update class descriptions, manage the schedule, control the information students post to Stream, and more in one place.
- Turn off notifications. Teachers often join different institutions as co-teachers to share information and teaching strategies. But constantly receiving messages about all actions in the class is quite inconvenient. There is now an option to disable selected notification types or disable notifications for a specific class.
What else will be updated soon?
Thousands of teachers have been beta testing the updated Classroom and based on their feedback, Google plans to launch additional features soon:
Classwork Page Content: Teachers will be able to add content to the Classwork page. This will enable the provision and distribution of necessary materials, such as books to read or reference information.
Classwork Page for Existing Classes: Any new class you create will automatically have a Classwork page. The option to add a Classwork page will soon be available for all existing courses made before the update.
Instructors will also be able to create and conduct polls using Google Forms in blocking mode to focus students on taking the test.
Try the updated Classroom and tell us what you think about it. We hope this school year will be the best for you!
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