Thursday, January 12, 2017

Google Classroom Differentiated Assignments



January 2017 Update

Google recently updated Google Classroom with a feature that has been much needed. One of the most common questions I get when training teachers on Google Classroom is what to do about differentiated/personalized instruction. In the past, I've recommended to those teachers that if they want to differentiate they will either need to create separate classrooms for each group or use a consistent title for the assignments when dealing with groups of students. The problem with that theory is that groups are often ever changing. As teachers continue to assess, students will continue to shift around in learning experiences/expectations. Within the last year, the edition of topics helped with that issue as the teacher could then at least categorize posts. The students could then click on the topic in order to see only the stream of what pertained to their group. Regardless, Classroom didn't seem to be the friendliest to the differentiated teacher. 

With this update, questions, announcements, and assignments can be pushed out to selected students instead of the entire class. This is great in the instance that you need to provide special instruction for various students, and yet the teacher does not have to switch from Classroom to Classroom as it is all contained in his/her Stream. Along with the feature to be able to select students, I recommend using the topics feature because it would allow the teacher to quickly filter through Google Classroom from the groups he/she has created. Using topics to quickly select is much more time efficient than creating separate Google Classrooms and switching between them. 

What's in the Video?

In the video, I demonstrate how to utilizing the tool to select specific students in an assignment. I also demonstrate how to organize collaborative groups with it along side using the topics feature. Being able to select students aids in organizing collaborative experiences as Google Classroom will not be near as crowded with extra information in the Stream. 

I hope you find this demonstration helpful. Let me know if you have questions in the comments box. 



Google Classroom Guide

I went ahead and updated my Google Classroom Guide with my update. If you need video resources on how to use Google Classroom, you can find them here. I attempt to update it regularly. There is quite a bit of content on it and some of it is of older versions of Google Classroom. I apologize if some materials do not appear exactly the same.