I’ll admit it, I love being organized…a lot. And when it comes to Google Classroom there is no exception. I like my class cards setup so that they are in the order that my classes run at the start of each week. This meant creating my classes in reverse order so that the last class that I made would be listed first on the Classes screen. If I made a mistake then, oh well. That is, until now!
At your Google Classroom homescreen (called Classes), you will see the cards for all of the classes you’ve either created or joined. Click anywhere on a card to drag it to its new location.
Students can reorder their class cards too, so that they are no longer locked into the order in which they join their classes each term.
At the start of each new term I create a new class in Google Classroom and then copy the class code to paste it into a Google Slides deck. This way, when students arrive for our first meeting together I can project the code on my presentation device large enough for them to transcribe it into their devices. Now Google has made this process even easier.
Under the Student tab you will find the join code for your class. Clicking the disclosure triangle to the right of the code displays a drop-down menu with the new option to ‘Display’ the code. This will enlarge the code and display it boldly in the browser window. Clicking on the box in the bottom-right corner of the code window will enlarge the code further to fill your entire browser window.
I love Google Classroom. All of the notifications that I tend to get from Classroom, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate some of the notifications I get, for example when students re-submit assignments because they are challenging themselves to improve upon their work and demonstrate mastery of the standard(s) being assessed. Thankfully, Google Classroom has expanded their notification settings so that we can decide which types of notifications we want to get.
From the home screen inside of Google Classroom, click on the hamburger icon in the top-left corner to reveal the menu sidebar. Scroll down to the very bottom of the list and clicking on Settings.
Now, in addition to turning on/off all Classroom notifications, you can now customize Classroom notifications based on comments, activity in classes that you’re enrolled in (i.e. a student) and classes you teach.
I still have a filter rule in my Gmail for all email notifications from Classroom to bypass my Inbox and drop directly into a label. However, these improved controls will help better manage those notifications that I want to receive, especially from the Classroom app on my mobile device.
As the summer break comes to an end and educators begin preparations for the return of students (and with some already in session), now seems like a good time to chat about the benefits that Google Classroom can have on your class. Google has been hard at work during the summer hiatus listening to the feedback they’ve received from educators like you and have introduced significant improvements to the app. We will spend the next weeks going over these changes, some of which are very, very cool!
To begin, Google has announced a new resource for educators called #FirstDayofClassroom, which has a little something for everyone.
- If you’re new to Classroom, then check out “The Basics” with YouTube videos that cover setting up your class, adding students, assigning work, and grading assignments inside of Classroom.
- If you’ve tried Classroom before and are looking for the next steps, then check out the “Teacher’s Lounge” with videos on tips, tricks, and best practices from fellow educators.
- Do you prefer documents over videos that you can print out and have in-hand at a moment’s notice? Then scroll down to the “Handy Guides” section.
If you or someone you know is new to Google Classroom then this site is definitely bookmark-worthy. If you are familiar with Classroom or perhaps even a veteran, then check back often for news and updates as additional resources and support materials are in the works.
Device and account security are both critical components to anyone who uses technology. The past few weeks have centered around this topic with tips that covered how to keep your Chromebook secure and up-to-date. For my final post in this series, we will examine how to access and review the activity on our mail account.
Part 4: Gmail Activity Information
Many of us login to our Gmail account from multiple devices, sometimes even from “shared” devices like a computer lab terminal or shared workstation. When this does happen, do you make sure that you sign-out of your account each time? Google provides a way to examine your Gmail account activity and, more importantly, force logout of all Gmail sessions that may still be active.
- Open the Gmail app
- Scroll to the bottom of your window and in the bottom-right corner locate the heading “Last account activity” and click on the Details link.
- Here you can review the activity displayed. If anything looks suspicious, then you can click the ‘Sign out all other web sessions’ to force sign-out of your Google account on all devices that have been used to access your mail account.
- It is highly recommended that at this point you consider changing your account password to prevent any future unauthorized access.
- Before closing the window, scroll down to the bottom and locate the “Alert preference” heading. By clicking the ‘change’ link, you can configure this setting to notify you if any unusual activity is detected in the future.
Device and account security are both critical components to anyone who uses technology. The past few weeks have centered around this topic with tips that cover how to keep your Chromebook secure and up-to-date as well as how to make sure your account and private information are safe.
Part 3: Account Checkup
Conducting a periodic security checkup of your Google account allows you to review devices that have connected to your account, disable account access for apps whose sign-in protocols may not be up-to-date, and check that only the apps and websites that you have authorized have access to your account.
- From any Google App, go to the top-right corner of the window and click on your account avatar.
- From the pop-up window, click on the ‘My Account’ button.
- Under Sign-in & security, look for the Security Checkup tool and click the GET STARTED link to begin.
Once inside of the Security Checkup, you will be asked to review three important account settings:
- Check your connected devices – View a list of all of the devices that have accessed your Google account. If you recognize all of the devices on the list, then everything “Looks good.” If you see a device that you do not recognize, then click the “Something looks wrong” button and you will be prompted to change your account password.
- Disable access for less secure apps – One of the features your Google account has is its ability to interface with different apps and services. However, not all of these use secure sign-in technology. This setting allows you to deny these less secure apps and services access to your account.
- Check your account permissions – This setting asks you to review ALL apps, websites, and services that have access to your account. For each item listed you can examine what account information it has access to, when authorization was granted, and the option to remove it from the approval list. If you need to access one of these services later on, then you can grant them access to your account again.
Performing a security checkup on your Google account on a regular basis, perhaps once a month, is a good way to stay informed with where your account is being used and who it is interacting with.
Device and account security are both critical components to anyone who uses technology. Starting last week, we will focus on this topic with tips that will cover how to keep your Chromebook secure and up-to-date as well as how to make sure your account and private information are safe.
Part 2: Chromebook Updates
Chromebook updates help protect your device from viruses and malware, and give you access to important updates and new features inside of the G Suite list of apps.
Your Chromebook is set to check for updates automatically and download them in the background. However, to install an update the Chromebook does require your help by rebooting the device.
- When an update is ready to install, the Chromebook will notify you by displaying a vertical arrow in the bottom-right corner of the screen near the clock display.
- Click the arrow to access the ‘Restart to update’ prompt. This will close all windows, tabs, and applications you have running.
Check for updates yourself
- Open Chromebook Settings
- At the top of the Settings window, click on the ‘About Chrome OS’ link
- From the ‘About’ window, your Chromebook will display the current version installed.
- Click the “Check for and apply updates” to manually start the update process.
- When the download is complete, a restart of the device will complete the update process.
A couple of weeks ago I was setting up for a professional development session and for some reason I was unable to get my Chromebook to mirror its screen on the classroom display. Well, it sort of did in that I could see and control my cursor, but with pitch black being my only background color. I tried what felt like everything on both the Chromebook and the presentation equipment with no luck. Then, just for fun I did a manual check for updates on the Chromebook and lo and behold there was one. And you know what happened next, right? Yeah, the update fixed the mirroring problem…go figure.