The Google for Education team added 5 new features to Google Classroom on October 14, 2014! Here is the official blog post. These features have been frequently requested by educators ever since Classroom was released in August. In this blog post, I'll break down those features and provide you with video tutorials of how they work.
Reveal Deleted Items in the Stream
One concern that many teachers had with the Classroom Stream was that students could create and then delete posts and comments without the teacher ever knowing that it happened. That's been fixed with a new feature that allows the teacher to reveal deleted items in the stream! Now the teacher can see their own deleted assignments and announcements and any posts or comments that students deleted. Deleted items appeared grayed out.
Google Classroom - Reveal Deleted Items (Youtube)
Students Can Now Turn In Assignments without an Attachment
Another major concern from teachers was that students could only turn in their Assignments if a file was attached. So, for example, if a teacher wanted to assign the students a quiz with a Google Form, students technically couldn't "Turn In" the assignment, because there was no file attached to it. Of course, there is always a work around, but it isn't always convenient. Now, students are able to complete an assignment without an attachment just by click on the "Mark as Done" button.
Google Classroom - Student Option to Mark as Done (Youtube)
More Classroom Control for Teachers
Teachers have now been given more control over their students in Classroom with two more added features! When teachers grade, they often want to organize their students by first or last name. That wasn't possible in Classroom until now! Also, some teachers wanted the ability to prevent students from posting and commenting on the stream. I have my own opinion on this matter, but I can understand how the stream might get cluttered with all the posts and comments from students. Some teachers want to turn that feature off, or at least "mute" one or two unruly students, and now they can!
Google Classroom - Roster & Stream Control (Youtube)
Invite Students from a Google Group
If you are familiar with Google Groups, you can now access your Groups while inviting your students to your Classroom. Google Groups are a great way of sharing a variety of Google related items with large groups of people. You can create your own Google Group by going to groups.google.com. Once your Group is set and ready, you will be able to access it in the invite menu in Classroom.
Google Classroom - Invite Students from a Google Group (Youtube)
Now, can we all say "Thank You!" to +Google for Education for listening to teachers' feedback! There are more updates to Google Classroom on the way, so stay tuned! While you're waiting, check out the rest of my Google Classroom Video Series on Youtube!