Classwork in Google Classroom
Rolling out over the next few weeks are new features to Google Classroom with a brand new design. The Stream is no longer where the action is, the new Classwork page is. Read the Google for Education blog for more information on this. If you want practice with the new Google Classroom, check out my Go Slow workshop: alicekeeler.com/goslow
When students log into the new Google Classroom assignments are no longer on the Stream. They are announced on the Stream but the assignments are now on the new Classwork tab. Direct students to the 2nd tab “Classwork” to find the assignments.
I have a helpful header template with a finger that points at the Classwork tab if you’re interested.
About Tab is Gone
The About tab is NO LONGER where you organize your class materials. Instead, the About is a link in the class header and only tells the class description. Organize your class syllabus and other materials in the Classwork page. When things are hidden, they are out of sight out of mind. Organizing class materials on the Classwork page puts everything in the same place. Coming soon you will be able to add materials NOT as an assignment. For now, add your materials as an ungraded assignment with a topic of “About/Resources.” The question is… where does this topic go?
My 2 cents… is to have the topics be “TODAY,” “About/Resources,” “Current Unit” and then “Previous Units.” Clicking the 3 dots on a topic you can move the topic. If you edit an assignment and change the topic it will automatically be organized into the assigned topic. Thus, I suggest today’s assignments have the topic of “Today” and at the end of the day you edit the assignment to change the topic to the appropriate unit.
PLEASE SEND FEEDBACK to have new topics at the TOP so we don’t have to scroll past all the OLD stuff every time. I would also like the 3 dots to say “MOVE” Instead of “Move Up” in the exact same way that I can “Move” on the class tiles page. 100% of us want drag and drop, keep asking for that too. Click on the tiny question mark in the bottom left hand corner and choose “Send feedback.”
Settings in One Place
Copy a Class
I am not thrilled about this feature. I always thought it was a plus that Google Classroom only let us reuse one assignment at a time. This forced us to be thoughtful about every single thing we put in front of a student’s face. How special that it worked for last years kids, you have different kids this year. I have yet to teach the perfect lesson, of course, my activity from last time could be better. Be careful about focusing on content over students. We would sneer at someone taking the publisher handouts and photo copying them all at the beginning of the year, it’s not different when you do it digitally. Be thoughtful. Is this assignment engaging? Is it still relevant? How could it be BETTER? Change AT LEAST one thing, even if it’s small. Does this incorporate THIS YEAR’s students interests?
Click on the 3 dots on the class tile to copy the class. Important, edit the 2nd line of the class to include dates (school year) of the class. As you use Google Classroom over years, you’ll really appreciate those date ranges.
This has been awesome! I’ve been using it a ton since I had Beta access to the features. Now when you click on a document a student has submitted to a Google Classroom assignment it opens in a grading shell. It makes it significantly easier to provide feedback to students for documents submitted. Private Comments can be added to the side panel. These show up in Google Classroom. You can easily move to another students document using the new grading/feedback shell.
Turn OFF Notifications for a Specific Class
Previously, it was all or nothing in terms of email notifications for a class. If you were a co-teacher for a class you were stuck with notifications for those classes. You wanted notifications for your classes, but not necessarily the ones you’re a co-teacher in. Now you have more granular control. Click on the 3 lines menu in the upper right and go to the bottom and choose “Settings.” At the bottom of the notification settings is an option for “Class notifications. Click on the triangle to expand out all the classes. Toggle off the classes you do NOT want to receive any notifications for. Be careful what you wish for!