Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

Make your classroom more Efficient!

Google Updates for the New School Year


Each summer, Google provides updates to their products that allow use to do our jobs a little easier and more efficiently. This summer was no different. These are updates that have been in the works for what seems like several years, but alas, they are here. The updates that will be the most beneficial to teachers are to Classroom, which seems to grow into a much stronger program as the updates arrive. Hopefully you've had a chance to take advantage of these, or will be able to utilize them knowing they are now active.

Gradebook in Google Classroom

When Classroom started, it was a great program for not making so many copies and shifting towards a paperless classroom. Each update continues to evolve this learning management system into something really impressive. If you haven't noticed, there now appears and option for "Grades" at the top of the Classroom screen. This is simply as easy way to see assignments in an organized fashion instead of having to click several times to see all of a student's work. Ad added feature is that you're able to return all assignments from this screen and, of course, change the points possible.

Audio Clips into Google Slides

An update to Google Slides that has a lot of potential is the ability to insert audio into a certain slide. This is an update that has not arrived yet, but is slated to be activated in mid-September. Under the "Insert" menu in Google Slides, you will soon notice that "Audio" is an option. Immediately this may not seem like a necessary update, but for individual directions, reflections, and an explanation of information on the slide, this option will be used frequently.

Google Classroom Gradebook Sync

This may be the most powerful update to be released. Classroom Gradebook sync is just as it sounds, inputting the grades into Classroom, and then having them sync to whatever Learning Management System is being used. One of the companies that Google us currently working with is Infinite Campus, which is huge for the Davenport district. Eventually, you will have this option. There are several things that need to be in place for it to be a reality, but it sounds like the wheels are in motion!

Locked Quizzes in Forms

If you're sending out a Google Form to your students, you can now lock their browser similar to what the state testing process was like. When you're setting up a Form, you can select the Slide to "lock" the browser as they're taking the assessment. This only works on managed Chromebooks, however, so as long as your devices are on a district network under a network administrator, this is a major benefit to teachers.

Question Import in Forms

A new option is to utilize questions from a Google Form on a newly created Form. Simply "Import Question" as you're developing a Form, and you're able to grab from previous quizzes or surveys to appear in your new one. A tip that was shared on Twitter is that you can create a "hub" of questions that are used frequently and import from that one Form over and over, making it easier on you as you're developing new quizzes or surveys.

Google "Aha" Tip of the Week

Change the Format of the Google Slides Presentation with one click - If you've ever found yourself continually changing the fonts of a Slides presentation, or even the colors of the design, you're working too hard. If you go to View > Master, you're able to edit all of your text, background colors, and other elements of the Slides Theme in one location. Then, once that window is closed, your new selections will be applied to all of the Slides in your presentation!

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