Google EDU Announces Differentiation, Data and API Updates to Classroom

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Google EDU Announces Differentiation, Data and API Updates to Classroom

By Mary Jo Madda (Columnist)     Jan 11, 2017

Google EDU Announces Differentiation, Data and API Updates to Classroom

It’s a new year, and with that comes updates from the Google Education Team.

The announcement revolves around Google Classroom, which the tech giant today claims that more than 20 million students and teachers use. The new features are designed to better support teachers, administrators, and students, in both K-12 and higher education, writes Andrew Garrett, Google Classroom Software Engineer. Developers, don’t fret—there are a few updates for you, as well.

For students and teachers

First up, teachers now have more control over who sees students’ individual assignments—meaning easier differentiation. Specifically, whenever a teacher creates a post, gives an assignment or asks a question, he or she can choose whether to share it with a subset of students, or with the entire class. This enables teachers to deliver different collections of resources or assignments simultaneously, depending on student needs (think special education or gifted/talented, for example).

Additionally, to help manage their workload, teachers will now receive two new Classroom notifications—one related to when students submit late assignments after a due date, and one when students re-submit work. “We understand the information overload that teachers feel as they balance a busy class schedule, a sea of papers to grade, and after-school activities,” writes Garrett, in response to the reason for the new notifications. Don’t worry, current users: established notifications—comments on posts, for example—are still in effect.

For administrators

Administrators, Google’s after-the-holidays gift to you comes in the form of more data and reports. Google Classroom data is now included in theAdmin Console Reports, meaning you can now see the amount of time being spent on Classroom and how many posts are being created. You can also view this data schoolwide, on a class-by-class basis, or by individual user.

For developers

The Classroom API has received a bit of an upgrade, as developers who have integrated their applications into Classroom can now add materials to student coursework, or modify existing coursework.

Get the full description of the newest API capabilities here, or read the full collection of Classroom updates here on the Google blog.

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