Google just announced some enhancements and new features rolling out to its Google Classroom service today including much improved controls for teachers. Google Classroom, a platform for teachers to plan lessons, assignments, and work alongside students in real-time, was announced earlier this year and first opened to all Apps for Education users in August.
Starting today, Google Classroom users will have access to five big improvements that makes using the service a much smoother experience for educators. Firstly, users can now take advantage of Google Groups integration:
Groups integration: Ability to pre-populate classes using existing Google Groups. If your school uses tools like School Directory Sync, admins can sync class rosters from the student information system (SIS) into Groups.
Also new is the ability for students to “Mark assignments as Done” and an Export all grades feature that lets teachers “download grades for all assignments at once, making it easier to export assignments to any gradebook.”
Also new are improved sorting/filtering features and more teacher controls for posting and commenting:
Sorting: Teachers can now choose to sort students by first or last name, depending on their needs
Greater teacher controls: Teachers can now set permissions for whether or not their class can post or comment in the stream, they can mute individual students from posting or commenting and can even view previously deleted items in the stream
The new features are available to all Google Classroom users through Google Apps for Education.
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