Google Classroom Updates May 2016

Screen-Shot-2016-05-11-at-3.54.27-PMGoogle has made some really nice updates to Google Classroom over the past few months. They are getting closer and closer to an ideal LMS. I’ve outlined some of my past grievances with Google Classroom, and it sounds like they are listening to feedback. Many of the issues I raised are still there, but the new additions are super helpful for many reasons.

Questions

Towards the beginning of the school year Google added “Questions” as a type of item to add to your classroom. Previously the only items that were in there were Announcements and Assignments. Questions added a nice way to give a quick formative assessment or feedback tool. It was slightly limited, but still worked. They added options now to allow for different types of questions; short answer or multiple choice. The process for creating questions is shown below:

gc_questions

Scheduling items

Google added the ability to create drafts of items (announcements, assignments, and questions) towards the middle of the school year. It was a welcomed addition as it ensured that you could work on something over time and not lose your progress. The problem is, for planners, you would create your items, put them into draft mode, and then have to assignment on the day you wanted to have them shown. It’s a little too hands on for something that could be automated. The steps for scheduling assignments is shown below:

gc_schedule

A few notes about scheduling:

  • You have to set a due date for the assignment. Google automatically makes it the next day, but for scheduling you will have to change it
  • The scheduled date of the item CANNOT be prior to the due date

What this means

I love these updates. It helps me plan out things farther ahead and get things done more quickly. Being able to schedule assignments allows me to focus on instruction and creating better assignments. The five minutes or so that I will save each day will add up. It also means that if I am absent, my intended lesson gets posted.

Google also noted that they are working on parent emails. I would still like full parent access but it’s a step in the correct direction. I’m excited by what is coming. Go Google!

Nathan Nagele

I’m a husband, father, and technology education teacher. I have a passion for creating videos and instructional materials that help students highly achieve.

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