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Hack the New Google Classroom

Been Awhile has been a quite place as of late. I apologize for the lack of posting, but it has certainly been representative of the season in my educational career. We've had a lot of new in the last couple years at MSD of Steuben County. I'll make more of an attempt to post in the future. Just in case I don't hold up to that promise, I'm pretty active on my YouTube channel. Feel free to subscribe to me there. 

Google Classroom Hack

It has been almost an entire year since I came across a quick hack within Google Classroom to save you time an energy when it comes to creating collaborative spaces with Google products (docs, sheets, slides, etc.) To reiterate the linked post, the teacher merely needs to create an assignment, attach a hyperdoc, set the hyperdoc so that students can edit and save it as a draft. By doing so, the teacher can save tons of time due to a cool "reuse" feature within Google Classroom. By reusing the assignment draft and setting it so that new copies of attachments are made, the teacher can protect their template and have all the new copies automatically created and organized in their Google Drive under the "Classroom" folder.

The same hack I wrote about a year ago still exists, but the options are in a few different locations and requires an updated video. All of these steps are now accomplished in the new "Classwork" tab and can be simply organized by following several steps.

Create a hyperdoc

If you're new to creating hyperdocs, I have previous posts on the topic. The main idea is that you give students the opportunity to explore, experiment and share ideas about their learning. With that recipe in mind, you'll have your first template up and ready to roll. 
Here are some tips on creating hyperdocs: 
Once you have your hyperdoc built, visit Google Classroom and enter the "classwork" page so that you can create a new assignment. When you build this assignment, keep in mind the following tips:
  • Title the assignment with the word "draft" for organization purposes
  • Create a topic where all your collaborative copies will reside
  • Use the small arrow beside the "assign" button to save the assignment as a draft
All of these tips are merely for workflow purposes. You may want to use the term "draft" so that when you go to make copies it will be easier to locate. Consider having a separate topic just for this collaborative space. This isn't so much for your students, but more for your sanity so that all the groups are in one spot for this task. Lastly, saving the assignment as a draft will ensure that students don't see nor violate the original integrity of your template.

Create a draft

Reuse post

Now you're ready for the magic. Click on the "create" icon in the classwork tab again and you'll see the "reuse post" option. You'll then select form the class you are currently in and select your draft that you created. Make sure the small box on the bottom-left corner of this box is selected so that you can create additional copies of the attachments. This is important! By doing so, Google Classroom will create the copies for you and save them in your "Classroom" folder in Google Drive. To help with organization, you'll want to change the title of the assignment to the title of the group. This is more for your sanity than the students so that you can keep track of which document belongs to which group. Select your students for the group and assign it!  You'll repeat this step for each group in your class.

Reuse post

See it in action

Time and organization are some of the toughest issues of setting up collaborative spaces for students. My hope is that this hack will help you be more efficient and effective in doing so.