Monday, November 20, 2017

Google Forms and Google Classroom: Importing Grades from Google Forms Quizzes

Recently, Google added a new feature to make Google Classroom and Google Forms more compatible. Previously, you had to manually enter grades from Forms into Classroom. But that is no more! You can now simply import the grades directly from Forms into Classroom pretty instantaneously.

*Please note, this feature is only available for Classrooms in GSuite for Education. This option is not available for Classrooms created with personal Google acounts ( 

When you attach a Form to an assignment in Google Classroom using the Drive icon, you will see a toggle appear that says "enable grade importing". Simply turn on this toggle before clicking the blue "assign" button.

Once all your students have completed the quiz in Google Forms and checked to ensure that it is "marked as done" in Classroom, then you can click the "import grades" button on the student work page.

A pop up will appear, asking you to confirm your choice. Click "import".

And just like that, your grades will appear in Classroom. You can then return the assignment to students and add private comments if you wish.

In most cases, when the toggle is turned on, the correct settings will be applied to the form to make it compatible with grade importing. However, occasionally this doesn't happen. In that case, check the following:

  • Make sure that the Form is the only thing you have attached to the assignment. If other documents or links are attached to the assignment, the toggle will not appear.
  • Check to make sure that the quiz feature is set up properly with point values and correct responses identified
  • Check to ensure the Form is set to limit users to 1 response.
  • Check that email collection is enabled 
  • Check that you've set the form to limit to users in your own domain

Happy quizzing! If you have questions, post them below!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Google Classroom and Google Calendar

Today we're going to tackle questions about Google Classroom and Google Calendar. There's often confusion about the calendar generated by classroom works. Updated 8/15/2018 to reflect the new changes in Google Classroom. 

First, it's important to know that Google Classroom automatically creates a calendar for each classroom you create. You can view the calendar in Google Classroom or open it in Google Calendar. To view the calendar in Classroom, click the three lines in the upper right and click "calendar". You can choose to view all classes at once or filter by class.

To open the calendar in Google Calendar, you can click the calendar icon at the top of the classwork page.

What can I see when I click view the calendar in Google Classroom?
Here you (and students) will see a weekly view of the calendar for that Classroom. The only "events" that are visible when viewing the calendar within Classroom are assignments that are added to the stream with a due date. Nothing added to the calendar from Google Calendar will be visible when viewing the calendar in Google Classroom.

What can I see when I click the calendar icon on the Classwork tab ?
This opens the calendar for that classroom in Google Calendar. When viewing in Google Calendar, you will be able to add additional events (not associated with assignments) such as field trips, test days, quizzes, etc. To see items that you add, students will also need to click "Google Calendar" on the about tab in Google Classroom.

Will students see my personal calendar when they click the calendar icon on the Classwork tab?
No, students will not see your calendar. They will see the class calendar and their own calendar, along with any other calendars they're subscribed to or sharing. You see your calendar when clicking this link because it is yours.

Why are classroom assignments being added to my personal calendar?
They're not actually being added to your personal calendar, they're just being added to the class calendar. If you no longer wish to see these items when viewing Google Calendar, all you need to do is hide the calendar.

To hide the Classroom calendar from your view in Google Calendar, find "my calendars" in the left sidebar. Locate the calendar in question, and click it so that the box next to it is not colored. Items on this calendar will no longer be visible when viewing your calendar. Any calendar with a colored box next to it will be visible.

I hope that this helps clear up some of your confusion around Google Calendar and Google Classroom!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Google Innovator Academy #SWE17

Since last Saturday (30 September), I have been in Stockholm, Sweden. Right now, as I write this, I sit in the London airport, on the last leg of my journey, still trying to absorb all I have done and learned over the past week. The reason for this trip is do something I've been wanting to do for a long time- attend a Google Innovator Academy. I arrived in Stockholm a little early so I could do some sightseeing before the academy.

