The Google Classroom Android App is the best companion app for the Google Classroom system.

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At Barton Peveril, we use a variety of technologies to make courses more engaging and improve access to learning for students. Online learning technologies like Google Classroom have brought exciting opportunities to reconsider how we teach, engage with or involve learners in different ways.

In this guide, we will look at some of the online learning technologies we have available that can be taken advantage of for distance learning in the event of a college closure due to Covid-19.

Live Online Lessons

Google Hangouts Meet is Google’s video conferencing tool that enables you to talk face to face with learners and engage with your class remotely. All your students need is Wi-Fi access and a device such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet. 

Lesson content can be shared in a live video stream with groups ranging from a few people up to hundreds. Hangouts Meet includes the ability to share your screen, ideal for displaying a presentation or other content with the class. 

Google has recently made it possible to record a lesson hosted in Hangouts Meet as a video in your Google Drive. All lessons must be recorded, and if you wish these recordings can be shared in Google Classroom afterwards for students who couldn’t make it.

To improve the remote learning experience for teachers and students using Hangouts Meet, Google have made several improvements:

  • Only meeting creators can mute or remote other participants in a meeting;
  • Students cannot start/stop a meeting being recorded.

Learn more about Google Hangouts Meet >>

Assignments and Feedback

Google Classroom is a well-established online learning tool at Barton Peveril that you can use to keep students engaged while they’re at home. For instance, start a virtual class discussion to explore lesson content and talk about what they’re learning. You can also give students feedback about their work in Classroom when marking an assignment.

Tracking student understanding and progress can be achieved through combining Classroom with Google Forms. Quizzes in Forms offer automatic marking and enable you to embed content such as images and videos. When you share a Google Forms quiz using Classroom, you can easily assign it as an automatically marked assignment.

Learn more about Google Classroom >>

Recorded Lessons

Screencastify allows you to record your screen, perfect for creating recorded lessons for a flipped classroom or distance learning. It is available as an extension in Google Chrome that can be used from a Chromebook, PC, or Mac. In addition to recording your screen, it combines annotation tools, adds a voice over with your microphone, while also including a picture-in-picture overlay of your webcam. Everything you record is saved to Google Drive so you can easily share the video with students in Google Classroom.

Screencastify is giving educators a premium upgrade to increase from the 5 minute limit in the free version. Go to and use “redeem coupon” with the code CAST_COVID.

Learn more about Screencastify >>

Distance Learning Resources

Useful resources we’ve found from across the internet:

Access to premium versions of educational apps made free during the Covid-19 school closures:

Google Classroom email notifications can be a bit overwhelming, particularly if you have been added as a teacher on additional classes. In this article, we take a look at a couple of ways you can better manage email notifications you receive from Google Classroom.

Turn Google Classroom notifiactions on or off

Notifications about comments or submissions of student work in Google Classroom are enabled by default. Each one will generate an email message which can soon add up if you have been added as a teacher for a large number of classes. You can change these notification settings at any time. To do this simply follow the instructions in Turn notififcations on or off or watch the video below to find out how.

Create a Gmail filter for Google Classroom Notifications

Instead of turning off Google Classroom notifications, you might want to keep receiving these notifications but just better organise them in your Gmail account. This can be acheived through creating a filter in Gmail to automatically label and organise Classroom notifications for you.

  1. Launch Gmail.
  2. Click the Down arrow in the search box at the top.
  3. In the From field enter as your search criteria. If you want to check that your search worked correctly, see what emails show up by clicking Search.
  4. At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter
  5. Choose what you’d like the filter to do. We recommend the following options:
    • Skip the inbox (Archive it) to keep these messages but remove them from your main inbox;
    • Apply the label > New label to add and apply a new label called Google Classroom to these messages;
    • Also apply filter to maching conversations to organise existing classroom notifications.
  6. Click Create filter.

This year the digital learning group attended Bett at ExCel London in January. Bett is the largest EdTech show in the UK, featuring a wide array of education technology to explore and seminars to learn from. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the highlights from Bett.

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Spiral is a quick way to carry out formative assessments in the classroom or during distance learning.

Engage students in lessons and at home with simple to use everyday learning activities.

Spiral Lite is the free version of Spiral, within this you get access to Google Classroom integration, the Spiral Dashboard and many more features including Quickfire Lite, a tool that allows you to ask a verbal question in the class or on a Meet and the student can respond from any device.

