Google came out with a new update that was posted on the Google Blog on Monday, June 25, 2018. This new update is in response to what we have all experienced… a clogged up Stream that was difficult for both students and teachers to navigate. The new update includes 3 new “tabs” at the top of Classroom called Stream (well not new), Classwork, and People.
I am most excited about the new Classwork tab. This new section allows you to organize assignments by topic (rather than only by date as before) and makes it easier for you and your students to find current and past assignments. This frees up the Stream for classroom conversations and announcements!
Now you can organize your assignments in Classwork by PBL units. This is HUGE for keeping all of the parts of a PBL project organized. While in the new Classwork tab, you can now see a new “Create” button at the top. If you select “Create” you get a choice of Assignment, Quiz Assignment, Question, Reuse Post, and Topic. If you select Topic, you can create a section where you post all assignments and questions related to that topic.
I signed up to do the beta of the new updates and haven’t received access yet, but I am wondering if the new Classwork section will also function like the “old” About tab? I use the About section to post important resources for my students relating to PBL projects. I hope I will still be able to post important resources in the Classwork section, as these types of things are not assignments. Or perhaps I will have to now use the Stream for this but I don’t like this idea as things in the Stream tend to get pushed down and difficult to find. Once I get my access to the beta I will update this blog.
The new update also allows you to create a new Quiz in Forms right from Google Classroom. In addition, when students open up a Quiz from Google Classroom it locks the screen preventing students from going to other webpages, but only in managed Chromebooks.
You won’t see these new releases in your Google Classroom just yet. They are set to be released in the fall, but you can sign up for early beta access if you go here.