Before the Academy
Google did an excellent job of building community among our cohort before we even arrived. You can meet all the folks in my cohort and see their projects here. We'd been chatting together for nearly a month on our cohort's Google hangout, so when everyone began to arrive Tuesday night, several of us met for dinner at a restaurant called the Hairy Pig.

The next morning, before we went to Google to begin our big adventure, most of the cohort also met at a local cafe for Fika.

I felt like I already knew many of these folks before we ever met, but the few days that we spent at the academy only strengthened those bonds. I know these folks 100% have my back with getting my project off the ground, and I have their backs too. It's unbelievable how much I miss these folks right now! #SWE17 forever!

My Cohort
We were told that our cohort is the most diverse cohort of the Google Innovator program to date. 37 of us represented 19 different countries. What an amazing, passionate, and talented group of educators!
Such an amazing group of folks!

Jazz Hands!

The Adventure Begins
Finally, around 3pm Stockholm time on Wednesday, the real adventure began when we entered the Google building for the first time.

As we arrived, they greeted us and gave us the badges we'd need to move about the building while we're here.

One of the first activities they had us do after arrival was work together to do a BreakoutEdu activity. The team I was on broke out with 1:44 seconds remaining on the clock. Whew!

Later, they split us up into smaller teams and assigned each team a coach to support us as we worked through the innovation process during the academy. We were to choose a team name, a team cheer and a team song. Our team chose the name "Frozen Hairy Pigs" because several of us went to the ice bar as well as a restaurant called Hairy Pig earlier in the week. Here's my amazing team, with our coach, Thomas.

From left to right: Laurah J., Matt, Emma, Thomas, Carsten, Stanislava, Mark

Working Hard
Throughout the week we worked hard to hone our projects, working through the design-thinking process step-by-step so that we would be ready to take the first steps to iteration when we returned.

Working with my fist-bump buddy, Nadjib
Getting feedback on our projects from our cohort colleagues
Learning the design process with my high-five buddy Isabel

Playing Hard
We also had lots of fun together with our cohort- both at Google and in the evenings. Also, Google fed us amazingly well (I think I got spoiled)!

Manuel and Mel during Partner Yoga

Innovator cupcakes!

Quin and Mark watch the magician one night during dinner

An amazing Googley breakfast!

Photobomb by Mason

An after-academy visit to the Ice Bar

My Project
My project is The #ELLEdTech project, and is all about partnering with businesses and the community to put technology in the hands of our ELLs and ESOL teachers, providing training for ESOL teachers on how to use educational technology to support language growth, and working toward changing the existing culture in schools surrounding ELLs, ESOL teachers and ESOL education. Though my project has pivoted a bit since inception, you can see my original project video below that was submitted as part of my application.

After a week of powerful learning, community building, and the most fun I've ever had during professional development, we graduated and officially became Google Innovators. 

This is going in a frame!

Celebrating after graduation!

If you've been considering applying for the Google Innovator program, I highly recommend it. I would say it was, without a doubt, one of the best experiences of my life. As sad as I am to leave (I miss my cohort buddies already!), I can't wait to dive into my project and start working to make it a reality. I'll keep you up-to-date on my project over the next year (and beyond), so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

GSuite Training: Task Cards

Every year, I lead a Technology for ELLs Focus Group for teachers in my district- Classroom and ESOL teachers are welcome to attend. Between class sessions, teachers read Learning First, Technology Second by Liz Kolb. During sessions, we get hands on practice with different tech tools and discuss how they can be used in instruction to support language growth of ELLs.

As part of the focus group, teachers take the Level 1 and Level 2 Google Educator Exams. One big challenge when leading any sort of technology training is always the fact that there tends to be a wide range of tech-know-how in any group. If you do step-by-step, the more advanced users are bored, and if you skip the step-by-step, the less techy teachers struggle.

This time around, I decided to use task cards to let the teachers explore different parts of the GSuite for Education at their own pace. Each task card has 1-3 related tasks, along with a link/QR code leading teachers to directions or a GIF demonstrating the task. I plan to pair up the more proficient users with the less proficient users, and let them work through the tasks.

This will give the less techy teachers support, while building the capacity of the more techy teachers to share their knowledge.

