File image: Google. (IOL).

CAPE TOWN - Google announced new features to Google Classroom such as a feature which allows teachers to block internet access while students are completing assessments. 

Google announced yesterday on its blog that it has updated Google Classroom so that teachers have more control on how they organise assignments and rosters.

“As education continues to evolve, so do the needs of students and teachers. We work hand-in-hand with educators to ensure that Google’s tools grow along with their needs, and the latest updates to Classroom and Forms are no exception. Thanks to feedback from educators, we’re updating Classroom to give teachers more control over how they organize everything from assignments and announcements to class rosters. It’s the same Classroom teachers are familiar with, but redesigned to help teachers and students find what they need quickly. This fall, we’re also adding a new feature to Quizzes that lets teachers control what students can see when taking assessments in Forms”, said the statement. 

Now Classroom works like you do  

The statement said that the updates to Classroom were built to mirror the way teachers actually work. 

With that said, Google announced that it is rolling out three improved pages and they are as follows:

Classwork: This page was added to allow teachers to organise assignments and questions by grouping them into modules and units. 

“Now, teachers can organize classwork by topic or unit, instead of just by date. This will help them plan their courses and gives them more control over how everything is presented to their students in Classroom”, said a Google Certified Trainer in Canada, Trevor Beck.

“Teachers might have a reading response journal where they want kids to respond every week. They used to have to repost it each week to the Stream, but now they can use the Classwork page to make it more organized and efficient for themselves and their students”, said an Instructional Coordinator at Downers Grove High School in Chicago, IL, Lisa Lichtmann.

         Picture: Google Classroom. (Google Classroom Blog). 

People: This page allows teachers to view, add and remove students, co-teachers and guardians as well as update guardian information and send emails. 

Settings: All classroom settings can now be controlled in settings.”They can edit the class description, change the course code, adjust guardian summaries and class location, as well as control how students post and comment on the Stream”. 

Stream: Stream has been redesigned so that it provides for a better conversational hub. Teachers can notify students of deadlines and announcements. 

“Our goal with all these updates is to help teachers work faster in Classroom and give them more time with their students. You can sign up to try these new features now, but otherwise expect to see the new Classwork, People and Settings pages roll out to all teachers this fall”, said the statement. 

Giving teachers more control over Quizzes

In addition, Google updates its Quizzes to limit students from getting distracted and cheating when taking an assessment. 

“In order to help educators better check for understanding when giving a Forms Quiz, we’re launching locked mode. This feature locks a student’s Chromebook screen and prevents them from navigating away from the Quiz until they submit their answers. This feature is available only on managed Chromebooks, and will be launching this fall”, said the statement. 

The new version will be able to lock a Quiz from Forms and you will be able to create a Quiz in Forms directly in Classroom. 

          Picture: Google Classroom. (Google Classroom Blog). 

“Our hope is that these improvements to Classroom and Quizzes give educators more time to spend with students, and more control over classwork organization and assessments. A huge thank you to the countless educators who use our tools and partner with us to help us make them better. Don’t forget to sign up if you want to test out the new Classroom features, and keep your eyes peeled for locked mode in Quizzes this fall”, concluded the statement. 

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