Wednesday, October 13, 2021

New and Upcoming Updates to Google Classroom

The following updates are already live in Google Classroom.  In the second section of this document you will find upcoming updates.

  1.  Google Meet Link

The Google Meet link is no longer posted in the banner of your Classroom.  You will now see a separate box on the top left of your screen with the Meet data.

If you click on the three dots, and then click “Manage”

You can now edit your settings here, (rather than using the settings wheel)

To reset the Meet link, click on the drop down arrow beside the Meet link.  You can also make the link visible/invisible to students with the toggle switch.

  1. Co-Teachers are now automatically co-hosts in Google Meet


Google Meet now has the ability to add co-hosts to your Meet.  When you are in the meet, you can do this by clicking on the three dots next to a participants name and selecting “Add as co-host”

If you have a co-teachers in your Classroom, they will automatically be a host of the Meet when they join.

Upcoming Changes to Google Classroom (coming later this year)

  1. Embedded Apps

A number of apps including Kahoot, EdPuzzle and Newsela will be embedded right into the Google Classroom. This means that when you post a link to one of these applications, the app will open right in the Classroom and not on a new page.   As well, students will no longer need to login to the application, thus simplifying the process.  

  1. Student Engagement

A very exciting change that I am sure all educators will appreciate is the student engagement update.  With this update, teachers in the Google Classroom will be able to see data such as which students submitted assignments or commented on a post on a particular day. This will be a fantastic way to see how students are interacting with the Google Classroom!

  1. Scheduling Assignments to Multiple Classrooms

Coming later this year, teachers will be able to post the same assignment to multiple Classrooms.  You will also be able to assign separate due dates for each Classroom.  This will be a great time saver for teachers who use multiple Classrooms!

  1. Students submitting better pictures of work

A big frustration for teachers is receiving multiple files for one assignment or when students submit work that is horizontal or upside down!  With this update coming up students will be able to rotate  and crop their work after a picture is taken and merge multiple photos into one document.  


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

What's New in Tech


The host of the Google Meet can now add up to 25 co-hosts to a Google Meet.  The co-host will have all the functionality of the host including muting and removing participants as well as creating breakout rooms and controlling the additional activities including polls and Q and A.  Any recordings or attendance files will be sent to the main host.

To designate a co-host, click on the three dots beside their name in the people tab of your Google Meet.  Select “Grant Host Controls”

Unpin your presentation while presenting

When you are presenting in Google Meet, your presentation takes up most of the screen.  This means that you cannot see your whole class.  Now, you can ‘unpin’ your presentation.  Your presentation box will then be the same size as the rest of your participants in the Meet, and you will be able to see your whole class while you are presenting.

To unpin, hover your mouse over your presentation in Google Meet.  Then click the unpin button.

Moving between tabs

When you are presenting a tab in Google Meet, you can now easily present a different tab.  You can do this by clicking on the “Share this tab instead” which will be at the top of your screen. 

As well, if you are presenting a tab and wish to quickly return to the Google Meet tab, you can select the “View tab:” button. 

    Google Forms

Google forms now have an auto-save feature.  This means that when logged in to a board account, the user can return back to the form and anything that was previously filled out will be saved.  This will give you and your students peace of mind when using Google Forms for assessment.  Prior to this feature, all work would be lost if there was a disruption in the internet connection or the student navigated away from the page. 

Any information that is filled on the form will be saved for 30 days, or until the form is submitted.  An overview of this feature can be viewed in this video.

           Google “Rooms” will be Google “Spaces”

Google “Rooms” which is available through Google mail or through Google chat, will soon be called Google “Spaces”.  Spaces are a great way to communicate with your colleagues.  Spaces is a great way to collaborate with teams as it allows you to send messages, assign tasks, share files, and have Google Meets.  

You can easily create a Google Space in your Gmail window.  On the bottom left side of your screen, simply click the + sign beside “Spaces”.  Then you can add the individuals who will be a part of your space. 

Simply click the “Files” or “Tasks” tab to add files or assign tasks.

Tasks can be assigned to the entire “Space” or it can be assigned individually.  Due dates can also be assigned to tasks.  

