Tag Archives: Share to Classroom

Build deeper integrations with Google Classroom

Last year, we launched the Classroom API to make it easier for administrators to manage classes, and for developers to integrate their applications with Classroom. Since that time, hundreds of applications have integrated with Classroom to help teachers gamify their classes, improve students’ writing skills, build interactive presentations and more.

Do more with coursework in the Classroom API 
Today, we’re introducing new coursework endpoints that allow developers to access assignments, grades and workflow. Learning tools can focus on creating great content and, in turn, use Classroom to manage the workflow for assignments created with this content. Gradebooks and reporting systems can now also sync grades with Classroom, eliminating the need for teachers to manually transfer grades.

Several partners have been helping to test the new functionality, including:
  • OpenEd, which provides a library of open education resources for K-12 teachers 
  • Tynker, a creative computing platform for teaching students to code 
  • GeoGebra, a visual mathematics platform that allows students and teachers to author interactive mathematics content
Access course Drive folders, groups and materials 
In addition to the coursework endpoints, we’ve added new functionality to our existing course and roster API endpoints. Developers can now access course Drive folders, groups and materials. Applications can use this new functionality to store files in the same Drive folder as the rest of the resources in a class, or use course groups to manage file sharing permissions.

In the coming months, we’ll be adding more coursework management capabilities. When we do, we’ll post updates to the developer forum and issue tracker. We look forward to working together to make it even easier for teachers and students to use the tools they love with Classroom. Developers, please review the documentation, the FAQ and ask questions on Stack Overflow. Also, don’t forget to let us know what you’re building using the #withClassroom hashtag on Twitter or G+. And teachers, check out this list of applications that already work well with Classroom today.

Learning in new dimensions with Google Classroom and GeoGebra

Editor's note:Mark Kaercher teaches mathematics at Shaker High School in Latham, New York. He is also one of his school district’s Instructional Technology Resource Teachers. Here, Mark shares his experience with using Google Apps for Education alongside GeoGebra, available as an app for Chrome and now as a native Android phone app.

Every so often, over the course of a long teaching career, we find a special tool or resource that makes us wonder how we ever taught without it. Personally, I’ve had a lot of success with GeoGebra, a free mathematics program for teachers and students. GeoGebra lets me build and share interactive worksheets that demonstrate geometry and algebra concepts. Along with relying on it myself, I’ve helped other educators use GeoGebra by creating how-to videos and leading training sessions.
My first GeoGebra worksheet, created in 2011
 So when my school started using Google Apps for Education last year, there was a big question on my mind: Is it compatible with GeoGebra? Not only do they work well together, but Google Apps has helped me get a lot more mileage out of GeoGebra. Instead of just a teaching tool, it’s now become a hands-on learning environment. This has transformed my classroom into a math lab where students use Google Apps and GeoGebra to explore shapes and patterns, complete assignments, and share their work with both me and their classmates.

During a typical class, I start by posting an agenda in Google Classroom to get us all on the same page. Then I might create a GeoGebra assignment and ask students to paste screenshots of their work into a shared Google Docs file.

Everyone has their own Chromebook to use, so they can each work individually in GeoGebra – and they can even save a step by signing into GeoGebra with their Google Apps account. Now, with the new Android phone app my students can create, search, save and share their ideas and homework from their phone, saving to Drive and sharing in Classroom. Meanwhile, I track their progress and grade their submissions in Classroom.
Sometimes I have my students record screencasts of their GeoGebra worksheets using the Screencastify extension for Chrome. They can save their videos to Google Drive and share them with me through Classroom. You can see more about how I do this here.

It’s been really neat to see how beautifully Google Apps and GeoGebra work together to bring my lessons to life. It’s also been exciting to watch my students embrace and learn these new tools – to the point that they’re sometimes the ones showing me how to do something. I was especially proud when some of my students helped me demo Google Apps and GeoGebra at a recent school board meeting, sharing their growing passion for using instructional technology in the math classroom.

I’ll always be a math teacher, but I also see myself as a technology teacher. I want my students to understand that technology isn’t just about taking selfies and sending texts. Now, thanks to GeoGebra and Google, they’re using it to interact with mathematics in a whole new way.

Chrome OS is here to stay

(Cross-posted on the Google Chrome Blog.)

