Google Classroom January 2019 Updates

I was greeted with a small window on my Google Classroom during the school week that informed me of several updates available in Google Classroom. After spending some time with it, these are the four most important updates to Google Classroom.

1. Drag and Drop

You can now drag and drop anything in the “Classwork” menu in Google Classroom. This means that you can easily rearrange your class to fit what you need. Gone are the days of having to manually move a topic up or down levels one level at a time. You can now grab it and place it where you want. This also works for assignments, quizzes, questions, materials, etc.

2. New Look

Google Classroom has massively updated its look. It looks much more modern now with lots of white space and specific color choices. The cards on the main page have also been updated to reflect the new look.

I’m not totally sold on the amount of white space (it’s kind of blinding at times) but it does feel fresh.

3. New Themes

To go along with the new look are new themes. You can still upload your own images for the theme, but now there are a ton of new choices. All of the images that used to be available as Google Classroom themes are gone and they have been replaced with new, content specific choices.

One of the great things about the new themes is that the main color on the image will match the image icons. Look at my screenshot below for an example. You will see blue at the number 1 and then see the same blue at number 2. This color also carries over to the navigation at the top of the page.

Finding the new themes is easy. Just go to “Select theme” on the bottom right of the header and pick your theme. There are several tabs that show options for most content area (I’m still waiting on a technology tab Google)

4. Class Code

The last update worth noting is that the classroom code is now easily accessible to the teacher via the header. Previously you had to go to settings and find the code from there. Now you just need to open your classroom and you have immediate access to it.

What’s next?

I’m always happy to see Google adding updates and features to Google Classroom. It’s an invaluable tool to my daily workflow as a teacher and I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done without it for the past five years.

One other thing to take note of in the update was a call to be part of a beta program for a gradebook. Google Classroom has never had a cohesive gradebook and some semblance of one would be greatly appreciated.

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I’m sorry, but I have to strongly disagree with your characterization of all the white space as “fresh.” It is simply awful, and my students have been complaining about how difficult it is for them to find anything among the blinding sea of white.

    I really wish the use of white space was optional for those of you who find it “fresh,” and could be turned off for those of us who find it to be an aesthetic punch to the face.

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