By clicking on the “Files” tab, you can choose to add files to share with your group.  As well, any files that are shared in the chat tab will be listed on this tab.  A great way to organize files for the space!

Google Contacts

Google contacts can be accessed through the side panel in your Google Mail.  Now, when you search for a contact, you will get some very useful information regarding this contact.  You can see a list of past email correspondence with that contact.  As well, you can quickly create a calendar event, a Google Meet, a chat message or an email to that contact using the icons shown.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom has the ability to schedule announcements, material and assignment posts as well as other items.  Since you should not be posting any material in your ‘off weeks’, the ability to schedule these items can help you with your planning and organization.

When you are creating the item, simply click on the drop down arrow beside the ‘Assign’ , ‘Post’’ or “Ask” button.

Then select “Schedule” and select the appropriate date/time.  The item that you just created will not be visible for the students until that date/time.  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

New Formatting Options in Google Docs with Images and Drawings


           Some very exciting news in Google Docs!!  This is the update that many of us have been waiting for.   There are now additional formatting options available when working with images and drawings in Google Docs.

    You now have the option of formatting images and drawings to go behind or in front of text.  Previously the only options were "In Line", "Wrap Text" or "Break Text".  You will see these new options on the formatting menu when you click on an image or drawing.

    If the 'In front of" or "Behind" formatting option is selected, you will also get more formatting options as to how you want the image to move.  The "Move with text" option will move the image with the text that it is behind of in front of, while the "Fix position on page" option will anchor the image to that location on the page and it will not move.  The position options text will simply open up the formatting options menu in a pane on the right hand of your window.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Text Formatting Now Available in Google Classroom


 Text Formatting Now Available in Google Classroom

    An exciting new feature has been rolled out in Google Classroom..... Text formatting.  You can now customize your posts in Google Classroom with this new feature.

When creating a new stream post or assignment, you now have access to the text formatting.  At the bottom of the text input box, you can find the text formatting options.

Text formatting features that are available are bold,  italic, underline and 

  • bullets

 Pressing this button will remove the formatting of the text that you highlight.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Brightspace April Newsletter

Every month, our IT team at WECDSB will be producing a Brightspace newsletter.  In this newsletter, you will find announcements for new ministry courses and highlights for some of the newer Brightspace features that you may not have used yet.  

The April newsletter has been published.  You can view it here: April 2021 Brightspace Newsletter

Monday, March 8, 2021

NEW! Google Meet End Call for All!

 Google Meet: End Call for All 

With the new “end call for all” feature, teachers will now be able to end the Google Meet for all of their students at once. This new feature will ensure students will not be able to remain in the Meet without a teacher present, nor will they be able to re-enter the Meet, without a teacher present. 

How does this work? 

When the host (the teacher) of the Meet clicks on the red phone to end the Google Meet, they will be prompted with two choices, to “Just leave the call” or to “End the call”: 

Just leave the call - if you choose to just leave the call all of the participants in the Meet will be able to remain in the Meet without the host present. You would only choose this if you are meeting with other staff.

End the call- (CHOOSE THIS OPTION) this option will end the Meet for all participants. Students will receive a note that states “your host ended the meet for everyone”. Ending the meet for all automatically turns off quick access, therefore, no one can rejoin the meeting, without a teacher present. Students will not be able to rejoin the Meet.

What does this mean for me as a classroom teacher? 

-The Meet link can now always remain in your Google Classroom banner. It is no longer necessary to make the meet link invisible.

-When you are absent, the occasional teacher can now use the Meet link in your Google Classroom baner, rather than creating their own Meet link and pasting the link into the stream. If you will be absent please ensure that the Google Classroom link now remains visible. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

New Brightspace Monthly Newsletters


New Brightspace Monthly Newsletters

Every month, our IT team at WECDSB will be producing a Brightspace newsletter.  In this newsletter, you will find announcements for new ministry courses and highlights for some of the newer Brightspace features that you may not have used yet.  

The March newsletter has been published.  You can view it here: March 2021 Brightspace Newsletter

New and Upcoming Updates to Google Classroom

The following updates are already live in Google Classroom.  In the second section of this document you will find upcoming updates.  Google ...