The new school year has started for many of you and will be starting before too long for the rest. Google and Microsoft are well aware of this and have released new features for their respective education products for the new school year. Here are the new features of each that you need to know.
Three New Google Classroom Features
1. Google Classroom now has a section called “classwork.” The Classwork section is where you’ll now place assignments and reference resources for your students. In the Classwork section you can organize materials according to unit of study or topic instead of just organizing materials by date. A header of Classwork will now appear at the top of your Google Classroom page.
2. If you regularly grade or give other feedback in Google Docs, you are going to want to take advantage of the new Comment Bank option available when you’re grading assignments submitted through Google Classroom.
3. Later this year you will be able to create and distribute Google Forms quizzes directly within Google Classroom. When you select “Create” in the new Classwork section you’ll see an option to make a quiz. And if your students are using school-managed Chromebooks, you’ll be able to lock them into the quiz until they submit their final responses. (Reminder, this feature has not yet been released to all users).
Three New Microsoft EDU Features
1. Rubric Grading in Microsoft Teams highlights the list of new Microsoft Teams for EDU features. This is a feature was initially announced back in June, but wasn’t available to all users. Now any teachers who use Microsoft Teams for EDU have access to the rubric grading feature. You can attach rubrics to assignments for students to see before and after completing an assignment. Equally important, you’ll be able to grade an assignment using that rubric without having to open multiple tabs or windows. Watch the following video from Microsoft to see rubric grading in action.
2. Immersive Reader has been added to conversations and chats in Microsoft Teams for EDU. This feature started rolling out last week. Like Immersive Reader in other Microsoft products your students will be to customize font display and read-aloud settings to best meet their individual needs.
3. If you missed it earlier this summer, Microsoft acquired Flipgrid then promptly made all of Flipgrid’s features free for all teachers. Last week the Flipgrid mobile apps got a big update in the form of a new recorder that includes the capability to trim videos before posting them to a Flipgrid grid. Additionally, Flipgrid now has a section for teachers called #GridPals where you can find other classrooms to connect with for video conversations. If you haven’t tried Flipgrid, watch this overview of how to get started.
These were last week’s most popular posts on FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. Two New Google Classroom Features Available to Everyone
2. How to Create a Jeopardy-style Game in Google Slides
3. A Free Presidential Timeline Poster for Your Classroom
4. 56 Examples of Using Scratch Across the Curriculum
5. Add Music to Play Continuously in a Google Slides Presentation
6. How to Record Audio in Google Slides
7. Take a Look at Microsoft’s Free Hands-on STEM Lesson Plans and Projects
As I write this, I only have two days left in my 2018 workshop calendar. If you would like to have me lead a professional development day at your school in November or December, please get in touch ASAP. I can be reached at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com – more information is available here.
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.