Thursday, May 5, 2016

It's good to be a #GAFE school!

As an educator who uses Google tools regularly, I love the fact that they are continually updating their products to reflect emerging trends in education as well as to address needs of their users.  Below are  a couple of updates that Google has launched this past week that relate to the Slides and Classroom products.

This new feature in Slides allows presenters to open a Q&A session for their audience.  The questions can be seen either by the presenter only or can be shared out by the presenter to the audience.  Think of how many times you've had questions for a presenter, but haven't been willing to raise your hand and ask.   Q&A essentially creates a backchannel that audience members can use to pose questions without "interrupting" the session.  Check out this video of Q&A in action.

Anyone who uses Classroom knows that it is really just a toddler in the Google world.  It's been around for less than 2 years, and in that time has grown by leaps and bounds.  Throughout the various training sessions I've led on this tool, teachers always ask about specific features they'd like to have included, and my response is always to tell them to submit feedback to Google and ask.  Just this week, a colleague of mine shared the following email with me:

She had provided Google with feedback asking about the ability to schedule posts (assignments, announcements, questions, etc.) and apparently she wasn't the only one.  Google saw the value in her request and, voila!  Users can now schedule dates and times for when the posts will go live to students.

For educators, this feature allows for more advance planning.  It's also great for when they have to be out of the classroom have guest teachers.

Thank you Google for listening to us!

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