Monday, June 29, 2015

New Ways to Integrate Google Classroom

New Ways to Integrate Google Classroom

Google announced today developers can integrate Classroom with an API (application program interface).  This feature will allow teachers to create assignments directly from Quizlet and PBS, for example.  (I feel like hitting that Easy button from Staples right now!)

One developer, Pear Deck has been helping Classroom with this venture!  Pear Deck is a wonderful interactive tool for classroom technology integration.  I wrote a blog about it earlier this year.  Watch the video below for a quick demonstration of Pear Deck & Classroom.

In addition to Pear Deck, more than 20 developers have committed to adding a Classroom share button.  Here are just a few to name:  
  • Discovery Education
  • Quizlet
  • Pear Deck
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • PBS
  • Time EDGE
  • Duolingo

Mobile Classroom Notifications

In a few weeks, be on the lookout for an update to the iOS and Android Classroom app.  Students will be able to see when they've got a new assignment, grade, note from their teacher or a comment from a fellow student.  My only hope is that users can decide what notifications they would like to receive or turn off notifications all together, if they choose.

Re-use Previous Posts

If you were like me and used Classroom last year, you may want to reuse some of your assignments or materials.  So, I wrote a blog on how to organize your Classroom assignments before next school year.  Well, it looks like Google heard or read our posts about it and they are planning to roll out the ability to reuse assignments and posts from old classes.  This should be available in August!  I am super excited for this feature as it will allow me Keep Calm, Click Undo!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Google Sheets Update!

When I teach students about spreadsheets, I often stress the importance to not only include the numerical data, but the use of charts and graphs as well to add a visual of the data.  This week, Google made a few updates to Sheets.  You can now add data labels to bars or points.  When you use line or scatter charts, you can change the shapes of your data point to various shapes like stars or diamonds.  

Google also added new tools to help analyze data.

  • Preview formula results instantly as you type.  This is super helpful for catching errors quickly.
  • Filter rows and columns by conditions like "greater than," "date is before" and "text contains."  This will help you view the info you need.
  • Add calculated fields to pivot tables when applying formulas to pivot table data.

Google is all about search and collaboration.  I love collaborating with Google, but it can be tricky with Sheets.  To avoid accidental edits,  you have been able to restrict editing to a specific user or users and a specific range, but now you can also warn yourself and collaborators who try to edit certain cells. 

Next time you are working in Google Sheets, give a few of these a try especially with the chart data.  Remember to Keep Calm, Click Undo!