Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Google Classroom Updates! (Added Jan. 15, 2015)

More updates for Google Classroom!
The amazing Google Classroom team added two great new features on January 15th. And now there's even an app for Android and iOS! Read on for a break down of the new features and the iOS app.











Archiving Classes
For teachers who have a lot of classes to manage, the Classroom dashboard can quickly become cluttered, especially as we move through quarters and semesters. One of the great new features that solve this issue is the ability to Archive classes. This new option will remove the classroom from the dashboard for both the teacher and the students and place it in a new location called Archived Classes. Archived classes are still viewable by the teacher and the students, but no changes or edits can be made. All files shared and created within the classroom are still kept in Drive, so rest assured that classroom content is kept safe. Teachers also have the option to Restore and Delete an archived class. Restoring a class will place it back on the dashboard and it will become editable again. Deleting the class will remove it completely from Google Classroom for both the teacher and the students, however, files are still kept safe in Drive.

Screenshots of the new Archive Feature








Teacher Assignments Page
Students already had a very useful and helpful Assignments Page where they could easily keep track of all their assignments for all of their classes. But, teachers didn't really have anything similar...until now! Teachers now have their own handy Assignments Page where they can keep track of all of the assignments for all of their classes in one place! You can filter the assignments by class and organize assignments into a Reviewed and Not Reviewed list.

Screenshots for the new Teacher Assignments Page






Android & iOS Apps Now Available!
Probably the biggest deal with this most recent update is the addition of a mobile app for Google Classroom. Now teachers and students can access Classroom on their Android or iOS tablets and phones!

Be aware though that this app is not currently full featured and does not allow the teacher do everything that can be done on the web-based version. For example, in the app teachers can only create Announcements. Assignments need to be created on the web. Also, the new Assignments Page for teachers is not available in the app as well.

However, this app was mainly designed for the student in mind in its initial release. Students are given more options and functionality in order for them to access and complete assignments on the go. One of the added benefits to using the app is that students can attach images from the Camera Roll and use a built-in camera to take pictures all within the Google Classroom app. Teachers and students also have easy access to their Drive files.

Screenshots of the new Google Classroom iPad App

















The Google Classroom team is hard at work on future updates but they need your help! If you have any suggestions for how the app can improve (both on the web and for the mobile apps) suggest feedback and create a post on the official Google Classroom forum. You can suggest feedback by clicking on the "?" bottom right corner of Classroom.