So far, I've created task cards for Gmail, Google Classroom, and Google Forms. Below you can find the task cards for Gmail. If you use these for a training, please leave my name and contact info intact, and comment below to let me know how it goes!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Parents and Google Classroom

One of the most common questions I see, from both teachers and parents is, "How can the parent join their child's Google Classroom?"

Roles in Google Classroom
Google Classroom is not designed for parents to join the class. There are only two roles in classroom- "teacher" and "student". The teachers can see all student work and information, students can see other students' names and any comments they make in the classroom. From a privacy standpoint, inviting parents to either of these roles would violate the privacy of other students.

Why doesn't the class code work for parents?
By default, Google Classroom settings in the admin panel only allow users with an account on the school domain to join classrooms on the school domain. While some Google Admin have chosen to allow out-of-domain users, most have not for reasons related to student privacy and security of student information.

Even if your admin has allowed out-of-domain users, I still don't recommend allowing parents to join your classroom because of Federal educational privacy laws.

How can I keep parents up-to-date with what's happening in Google Classroom? 
The best way to do this is to invite parents to receive Guardian Summaries. This article describes how to turn on guardian summaries for your classroom and invite guardians. Guardians who accept the invitation can choose to receive summaries about their child's classes either weekly or daily- their choice. Guardian summaries include the following information:

  • Missing work—Work that’s late at the time the email was sent
  • Upcoming work—Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or work that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails)
  • Class activity—Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers
See a sample guardian summary. Please note that once a teacher has invited a guardian for a particular student, that guardian address will become "linked" to the child, and the parent will receive summaries for all classes that have the option enabled. If the child is enrolled in multiple classrooms, the parent email only has to be entered and invited once. 

I don't see the option to turn on Guardian Summaries for my classroom. What do I do? 
You will need to contact your organization's Google Administrator to see if the option is enabled for your organization. If it is enabled for your organization (other teachers at your school see the option in their Classroom) and you don't see it in your Classroom, ask your Google Administrator to ensure that you are a "verified" (not "pending" member of the Classroom Teachers Google Group on your domain. 

  • If you do not want your classroom included in the summaries, simply leave the toggle next to "include this class in summaries" off. 
  • Deleting the guardian address in your classroom's "students" tab will delete the guardian address for all classes the student is enrolled in. 
  • You are able to invite more than one guardian per child.
  • Make sure that when parents accept the invitation, they are not signed into any other Google accounts on their computer or device. Having other Google Accounts signed in can cause issues with accepting the invitation with the proper email address.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Google Classroom: "Class Code Invalid" or "You cannot invite student from this domain"

So, you've got your awesome Google Classroom all set up and ready to go. It's time to invite students or have them join using the class code. There's just one problem. When you start to invite students, you get a message "Cannot invite student from this domain". When students try to use the class code they get an error: "invalid code". What is going on?!?

The first questions I always ask when I hear this are: 
  • What kind of account did you use to create the classroom? Was it GSuite for Education? Personal Google Account? 
  • What kind of account are students using to join the classroom? GSuite for Education account issued by your school? Personal Google Account? 
Classrooms Created with GSuite for Education Account
By default, every GSuite for Education domain has classroom set so that only accounts on the school domain can join classrooms on the school domain. Every school or district that uses GSuite for Education has a Google Administrator who provisions accounts, chooses settings for GSuite services, etc. In most cases, GSuite Admin choose to not change this setting. 

However, the admin can choose to allow out-of domain users from other GSuite domains, or from any domain to join classrooms on the school domain as well, as well as allow the users on the school domain to join classes on other domains. If the user is from another GSuite domain, their Google Admin will need to enable users on their domain to join classes on other domains as well. 

So, if the person joining your classroom is from another GSuite domain or has a personal Google account and you are getting this message, you will need to contact your domain's Google Admin to determine whether they will allow out-of-domain users. Please see this reference for assistance contacting your Google Admin. 

