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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Google Classroom Summer Updates

The long awaited parent option has been added.  The call it "Guardian" and you can invite one or more parent/guardian to receive updates about their child's work for the week.  
Once you turn this feature on under the students tab, you will need the parent email address it invite them.
Guardian email summaries include:
  • Missing work—Work that’s late at the time the email was sent
  • Upcoming work—Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or work that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails)
  • Class activity—Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers
By default, email summaries for your classes are turned off so it will need to be turned on. Guardians can’t access Classroom or view your class stream. 
The other big update is the option to add a "Topic" on teacher posts.  This allows postings to be grouped together and sorted by topic.  This feature can be extremely helpful in organizing posts by unit, or by group.

Once topics have been added to postings an option to view the stream by topics will be available on the left for ease of use by both teachers and students.
Lastly, the Google classroom mobile app has added functionality to annotate student work.  Using the app you can now draw on, highlight, and write on top of students' Google Documents, PDFs, and Microsoft Word documents. The iOS version of the app will also let you type on top of a document. With both apps students can annotate items that teachers have shared in Google Classroom and teachers can annotate items that students have shared back to them.

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