The MPS Tech Department is excited to host its first Tech Tuesday on July 14. We have several teachers signed up to attend from all grade levels. Tech Tuesdays will be participant-driven, meaning they are designed to meet the needs, answer questions, and provide support for those in attendance, however we do plan on providing some fun introductory activities to Google Docs that will help educators understand how Google Docs might be used in a collaborative setting.
I am excited about two new changes to Google Classroom that just came out within the past couple of days, especially since teachers were asking about this before vacation, we submitted feedback to Google requesting these features-AND NOW THE CHANGES ARE HERE!
AWESOME CHANGE 1: Saving Assignments as a Draft
Before vacation a teacher asked if we could ‘pre-date’ assignments in Google Classroom so
that the assignment was not posted until the teacher was ready to share it. The answer before vacation was no, but now teachers can now save their announcements and assignments as a ‘draft’ and publish at a later date:
1. Create assignment and save as draft
2. Click on draft and assign when desired
AWESOME CHANGE 2: Creating Class Co-Teachers
You can now invite a ‘co-teacher’ to your Google Classroom who can post announcements and assignments, and provide feedback to assignments.
This can be exciting if you have a co-taught class, but could possibly be even more exciting if you consider the possibilities it opens up for collaboration throughout the building. For example, you and a colleague can become 'co-teachers' of a Google Classroom for a book both of your classes are reading, and then invite students from each of your classes to join. As co-teachers you can take turns posting discussion questions about the book, and ask both classes to respond. Instantly, your students went from hearing the ideas of 25 classmates, to hearing ideas and thoughtful responses of 50 classmates (other ideas include creating a co-taught Google Class on a current event, classes taking turns writing math problems and challenging the other group to solve them...all moderated by two teachers, instead of one...).
AND this may also be a great way to share resources for your department! You can create a Google Classroom Department Class and invite all teachers from your department to be a 'co-teacher'. This will allow anyone from your department to post websites, documents, ask questions, meeting agendas-you name it! See the possibilities with this one are endless!
To add a co-teacher, simply do the following:
1. Go to Google Classroom, choose appropriate class then click the ABOUT tab.
2. Next, click INVITE TEACHER
3. Once you click on INVITE TEACHER, this will open your contacts. You can search for the teacher by typing his/her name in the SEARCH FIELD or in the drop-down choose ALL CONTACTS and select the teacher you wish to invite.
4. Once you have selected the teachers you wish to invite click NEXT, then INVITE. The teacher will receive an email asking them to contribute to the class.
These recent changes to Google Classroom were done because of the great feedback provided by teachers. If you think Google Classroom needs additional features or can do something better, be sure to click on the Feedback Icon (?) at the bottom of any of your Google Classes. The features shared in this post demonstrated that if you ask, they will listen!