Promised features and improvements to Google Classroom now available

The updates Google announced and previewed in beta form at ISTE are now publicly available, just in time for the 2018-19 school year.

In June, Google announced a wave of improvements and additions to Google for Education at the ISTE annual conference, covering everything from setting up a Classwork page within Google Classroom to help teachers stay organized to offering a Locked mode that keeps students from opening other windows and tabs during quizzes.

All the changes were in beta development, though, so only those participating in the company’s early adopter program had access. Now, ahead of the new school year, Google has made them live for all educators and students.

Most notably for teachers, the company has released Course Kit , a free toolkit that gives instructors the ability to use Google Docs and Drive in conjunction with their existing learning management system (LMS). The toolkit is based on the Learning Tools Interoperability standard, so it will work with any LMS that supports that standard.

On its blog , Google also announced other changes that will be rolled out this fall and winter, including:

  • Updates to Google Docs focused on margins and indents, to improve the overall writing experience.
  • An update to Tour Creator that will allow addition of VR180 photos taken by any VR180 camera.
  • Updated content in the Science Journal website.
  • The new Google Drive integration will allow students to conduct, document and access science experiments from any device that runs the Science Journal app.
  • Updates and new training in the Teacher Center with curated videos made by educators, including actionable steps for getting started with G Suite for Education.

For students, there is a new Student Dashboard in the Applied Digital Skills site that enables them to track their classes, their lessons and the last video they viewed. And teachers can use the site to assign lessons through Classroom.

Google has provided a Back to School 2018 FAQ page that walks through all the changes and additions.

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