Saturday, August 20, 2016

5 New Google Updates

Exciting News.  This week Google released a bunch of updates to many of their tools that are popular with teachers. Here's a short overview of those updates which I think many of you will be excited about as well.  I have heard several teachers over the past couple of years mention these updates as a must fix for Google.  Now they have.  When school gets back in sessions, I will gladly offer training on how to take advantage of these updates.


1. Google Classroom now supports sharing with parents. You can now invite parents and guardians to subscribe to a daily or weekly summary of activities in your Google Classroom classes. 

2. In the Google Classroom mobile apps you can now draw on, highlight, and write on top of students' Google Documents, PDFs, and Microsoft Word documents. The iOS version of the app will also let you type on top of a document. With both apps students can annotate items that teachers have shared in Google Classroom and teachers can annotate items that students have shared back to them.

3. You can now use images as answer choices to questions created in Google Forms. You can also use images as question prompts in Google Forms. 

4. You can now add topics labels to posts in your Google Classroom stream. This allows you to search and sort your stream by topic instead of date. 

5. Starting on September 12th Google will no longer offer Hangouts on Air. Hangouts on Air will be replaced by YouTube Live. YouTube Live will let you create public, private, and unlisted broadcasts. Broadcasts will be automatically stored in your YouTube account. The most significant change for many users will be the removal of the Q&A feature that was in Google Hangouts on Air. Now to host a Q&A you will have to share Google Slides and use the Q&A feature integrated into the presenter mode in Google Slides.

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