Launch an activity or post an assignment to be completed asynchronously

Students connect with the activity using a simple code on any device

Students answers appear live so they can learn from each other

Or you can review, grade and feedback assignments off-line

Free Features

  • In Class
    • Run live activities with students, review and grade them
  • Quickfire Lite
    • Live assessments
  • Dashboard
    • Build activities and assignments
  • Feedback and Grading
    • Realtime feedback
    • Build evidence of student learning
  • Timeline and Exit Tickets
    • Record of each class session
    • Record of each student’s learning
    • Share results with parents
  • Google Classroom Integration
    • Import class list
  • Student Dashboard
    • Students can see all assigned work
    • Can see grades

Quickfire Lite

Take a look at the video below to see about how you can use Quickfire Lite for classroom based or virtual teaching.

Google Classroom is an online learning platform for schools and colleges that aims to simplify creating, distributing and marking assignments in a paperless way. Google Classroom is designed to help students and teachers communicate, collaborate, organise and manage assignments, go paperless, and much more! Classroom also seamlessly integrates with other Google tools like Google Docs and Drive.

Improved Communication – Teachers can create assignments, send announcements, and instantly start class discussions. Students can share resources with each other and interact in the class stream or by email. Teachers can also quickly see who has or hasn’t completed the work, and give direct, real-time feedback and grades.

Better Organisation – Students can see assignments on the To-do page, in the class stream, or on the class calendar. All class materials are automatically filed into Google Drive folders.

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We recently joined the Google Classroom originality reports beta. This is an opportunity for you to pilot a new unreleased feature in Classroom and help shape the development. For more information, see this blog post.

What is Originality Reports in Google Classroom?
Originality reports is a new feature that brings the capabilities of Google search right to your student assignments and marking interface through Google Classroom. The learning tool helps both teachers and students thoroughly review and analyse coursework to make sure it is properly cited and avoid unintentional plagiarism. This feature was designed to help students improve their writing and spot potential issues while saving you time while marking.
Can’t we already do this with the Urkund Plagiarism Checker?Urkund Plagiarism Checker is a Chrome extension that we have purchased and made available for all teachers. Google Classroom and Urkund are integrated, enabling teachers to easily check student work for plagiarism directly from the Classroom interface. If you’ve used Urkund before, please try the Google Classroom originality reports and let me know what you prefer. Neither is free, so your feedback will help us make an informed decision when we come to renew the Urkund license.

Getting Started and FAQs:

  • Share this post via Classroom announcements with your students to help them learn more about how to use the tool for their assignments
  • Check out instructions for Originality for instructors on the help center
  • For additional support reach out to the Classroom Community Forum

Submitting Feedback
Did you know you can send feedback directly to the Google for Education team via the “Send feedback” button within Classroom? Feedback on products in their early stages have big impact on product design. When submitting bugs, feature requests, or user confusions, be sure to start with “Originality Report.” Always include screenshots with feedback.

This feature was designed to help students improve their writing and spot potential issues while saving you time while marking. When a teacher enables originality reports for an assignment, all students will be able to create reports up to 3 times for Google Docs files before they turn them in to spot check and correct potential missed citations.

Once the feature is generally available, teachers will be able to access originality reports at no charge for up to 3 assignments in each course they teach. Colleges that would like unlimited access can upgrade their teachers to G Suite Enterprise for Education. During the beta, all users can use originality reports as much as they need.

I look forward to hearing how this beta works for you and your students.

We recently joined the Google Classroom Rubrics beta. This is a unique opportunity for you to pilot a new unreleased feature and help shape the development of rubrics in Classroom. Please review the beta details below:

Rubrics in Google Classroom
Through this beta, you will have the ability to create, view, and mark rubrics for individual assignments. Students will also start to see a new version of their assignment details page for your classes. This new version was designed to incorporate rubrics and make the page more useful overall.

Getting Started and FAQs to help you use rubrics:

Your feedback is very important to Google. Remember you can send them feedback directly via the “Send feedback” button in Classroom. When submitting feedback, remember to include a screenshot and start the report with “Rubrics Pilot”.

I look forward to hearing how this beta works for you and your students.

Recently, we joined the Google Classroom beta. This is a unique opportunity for you to pilot new unreleased features in Google Classroom.

Gradebook beta in Google Classroom
Teachers will have the ability to easily view and input grades across classwork and students. Teachers will also be able to view and customize average grades, set up weighted grade categories, and share overall performance with students. For more information, check out the official blog post.

  • Getting started: Please take a look at this Help Center article to learn how to setup your Gradebook and this Help Center article about how to use your Gradebook.
  • Platform: The new Grades page and the ability to configure Gradebook settings are only available on the Web. Using and viewing grade categories and average grades are available on the Web, iOS, and Android.
  • Access: All previous classes created by beta participants will include the new Gradebook features. Any co-teachers who are added to a class with Gradebook enabled will have access to the Gradebook for that class as well.

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These 5 tips will help streamline your Google Classroom usage, manage how students access data and generally save you time.

Comment Bank

The Comment Bank allows you to write a set of comments that you can easily click and add to student assignments without having to type them out each time.
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