Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education thought of different modalities to deliver and facilitate learning to the learners with the help of parents and guardians. The DepEd’s EdTech Unit offered many online webinars to help public school teachers, as well as the teachers from private schools. According to USec. for Administration Alain Del Pascua, there were more than 33 thousand teachers have been trained online in Information and Communications Technology-based teaching since June 20201 in preparation for the implementation of new learning modalities this school year 2020-2021.
The Schools Division of South Cotabato ICT Unit, together with the selected ICT coordinators from different schools in South Cotabato conducted a week-long webinar to more than 3 thousand teachers on the topic Google Suite for Education and Open Educational Resources. The webinar series started with Introduction to Google Suite for Education which was presented by yours truly.
One of the topics offered is the Learning Management System, particularly the Google Classroom as part of the department’s tool to help the teachers increase opportunities for critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity while supporting the learning objectives for the learners. Google Classroom “is a free application designed to help students and teachers communicate, collaborate, organize and manage assignments, grade, and give feedback, go paperless, and much more.”
But in this article, I am happy to share the newly added features to Google classroom since August this year. Google does this from time to time and we are happy to use them for our planned online classes while we are experiencing the challenges in delivering and facilitating learning to our learners.
Google added the new following features in making the online classroom experience much more powerful, simpler, personalized, interactive, and amazing:
- Student Information System (SIS) Grade Export – DepEd freely utilizes Google Suite for Education, which means, teachers, can export grades directly to their Student Information System. Teachers will be able to link their classes and export grades efficiently.
- Originality Report Updates – teachers will be able to check against other student submissions from their school. Teachers and learners can print or save originality reports. These reports can be in English, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.
- Class Invite Links – In addition to email invites and class codes, teachers can now invite students with a link.
- To-do updates – Teachers and students can now open the To-do page from the Classes page.
- Applied Digital Skills – Digital Skills are now better-integrated when managing classes and rosters, creating and grading learners and collecting learners’ outputs
The abovementioned features were added to last April 2020 update that teachers can start video meetings in Google classroom as the learners as joiners. Only teachers can create video meetings in the Google Classroom. All video meetings created in Classroom are considered nicknamed meetings, so students can’t start a meeting before the teacher, or rejoin the meeting if the teacher is the last participant to leave.
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