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Just in time for the 2018-19 school year, Google Classroom is getting some renovations. Google Classroom, launched in 2014, is a learning management system for teachers and students. The program is usable from a web browser, but also comes in app form for iOS and Android.

The Classroom support page points out new features to keep an eye out for this fall:

New Classwork page

The Classwork page is designed to make creating, organizing and finding work easier. Instructors can organize assignments into units and modules with the ability to reorder. The page also allows for sharing and organizing resources and class materials.

As of now, the Classwork page only works for newly created classes. Google is working on getting the page for existing classes.

Instructors can opt out of the Classwork page, but keep in mind the page will disappear, any reordered posts will revert to the original order, and assignments and questions will appear on the Stream page.

Additions to the Classwork page allowed for the To-Do page to be nixed. Students can see their missing, assigned, and graded work on the Your Work page. Everything for teachers (and sometimes students) is on the Classwork page.

SEE: Google Classroom updates aim to stop cheaters

Updated Stream page

The Stream page isn't new to Google Classroom, but it's been cleaned up. With announcements, assignments, and questions all together, it was hard to parse through. The updated Stream page now only shows announcements and student posts, if that's how the teacher wants it, and replies. It's like a discussion board and all posts appear in chronological order. Assignments and questions are now on Classwork page.

New grading tool

Google says the new grading tool will cut down your time with a red pen. The feature has a comment section built in for feedback. There's also a search feature that can generate a prewritten response.

It's also easier to swap between the student's submissions. Teachers can now grade in a two-panel window layout--the top panel lets teachers rotate through the students and the right panel shows all the work said student has submitted.

Copy and Reuse Classwork

The updates now make it easier for instructors to set up and reuse entire classes, instead of just individual assignments. All topics and assignments can be copied over to another class. The copied work saves as a draft so it can be edited before going live.

Improved People and Settings pages

Consolidated information is always accessed easier and that's what Google has done. Google updated the People page to comprise all classroom settings, putting everything in one spot. Instructors can now manage other teachers, students, and guardians in one spot instead of having them split up.

The Settings page has received similar updates, pulling everything into one spot. Instead of hunting down information, the settings page now gives instructors access to class details, class codes, streams, deleted items, and guardian summaries.

The updates to the settings and people page can't be turned off.

Turn off notifications for a class

Previously, the program allowed the disabling of select notifications, but not all. Now, by going through settings, users can mute an entire class. It's handy if the user is only co-teaching a class and doesn't want or need all the updates.

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Takeaways

  1. Google Classroom made several updates to its web version and apps and they're ready to use for the 2018-19 school year.
  2. Many of the updates include more accessibility, better organization, and making efficient use of instructor's time.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for Download.com.