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Meet Your New Google Classroom!
As you head back to school, you may be in for a shock the next time you open Google Classroom. Google released some much-needed updates this summer, the biggest of which is to the Gradebook feature in Google Classroom! The Gradebook updates are already available to all, but some of the other exciting updates are more difficult to get. Here are some other Google Classroom updates you’ll want to get to know.
Student Information System
There is an option for Student Information System (SIS) integration, where you would be able to sync with your particular grading/attendance system. Unfortunately, the school district google administrator would have to request for that feature to be turned on. This is sometimes much more work than just a simple flip of a switch! Google hopes to have this integration rolled out and fully functional to certain select SIS by the end of the school year.
If you makes use of rubrics, there is a new exciting Rubric Tool! It is currently in Beta, so it would have to be requested at this site: Google Rubric Beta Request. The application is quick and easy. You’ll hear from Google regarding your status. Make sure to use your Google Classroom affiliated email address.
If your district has Chromebooks, you will be able to launch a new “Locked” mode for quizzes! Previously a beta test, this feature will now be available to ANY device based on a Chrome Operating System (Chromebooks). The “Locked” mode means that students will not be able to move away from the quiz window until it is submitted. Google is hoping that this “encourages student integrity”, and teachers are excited to have another tool in their Google tool belt!
This is a new roll out as of mid-August. Originality reports is in beta with unlimited checks for student documents against missing citations and web content. After beta, teachers can choose up to three assignments per course for no cost. G Suite Enterprise for Education users will have the capability on unlimited assignments. Within student docs, you may also choose to compare documents with your Classroom folders or other folders on Drive.
Google Classroom Gradebook
Now for the most exciting update for teachers! The newest functions you can find in your Google Classroom Gradebook are…
Google has streamlined this process! Teachers can now return grades straight from the “Grades” page. This will save a few extra clicks when it’s time for you to send student grades and comments back. No longer do you have to hunt and peck to figure out how to return grades!
Docs Grading Tool:
Along the same line of easier grading, you can now grade directly inside of docs! Grading is now the third option within the “Grading Docs” feature. Commenting and suggesting are also still available, and work can be returned with or without a grade. Win-win-win!
You can now assign “Categories” to your assignments! Doing so means assignment categories can then be weighted. If you would like their “Tests” category to be worth 80%, and their “Homework” category to be worth 20%, you can now do so! Head up to the settings “Cog” and scroll down to the “Grade Calculation” section. Add some categories, change “Overall Grade Calculation” to “Weighted by Category” and have fun playing with percentages! Finally, you can toggle on or off the “Show overall grade to students” option. Know that you will need to SAVE these settings before moving on. Can’t click the SAVE button? Make sure you have your weighted categories equal to 100%!
Google for Education and especially Google Classroom, will continue to evolve and grow. Staying on top of all the changes is impossible as a teacher with students, conferences, families, side-jobs, and life getting in the way. If there is one most valuable feature of the Classroom platform, it is the Question-mark in the lower left-hand corner. The first option in the menu is “What’s New”, and this question is worth its weight in flair pens! Click on it at any point to find out the latest news, updates and wonderful changes that the super-stars at Google have cooked up for Educators!
Would you like more information on Google Classroom and Google Apps for Education? Check out these great titles to help you get started or add more to your Classroom!
50 Things You Can Do With Google ClassroomThe Google Infused Classroom: A Guidebook to Making Thinking Visible and Amplifying Student Voice50 Things to Go Further with Google Classroom: A Student-Centered ApproachThe HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google AppsDitch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your ClassroomDitch That Homework: Practical Strategies to Help Make Homework ObsoleteDON’T Ditch That Tech: Differentiated Instruction in a Digital WorldGoogle Apps for Littles: Believe They CanShake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic