Google Apps/ GSuite

Awesome updates to Google Classroom

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Using Google Classroom but still opening and closing endless windows to grade students work? If you hadn’t noticed yet, some great updates were added to Classroom this year to streamline the grading process. When doing a training with staff recently, I shared some of these updates and they were really well received.

  1. Don’t open and close windows to grade student work. If their assignment is a Google Doc, you can now use left and right arrows or a drop down to flip between students work without needing to close or open additional windows.
    G Classroom Training Agenda and Assignment
  2. Create a comment bank: A great grading hack I learned recently was to use comments to quickly score work but retyping the same comments over and over again, can be cumbersome. Now you can click the three dots next to any comment you post and add them to a comment bank. To use a saved comment, put a “#” and then type any key word from the comment and a list will pop up.
  3. Return work right from the assignments. You can also return work just for one student or all and see their grades from the Google Document without going back to Classroom!
  4. Stream versus Classwork: Organize assignments for students with ease. Often, I would hear educators commenting on how the Facebook like stream was hard for both them and their students to organize and locate assignments effectively. Now there is a place called Classwork where you can still create and group assignments into topics (similar to categories) but you can also move these categories in any order such as Units of study, curricular themes or date segments. Then assignments within a topic can also be re-ordered. From the left, students and teachers can click on the topics themselves to filter assignments further and focus on just a group of assignments.
    Screenshot 2020-02-13 at 10.18.29 PM


For more on Google Classroom updates, check out the Google Gsuite Updates Blog.

Create a Classroom Repository: Share Lessons, Assignments and Questions Between Teachers

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What is a Classroom Repository?

I love Google Classroom for so many reasons. How students and teachers and have discussions, share resources, give and receive feedback well beyond the walls and timeframe of the classroom and across all device platforms. One complaint I have received for a long time was that Classroom didn’t have a way to load a class module or template of already created posts, assignments, questions like Moodle, Blackboard or some of the other learning platforms.

I was co-teaching in some science classrooms and they were voicing the issue on having to recreate assignments between peers. Sure, you could share attachments in Drive, but how could you share fully crafted assignments? Having every teacher be a co-teacher of each other’s classrooms was not the answer for many reasons. Then I thought of it….

I created a classroom called Archive Physical Sci Repository for Lessons (ok, the first was a little long) and another called Archive Biology Repository. I set up and posted one announcement, that explained what the Repository classroom was for (sharing created assignments, questions or announcements between teachers of the same subject, grade or area) and directions on how to use it to add or pull content. Only teachers in that subject, grade or area (depending on what it was for) would be made co-teachers so the magical 20 teacher limit wouldn’t be an issue. 

Adding and Pulling Lessons from the Repository

To use a lesson from the Repository is simple, you do the same as using a lesson from an older Archived Classroom. Just go to the class that the lesson needs to go to, click the “RE-USE Post” button, choose the Repository class for that subject and pull in the assignment. 

To post assignments created back into the Repository requires just a few more detailed steps, clicking “Re-Use Post”, pull from their classroom, check off the “Create new attachments” box but then SAVE AS DRAFT. This isn’t really a classroom so there isn’t a reason to Assign or Post but more because if an assignment is posted/assigned, some edit options are no longer available for attachments. If you leave it as a draft, the person going to re-use it in their class can decide how they want to share the attachment, topic, and so forth.

Other Tips and Uses
 I had made the classes under a Google Admin account or Resource account so it would be the owner of the Repository classrooms instead of my individual account. Remember also that only 20 teachers can be added as co-teachers which is why we broke ours down by subject area instead of just by department.

This ends up being a great way to share already crafted content between teachers, new staff, club leaders, or to create templates to share in other ways. With this step, classroom just got even better as a tool for educators.

Great updates to Google Classroom

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Love that assigning different content to individual students now is an option.

Updates to Google Classroom

RT @csheil Missed #NHGEG

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RT @csheil Missed #NHGEG hangout on new #GoogleSites? Check it out @TeachingForward @jllowton @mmarotta #gsuiteedu

How to Backup your Google Drive with Google Takeout

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How to Backup your Google Drive with Google Takeout

  1. Select the items you would like included in your backup.Takout to Download your data.png
  2. Click Next at the bottom
  3. Choose how you would like your .zip backup file sent: Via email (could be huge and fill your inbox) or in your Google Drive (preferred method).takeout2  Download your data.png
  4. go back to Google Drive after while and type *.zip in the search box.

Right-click on the file and choose Download to load on to a USB Drive, Computer other Drive  to save your backup.
Screenshot 2015-01-23 at 10.44.12 AM.png

How to Set a Google Document Link That Forces Each User to Make a Copy

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How to Set a Google Document Link That Forces Each User to Make a Copy

  1. When finishing a Google Document, go to the blue share square
  2. Change the link permission to Anyone with the link can View
  3. Do not copy this link. It’s not the one you want
  4. Go to the link at the top of your document and find the word “edit” in the link
  5. Erase the word “edit” and change it to say “copy”
  6. Copy the entire new link
  7. Paste it in a new window or tab to test it.
    Here is an example:
  8. When another person/student uses the link and clicks the blue Make a Copy button, it will automatically save their copy into their Drive.