Google has just released an update to Google Classroom where teachers can now assign tasks to individual students or groups of students.
I just saw the update on Twitter and within minutes was in a conversation with a colleague Justin Birckbichler and we were exploring the update. Google created a gif or animated picture showing the process where you create an assignment as usual, but then are able to assign it to the whole class or click on individual students. We wanted to know if you could assign tasks to small groups. The video at the bottom shows what we discovered.
The ability to differentiate for individual students, or groups of students has come. You could modify an assignment for individual students, create resources for groups of students either based on topic or reading levels, create documents, presentations that the group can work on and edit collboratively, and so much more.
Many elementary teachers already create reading groups, but sometimes find that students may migrate between groups as the year goes on. This feature would allow you to make those adjustments more fluidly. Individual assignments while applicable to reading groups might also be suited for small group projects where each group is studying a different topic and you are providing them with topic specific resources or leveled texts.
Another use for this could be for truly individualized instruction. We all know we have students who are absent at times, or others who struggle with concepts, and some students who need some extra or different opportunities to go beyond where their classmates are currently. With individualized assignments, you could provide extra resources, tutorial videos, guided practice or extension activities to meet the needs of students in a way that doesn't draw attention from all the other students. The individualized assignment isn't seen by the other students in the class.
The Directions and video are from Justin Birckbichler, the colleague I was collaborating with on the new feature release. He created the video as he was able to show the student view that I am currently unable. If you have any questions, please let me know.