Over the last few days, there’s been some confusion about the future of Chrome OS and Chromebooks based on speculation that Chrome OS will be folded into Android. While we’ve been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there's no plan to phase out Chrome OS.

With the launch of Chrome OS six years ago, we set out to make computers better—faster, simpler and more secure—for everyone. We’ve since seen that vision come to life in classrooms, offices and homes around the world. In fact, every school day, 30,000 new Chromebooks are activated in U.S. classrooms—that’s more than all other education devices combined. And more than 2 million teachers and students in more than 150 countries have the Share to Classroom Chrome extension, which launched in September and gets students onto the same webpage, instantly. Meanwhile, companies such as Netflix, Sanmina, Starbucks and of course Google, are using Chromebooks given the ease of deployment, the ability to easily integrate with existing technologies, and a security model that protects users at all levels, from hardware to user data. (Chromebooks are so secure you don’t need antivirus software!) IT administrators can manage tens of thousands of Chromebooks through a single web console, making them ideal for both classrooms and the workplace.

For everyday use, we’re proud that Chromebooks are continually listed as a best-selling laptop computer on Amazon.com. In an effort to make computing even more accessible, earlier this year we introduced the first $149 Chromebook—a fast, affordable laptop. And in the next couple weeks the Asus Chromebit will be available—an $85 device that turns any display into a computer so you can replace your old desktop with an affordable computer the size of a candy bar, or let businesses transform a billboard into a smart digital sign.

This year we've also worked to redefine the different forms Chrome OS can take, introduced the first designated Chromebook for Work, and brought more of your favorite Android apps to your Chromebook via Apps Runtime on Chrome (a.k.a. ARC). But there’s more to do. We have plans to release even more features for Chrome OS, such as a new media player, a visual refresh based on Material Design, improved performance, and of course, a continued focus on security. With our regular six-week software cycle and guaranteed auto-updates for five years, Chromebooks keep getting better over time. Finally, stay on the lookout for dozens of new Chromebooks in 2016.

Get your students on the same (web)page, instantly

Editor's note:Today we’re launching a new Chrome extension, Share to Classroom, which solves a big pain point for teachers: getting all students to the same website during class. The Share to Classroom extension works on any laptop, including Chromebooks, Macs and PCs. Catherine Davis, former 4th grade teacher and Director of Academic Technology at Pilgrim School, piloted the Classroom extension with Mrs. Shorkey’s 3rd grade class, and here she describes her experience using this new extension and the impact on her students.

Sharing a website with my students is a great way to get them engaged. When we studied South America, I shared a video of Tierra del Fuego, and my students were able to view the coast, hear the wind and see the waves soar. But getting a class full of 4th graders on the same web page is a huge challenge. I typically write the URL on the board, then walk around to help each student who misses a capital or underscore or backslash. My students get frustrated, I get frustrated, and before I know it 10 minutes of precious teaching time is lost.

So I was thrilled to pilot the Share to Classroom extension. With the extension I can open a website and “push” it to my Google Classroom students, so the page opens immediately on all their devices. Our 3rd graders gasped when we tried it – the webpage instantaneously popped up on all of their screens.
The new extension lets me engage my students and help them drive their own learning on 1:1 devices at our school. When our 3rd graders were studying Native American culture, I pushed a website to the class so they could research traditional clothing and food. The students aren’t locked to the page I send, and one student navigated from there to an even better site. With the Classroom extension, the student was able to push the new site to me, and I reviewed and pushed to the entire class. She had a boost of confidence when her discovery drove class discussion.
Using the extension also lets me think on my feet. When discussing pioneers, a brave student raised his hand and asked “What’s a stage coach?” I realized my students hadn’t been exposed to the term. I immediately pulled up a definition and video and pushed it to the class. I also saved the webpage as a draft to post to my other Classroom students later. I could have projected on a screen, but the intimacy of having the webpage on each device allows students to explore on their own, hear clearly and watch repeatedly. It also levels the playing field for ELL and students of different backgrounds so everyone starts literally on the same page.

As teachers, we never feel we have enough time to do everything we want with our students. The new Share to Classroom extension gives us back those few minutes it takes to get students to the same place and makes learning about investigating, not about navigating.

*Note: Google Apps admins can install the extension for their entire domain so that it’s easiest for teachers and students to get started. Teachers and students both need the extension in order to push web pages to each other.