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Google Greatness to Start the New School Year

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September 4, 2017

I hope the new school year is off to a great start for everyone. We have some important Google-related news to share with you! One is brand new. The other is a new spin on an old feature. Let’s dive in!

New Feature: First Day of Classroom

Google has launched a resource site called “Welcome to the First Day of Classroom.” If you’ve been interested in using Google Classroom with your students, this gives you the perfect way to get started.

We do training on Classroom here at OPSRC, but if you’re anxious to get moving, this is a great resource that contains a WEALTH of knowledge. The site includes videos on Classroom's basic functions as well as a teachers' lounge full of videos for tips and tricks to take your Google Classroom to the next level. Don’t miss out on this amazing resource. You can use this link to get started. More good news: they’ve also added this to the G Suite Training Center!

Updated Feature: Revisions Become Versions

If you’re a power user of Google Docs like me, then you’ll know about Google’s lifesaving tool formerly known as Revision History, now called Version History. What's that, you ask? This function allows you to see every document edit made and by whom. If you’re working on a shared document and someone makes a change you don’t like, you can revert to the original. If people delete things they shouldn’t, you can retrieve them. It’s like having an indestructible document that can never be deleted. You can go back to the doc's previous version and restore it! Just click on the link at the top of a document that shows when the doc was saved, or go to File > Version History > See Version History to get into the goodness. 

Tip: I also refer to this as the world’s best accountability tool when it comes to students because you can see when kids copy and paste content in and are trying to cheat.

Bonus: the new update allows you to save revisions. If you’re working on curriculum, you can save last year's edits as a version. Then you can make changes, knowing you can return to last year's version to review. This works with all kinds of documents, including those things you really need to track like changes to board policy.

If you want some training on how your team can use this tool, please give me call or shoot me an email. I’d be glad to come out and train your staff on this useful feature!

About the Author

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Ben Parker

Director, Technology

Ben serves as Director of Technology for the OPSRC. In this role, he will provide support to schools on technical issues and training on pressing technology topics. Ben will assist partner schools with trainings, comprehensive technology plans, e-Rate applications, technology purchasing consultation, and other school and district technology decisions.

Prior to working with OPSRC, Ben was the Director of Technology for the Locust Grove Public School District. Ben implemented a 1:1 tablet program in Locust Grove that saw 6th-12th graders go paperless in the classroom.

In his free time, Ben likes to read and play the drums.

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