Google Classroom is designed for everyone involved in a student’s education. Over 20 million educators and students actively use it to teach and learn together, as do administrators who oversee how this tool is used across classrooms and developers who are building educational technology for the next generation. As everyone heads back to school to start the new semester, each of these users will find new Classroom updates designed specifically for them.

For students: Individualized work for differentiated learning

We know that one-size fits all teaching doesn’t always meet students’ needs, and we’ve been impressed with the workarounds Classroom teachers have found to differentiate their instruction. But starting today, Classroom makes it a lot easier for teachers to assign work to individual students and groups based on their unique needs. As they’re creating an assignment, post, or question, teachers can choose whether to share it with the entire class or only with a subset of students.

Juli Dalzell, a 7th grade teacher at Thomas A. Blake Middle School in Medfield, Massachusetts, says she likes how the new feature allows her to teach students who may grasp concepts at different paces. “I can assign different levels of questions or quantities of assignments,” says Dalzell. “Also, I can push out documents, such as answer keys, as students complete their assignments.”

With this feature, students can also discreetly receive extra practice if they are struggling with a new subject. Sara Enberg, a library media specialist at River Willow Elementary School in Hudson, Wisconsin, shared that the new update creates “an easy way to assign a reteaching or extension activity for students who are struggling… Just a quick simple video for a couple of students and they were back on track.”

For teachers: New notifications to manage student work

We understand the information overload that teachers feel as they balance a busy class schedule, a sea of papers to grade, and after-school activities. To help them stay on top of it all, teachers will now receive two new types of Classroom notifications – one when students submit work after the due date, and one for when students re-submit work. In addition, busy teachers can continue to use Classroom’s other notifications – like updates on their scheduled posts and comments on student work – to help keep them organized throughout the school year.

For administrators: Metrics to make the most of Classroom

Many administrators rely on the Admin Console to see how Google technology is being used in their schools. Starting today, Classroom data will be included in the Admin Console Reports, allowing administrators to see metrics on overall Classroom usage and how many classes and posts are being created, both in aggregate and by user. With these reports, as well as new ones to be added in the future, we hope administrators will have the insights they need to provide the best support possible to their teachers and students.

For developers: Even more coursework integrations

Lastly, we’ve added new capabilities to the Classroom API to make integrations with Classroom more seamless for developers. Integrated applications can now programmatically add materials to coursework or student submissions and can modify existing coursework they’ve created. Hundreds of educational applications have integrated with Classroom since the launch of the API, including tools like Flat.IO, Classcraft and Little SIS, and we’re eager to see what developers will create with these new capabilities.

With all these exciting new Classroom features, we hope that students, teachers, administrators, and developers will have a happy and productive return to school and work in the new year.

About the Author:

Andrew Garrett is a Google Classroom Software Engineer.