Learning Management Systems

Google Updates Classroom With New Tools for Differentiation, Analytics

Google has updated its learning management system (LMS), Google Classroom, with new features for differentiated instruction, management of student work and analytics.

As a result of the update, teachers will be able to share assignments, questions or posts with an individual student, a small group or the entire classroom in a move designed to make it easier to differentiate instruction based on individual student needs.

"I can assign different levels of questions or quantities of assignments," said Juli Dalzell, a 7th grade teacher at Thomas A. Blake Middle School, in a prepared statement. "Also, I can push out documents, such as answer keys, as students complete their assignments."

In a move designed to help manage student work, teachers using Classroom will now have access to two new notifications, one for when students submit late work and one for when students resubmit work.

For administrators, the new update will bring Classroom data to Admin Console Reports. Administrator users will now be able to see Classroom metrics on usage, how many posts are being created overall or by individual users.

The company has also updated the Classroom API to improve integrations with other tools, allowing them to "programmatically add materials to coursework or student submissions and can modify existing coursework they've created," according to information released by Google.

Current integrations include:

  • Flat.IO, a tool that allows student to write music scores online, among other features;
  • Classcraft, a tool that gamifies education by assigning points to students for turning assignments in on time and penalizing them for failing to do so; and
  • Little SIS, a tool that automatically creates classes and syncs rosters.

In related news, the company also recently "released the outcomes of a 16-month investigation of more than 100 K-12 district and school leaders in six countries, representing more than 880,000 students," according to information provided by Google. "The results show that Google technology including Classroom, when combined with the four key factors of planning, professional learning, patience and support, helped schools create significant positive outcomes in the form of improved student achievement, transformed instruction and enhanced student and teacher engagement."

More information about that investigation is available at google.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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