Classrooms Created with Personal Accounts
All personal Google accounts can join Classrooms created with personal accounts. However, if students with GSuite accounts try to join a Classroom created with a personal account, they will receive the error message. At this time, GSuite for Education accounts cannot join Classrooms created with a personal account. 

Keep in mind, that if you are creating a classroom with a personal Google account, you cannot use this classroom with students in a school setting. For one, it is against Google Classroom TOU. 

For another, Google Classroom within the GSuite environment meets the requirements set forth by federal privacy laws like COPPA and FERPA. Google Classroom when used with personal Google Accounts is not compliant with these laws, and therefore cannot be used with children in schools.

I hope this helps to clear up any confusion if you've been having trouble adding students to your classroom!

Monday, September 11, 2017

What's the deal with Google Drive and Google File Stream?

So, you've probably heard rumors going around that Google Drive is being replaced with something called Google Stream.

If you get nothing else from this post, know this: THIS CHANGE ONLY APPLIES TO THE DESKTOP CLIENT FOR PC AND MAC.  The online version of Google Drive, as well as iOS and Android Apps will continue to function as before. So, unless you're a user of the desktop client, nothing will change for you. Now, breathe a big sigh of relief, and go on with your life!

If you are a user of the desktop client, read on:

What do I need to know?
Google Drive File Stream has been in beta since March and has been in testing by early adopters. It launched to all GSuite Domains on Sept. 6, but won't be generally available  to all end users until Sept. 26.

If you have the old desktop client...
Support for the old desktop client will end on December 11, 2017 and functionality will be shut down completely on March 18, 2018. It's best to make the switch to the new File Stream client before December 11.

If you have an questions, please feel free to post in the comments below.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Preparing for the Google Innovator Academy! #SWE17

Ten days ago, I received one of the most exciting emails of my life!

This is the second time I've applied to the Google Education Innovator Program- my first application for #LON17 was unsuccessful. So, I was THRILLED and SPEECHLESS when I read the subject line. I couldn't wait to dive in and learn as much as possible about what's in store for me in October at #SWE17. Ironically enough, I was in the process of making Swedish meatballs for dinner when the email came.

Above all, I'm humbled and honored to join this elite community of educators! If you're interested in seeing my application, check out my vision video and my vision deck.

The Innovator Program already had several avenues of communication set up for our group- a Google Hangout, a Google Group, and a Google Classroom. Most of us jumped right in on the Hangout and haven't stopped talking since- we're talking travel plans, rooming together for the academy, what we need to bring and more! The Innovator Program also put together a Hangout On Air so we could introduce ourselves in real time. I can't wait to meet the rest of the #SWE17 Cohort in person!

Then, a few nights ago, we each got a mysterious email containing a game piece.

Game on, indeed! When you have 36 people on six different continents, each with a different piece of the puzzle, it really takes some collaboration. Very quickly, collaborative documents were put together and shared. One, a Google Doc with a table where everyone could list their name and insert an image of their card. Another was a Google Slides document with an interactive chess board. Each of us attacked this great puzzle in our own way, but working in a collaborative document we were able to see what everyone was doing. We were able to ask questions and discuss our lines of thought.

It took us about 24 hours, and we were able to complete the puzzle, even without having all the pieces. What we ended up with was a URL and a password that led to......

ANOTHER CLUE. That one didn't take us nearly as long to figure out, and in short order, we gained entry to our pre-Academy assignment, which involves these fun Breakout Boxes from BreakoutEdu. I haven't gotten mine yet, but another person in the cohort shared a picture of his:

I can't wait to get mine so I can start working on my assignment for the academy! I also can't wait to start seeing how I can use the Breakout Box for some fun Professional Development activities!

I also really love how Google is already engaging us in the 4 Cs- communicate, collaborate, think critically, and create- before we even step foot in the Stockholm office. It's already building a sense of community and "team" and even familiarity among those of us in our Cohort, so we can hopefully dive right in to the really important work of learning when we arrive.

Anyway, if you're interested in learning more about the Google Education Innovator Program and following my adventure, keep an eye here for more posts!