Google Classroom Announcement Page Update

📺 Check this out in video form on TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts. 📺

Google Classroom Update!

My buddy John Sowash, who I love following on Twitter, shared an update for Google Classroom. Ready? Images, including GIFs, can now be shown on the Announcements Page! This is another example of a mind-blowing update that Google should’ve done sooner.  Teachers can record a GIF, place it on the Announcements Page and it will pop up. Students will no longer need to click to open it. At this time, you can only do this with one image or GIF, but it’s easily added. Nice huh?

📺 Check this out in video form on TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts. 📺

[ Image(s) Source: ] Continue reading Google Classroom Announcement Page Update

Google Classroom Add-Ons!

Google has just unveiled Add-Ons for Google Classroom. 📚

Now, before I go too far, I want to point out – these are only for educators on the Google Workspace for Education Plus edition or the Teaching & Learning Upgrade. If you’re in the free Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals or the lowest paid version, called Education Standard, you won’t have these Add-Ons.  Don’t cry too much – you can still use all of these tools, just without the added convenience of the Classroom Add-Ons.

While those users cry in their Cheerios, I’ll talk to those of you who are in those special accounts about what you’re getting. ⬇️

Google has partnered with 18 different tools to make it easier to assign stuff from their tools within Classroom.

Those tools include Edpuzzle, Kahoot!, PBS Learning Media, Google Play Books, Sora, Newsela, Safari Montage, Google Arts and Culture, IXL, cK-12, BookWidgets, Adobe Express, WeVideo, Formative, Pear Deck, Nearpod, Wordwall, and Genially.

On the student end, this is nice because these tools become easy, one-click logins from within Google Classroom. The less jumping around we make our students do, the better.

On the teacher end, assigning things is streamlined, but the real bonus is the grading piece. While some tools – like Edpuzzle – have long synced grades into Classroom others – like Pear Deck – have not. Now you can access many of those tools with that trademark grading sidebar right there. So, you can enter grades into Classroom while looking at the actual tool. Plus, more of them now sync like Edpuzzle has for a while.

⬇️Let’s take a peek at a few of these.

First up, let’s look at Kahoot. For the most part, nothing new is happening here – Kahoot works the same and Google Classroom works the same, but now you can assign a Kahoot from within Classroom, without going to Kahoot in a separate tab, and the students just click that link and Kahoot pops up.

The behavior with Pear Deck is similar, but I’m extra excited about this one. Last year, if I wanted to assign a Pear Deck assignment for my students to complete on their own time, I typically opened the slide deck, click the Pear Deck Add-On, started a student-paced activity, then clicked the share to Google Classroom link in the pop up menu.  Now, with the Add-On, you assign directly from classroom.  You still have to have a slide deck that’s ready to go, but the process is much smoother for you. And it’s easy for your students too, click, go, and then – the new step – turn it in.

Edpuzzle behaves similarly. Edpuzzle has sent scores to Classroom for some time, so the main bonus here is that you can add comments in Google Classroom while looking at the Edpuzzle screen.

Similarly, with Nearpod, you can see the robust assessment data that Nearpod provides from within the Classroom grading window and manually type the score and any comments from right there. Not a major improvement, but we know that every second counts. And for a high school teacher, if you can make your grading 1 second faster for each of your 120 students, you just might have time for a bathroom break. Yay you!

There are a bunch of other tools that I didn’t share specifics about – PBS Learning Media, Google Play Books, Sora, Newsela, Safari Montage, Google Arts and Culture, IXL, cK-12, BookWidgets, Adobe Express, WeVideo, Formative, Wordwall, and Genially. It’s pretty similar for all of those – faster assigning, faster student access, and smoother feedback processes.

Google is hinting that there will be more than just these 18 tools in the future too.

Again though, this is only for schools with Google Workspace for Education Plus edition or the Teaching & Learning Upgrade.

[Image(s) Source:] Continue reading Google Classroom Add-Ons!

Google Classroom “Practice Sets”

Google is beta testing a formative assessment tool…

Illustration of students using Google Classroom's Practice Sets

Back in March Google announced a new Google Classroom feature called Practice Sets. Before I get too deep into this one, I want to point out: it’ll only be in the Teaching and Learning Upgrade or the Google Workspace for Education Plus (i.e. part of the paid plans).  It’s still in beta at this point, but I think it’s something that, if you have access to it, you’ll probably use. It’s a tool that combines formative assessment and automated feedback right inside Google Classroom

The teacher starts by adding (or typing up) a question, or set of questions. Practice Sets jumps right into gear by scanning the question using AI, tagging the content and skill, and preparing automated chatbot style hints and resources. I’m skeptical of this part – I mean, haven’t we all had that chatbot pop up on a site that we really needed help from and suggest irrelevant resources to us when we just wanted to talk to a human? We’ll see what we think of this!

Anyhow, it looks like it’ll have multiple choice, short answer, and extended response and will provide a math keyboard as well. Plus, students can respond with text or a drawing tool and, check this out math teachers, if the kids show their work, you’ll be able to see that too.

Most importantly, this tool auto-grades for you right inside Google Classroom, and your students will see if they were correct right away. Those built in hints and resources will pop up automatically if they’re wrong—or kids can click a button to see them if they need them.

On the back end, teachers get good data, a view of what students did, and automated insights. Again, it’s still in beta and it’s part of the paid plans, but it looks like it’s going to have lots of potential when it comes out! 

[Image Source:]

Continue reading Google Classroom “Practice Sets”

15+ Tools for Student Voice

In episode 28 of the Educational Duct Tape PodcastMike Mohammad joined me for a chit-chat.  One of the topics that we discussed was student voice.  I posed the question, “How can educators provide opportunities for student voice?

Mike promptly made the distinction between student voice and student choice.  While both are powerful things to leverage in the classroom, they are very different (though we often lump them together, as Mike pointed out).

I think that educators’ definitions for the term student voice are inconsistent – some seem to believe that it simply means
– hearing each student’s answer or thinking
– while others believe that it means empowering the students to have a voice in some (or all!) aspects of their education.

Mike made it clear in his response that he subscribes to the 2nd “definition” of student voice.  His response fits with the description that Edutopia usesstudent voice involves letting “students’ input and expertise … help shape their classroom, their school, and ultimately their own learning and growth.”

I definitely believe that that is the type of student voice that we want to strive for.  In a recent #EduDuctTape chat, educators shared their favorite tool for empowering student voice.  It’s important to note that simply using the tool doesn’t provide opportunity for or empowerment of student voice.  It’s all about how you use it.

Here are some of their responses:

Continue reading 15+ Tools for Student Voice

Pre-Format Student Answers

Grading stinks.  Anything that we can do to make it better–without sacrificing the quality of the pedagogy or feedback–is worth doing!  Here’s a little trick to make it easier to locate student answers in Google Docs (or other files) that you assign in Google Classroom . . .

Pre-Format Classroom Answers Animation