It’s that time again: the smell of fresh backpacks, sharpened pencils, and the impending dread of neighborhood children. Schools are getting ready to start up again, and Google announced via blog post today a few updates to its Classroom tool.
One of the biggest features in the update is Classroom’s integration with Google Calendar. Google will automatically create a calendar for each class in a teacher’s day, which will be accessible from either Classroom or Calendar. Assignment due dates will show up on that class calendar, and teachers will be able to manually schedule events like field trips and class speakers.
Also, teachers will finally be able to reuse their assignment posts across classes with the new ‘Reuse post’ button. Simply tap that button, select which class the post was previously published in, and make edits to modernize or add questions for the new post. Teachers can select material from any class they teach or co-teach.
Teachers will also be able to post questions to their class, and encourage discussions by allowing students to respond in threaded comments to each other’s answers. Google Classroom provides the data on the number of students who have (and have not) answered to help enforce participation.
In addition to these big updates, Classroom also has a few new handy tricks: teachers can now easily bump posts up to the top of the stream, assign material without requiring a due date, or attach a Google Form to a post to create an on-the-fly quiz.
Some of these tools will roll out this week, and others will happen within the coming weeks — both Calendar and Google Form integrations are on the way — along with “more back-to-school goodies” in more Classroom-integrated services.
➤ Head back to school with new features in Google Classroom [Google for Education Blog]