Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Get ready for the NEW Google Classroom

This past week during the 2018 ISTE conference in Chicago, Google made quite a few announcements that will impact you this fall when you return to school.

The most notable announcements involve Google Classroom. Here's a round up of what we know and when you can expect access to these features:

Introducing Classwork...

Google is re-thinking how content is organized in Classroom.

Up to this point, everything has been posted in to the classroom "Stream" which gets quite cluttered and crowded after a full year of assignments, announcements, and questions.

The updated classroom adds a new "classwork" tab and provides allows teachers to logically group and organize assignments into modules and units.

This change results in better classroom management for teachers, and makes it easier for students to locate assignments.

Highlights of the new Classwork Page: 

Better visual grouping of units
Currently, the topic feature does not provide any visual grouping of assignments. In the new classwork page, a bold banner identifies the topic and groups assignments together.
Google Classroom topics

You can now re-order your assignments
Currently, we can only move assignments to the TOP of the stream. We can't manually order them. Assignments and topics can now be moved up and down inside of the classwork page.

Re-order assignments in Google Classroom

What about the "stream?"

The stream will still be available, but now provides a overview of upcoming assignments and current class discussions.

Google Classroom stream page

"People" get their own page!

Teachers, students, and parents interact with classroom on different levels. The new "people" page make managing this groups easier.

On the people page teachers can add and manage their co-teachers, make changes to their class roster, and configure the guardian access.

Google Classroom people page

All of your Classroom settings in one place!

I'm super excited about this update. All of the settings for your class are now in one central location (look for the "gear" icon). In the past, your class code was on one page, the comment settings on another, co-teachers on another, etc. It took a lot of clicks to set up your class.

Classroom + Forms (even better!)

Google Classroom quiz assignment
Google Forms has always worked well with Classroom, but now it's even better! You can now create a new form quiz directly in classroom. No need to jump into Google Drive first. This new feature is called a "quiz assignment."

But wait, there's more!

If you are using Chromebooks in your classroom, you can also turn on "locked mode" to prevent students from looking up answers during a quiz!

This feature will only work on district-managed Chromebooks.

Google Classroom enable locked mode

When can I test these awesome features???

The official word from Google is that these features will be available to everyone in "August". No specific date has been provided. 

You can request early access by filling out this form. No word on how quickly these features will become available to the early adopter group. 

Let me help you kickstart your school year! 

I am offering an online course called Classroom Kickstart to kick off the 2018-19 school year! This is a 5 week course which will help you launch the 2018-19 school year using Google Classroom. You’ll implement incredibly simple strategies which will improve daily instruction and classroom organization.

The course costs $99 and begins on July 29, 2018.

For more info on the course, head over to   


  1. Thanks for the heads up! I've got scheduled a training for our state summer conference and it's good to know what's new before hand!

    1. That's a tricky situation! I'm waiting for access to the new version so that I can update all of my training material!

    2. I have a lot of trainings coming up as well. Thank you for sharing this well organized summary and the beta form!

  2. My school goes 1:1 Chromebooks in September, and I am working over the summer to learn all things Google, including setting up my Google Classroom. This is so very helpful and I will consider signing up for the course once I read a little more about it! Thanks for being there to help us! Barb

    1. Thanks Barb! Head over to for details on the course. I will have it updated with all of the new Classroom features!

  3. I wonder if the quiz lock feature would work on other devices if students were forced to log into their chrome profile and nowhere else with no access to another browser.

    1. A good question. I'm thinking it will be some sort of special "kiosk" mode which is only available on Chromebooks.

  4. Great new features, still waiting for an open calendar to be available too (one that allows for posting of more than assignments) for students to use and then also subscribe to. Any chance of this happening soon?

    1. You can always submit it as a feature request! Log into classroom and click the ? in the bottom right corner!

      Your Classroom calendars are available in Google Calendar as well. They function like regular calendars and you could add additional events to it. You can also make it public so that parents can view it as well.

  5. Excited to get started on your class!

  6. Wondering if existing classes in GC will automatically update to the new format or will old classes need to be archived/deleted and new classes created.

  7. Thank you very much for everything. I appreciate this!


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