Managing Comments in Google Classroom (2021 Update)

Managing Comments in Google Classroom (2021 Update)

Google classroom is a comprehensive digital learning management tool. Its capabilities are many: teachers can create classes and assignments; teachers can communicate with guardians and students and vice versa; students can communicate with each other. The list goes on.

A huge benefit of Google Classroom is the stream feature. It’s the social hub of the platform, where both teacher and student can post comments. It also posts updates when assignments are created. As a teacher, how do you manage these comments? As a student, what are you able to post?


The Stream

Google Classroom’s feed is called the stream. Here the teacher and students can post comments or share resources. The stream is also the landing page for each class and assignments are automatically announced on the stream. It’s a great way for teacher and student to engage, and foster community amongst students.


How to Turn Off Comments on Google Classroom

Google Classroom’s default setting allows students to post but teachers can decide if students can post and comment in each class. Managing permissions within Google classroom is easy and can be assigned at both the class and student levels. If posting is enabled, students can only delete their posts or comments (no editing is allowed).

Students can share content or questions via posts, comment on a post, or reply to a comment if this is enabled. Disable this setting in Settings > General > Stream > select option.

You can also mute a student in class. This means they cannot post or comment in the class but can still send private comments to you. There will be no indication to the muted student that they have been muted.

To mute (or unmute) a student: Class > People > Select Student > Actions > Mute and confirm.

To mute (or unmute) a student from their post or comment: From class, point to the post or comment form the student. Click More (snowman menu/vertical three dots) then Mute student name.


How to Post to the Stream

Posting on the stream is easy and the process is the same for both teacher and student. Under the class tile, there is a posting box (Share something with your class…). This is where you type your comment. You can also easily add an attachment, file from Google Drive, video, or link to share a resource.

Students can only post to the stream if this setting is enabled by their teacher.

Teachers also have the option to post updates to all students or individual students.


How to Comment on a Post or Reply to a Comment

On the post, type your comment in the Add Class Comment box. Then click the paper airplane to post. You can also mention a classmate or your teacher by using the plus sign and the person’s name (+name).

To reply to a comment, simply press the left-facing arrow. Then, follow the above steps.

If there is no option to add a class comment, the setting has been disabled.


How to Make a Private Comment on Google Classroom

Students can also communicate directly and privately with their teacher by posting a private comment to an assignment or question.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. From the Stream, click the assignment or question. Then select Add Private Comment. Type your comment and post.
  2. From the Classwork page, navigate to the assignment or question by clicking View Assignment or View Question. Select Add Private Comment. Type your comment and post.


How to Edit Comments on Google Classroom

Students cannot edit posts or comments after they’ve been posted. Be sure to proofread your posts or comments prior to posting. Public comments can be deleted, but teachers can view deleted comments.


How to Edit Private Comments on Google Classroom

Students cannot edit public or private comments on Google Classroom.

However, teachers can. There are two ways to do this—one via desktop and the other via phone app:

  1. Desktop: Click the student’s private comment, but do not open their work. The comments should display like a stream below their work. Right click on the comment and there is an option to edit or delete.
  2. Phone app: Tap comment and the option to edit or delete will appear.


How to Delete Comments on Google Classroom

On the comment you wish to delete, click More (snowman menu/vertical three dots). Select Delete and confirm. Bear in mind that teachers can view deleted comments.


How to Delete Private Comments on Google Classroom

Unfortunately, private comments cannot be deleted by students on Google Classroom. Teachers can delete private comments via desktop or phone app as explained above.


Comment Bank on Google Classroom

For teachers, adding feedback to assignments is easy with the comment bank. It allows teachers to store and access their most popular comments in one place.

There are two ways to add comments to the comment:

  1. Add an existing comment: After the comment is posted, click More (snowman menu/three vertical dots) > Add to comment bank…
  2. Enter a comment directly to the bank: In classroom, open Comment Bank > Add to bank. From here you can add a single comment, multiple comments by pressing enter after each one, or paste in a prepared list of comments.


AGParts Education supports 6,000+ innovative 1:1 school districts in Chromebook parts supply and technology buyback. Contact us today to see how we can help your school.


Pros and Cons of a Chromebook

Pros and Cons of a Chromebook

Chromebooks have become a popular choice for 1:1 programs across the U.S. In fact, 30 million students and educators used Chromebooks in 2019 alone. Their popularity continues to surge as more schools rely on their hybrid instruction. There are a host of benefits of Chromebooks in the classroom, but what are the overall pros and cons of a Chromebook?


Pros of a Chromebook

They’re sleek, lightweight, and fast. But there’s so much more to a Chromebook.


Secure & Fast

Chromebooks are extremely secure and fast due to regular auto updates devices receive until their Auto Update Expiration (AUE). This means your Chromebook will receive software updates, vital security patches, and technical support for six-a-half to eight-and-a-half years depending on AUE.


Low Price & Low Lifetime Cost

One of the best things about Chromebooks is the price tag. It simply can’t be beat. More expensive Chromebooks do exist, but you can still find a solid Chromebook for under $300—considerably less than their laptop counterpart. This is a significant factor for any school’s yearly budget.

Additionally, the lifetime cost of a Chromebook is low because Chromebooks don’t have the traditional moving parts that a laptop does. This means less mechanical malfunction and less need for repair, saving your district in the long term.


Integrated Virus Protection

Not only are Chromebooks less vulnerable to viruses, but their antivirus/malware protection is built into the Chrome OS. This is an additional cost savings, not to mention the time it saves your IT team in troubleshooting.


Little Maintenance

Since Chromebooks do not rely on software, there is no need for your IT team to install, update, support, or troubleshoot software. Updates are automatic via Google and a 24/7 helpdesk is available to Google Workspace subscribers. This unburdens your IT department and frees them to handle more pressing matters.


Collaborative & Built for Productivity

Chromebooks encourage collaboration, which is fantastic for both teachers and students. Chromebooks use Google Workspace, Google’s answer to Microsoft 365, and docs can be edited in real time by multiple users.

Chromebooks also rely heavily on keyboard shortcuts. Once learned, they are sure to boost productivity.

Additionally, there are few frivolous distractions on a Chromebook, as compared to a laptop, which encourages students’ productivity. Of course, we aren’t ruling out the fact that the internet can be a huge distraction, but we’ll let you decide how to monitor and restrict access to certain websites.


Mobile & Shareable

If the past year is any indication, a Chromebook’s mobility is a particularly compelling feature. They are very easy to transport since they are lightweight. If students need to bring their devices home, it’s easy to do so.

They’re also easy to share, making them ideal for schools that are working toward a 1:1 program. Chromebooks require a Google account for every user. Since Chromebooks rely on cloud-based storage, files are easily accessed via your personal login. When sharing, all students need to do is sign into their own account for a personal learning experience.


Cons of a Chromebook

As with any laptop or notebook, there are certain cons associated with a Chromebook.


No Microsoft 365*

For Chromebooks launched prior to 2019, Microsoft 365 cannot be installed. Instead, your teachers and students will use the Google Workspace which features Google Doc (Word), Google Sheets (Excel), and Google Sheets (PowerPoint), among other correlating applications.

This means there is an associated learning curve with this set of applications. Even though they are remarkably similar to Microsoft counterparts, there are still differences in commands and functionality. This could be less of an issue for younger generation of students as they have less familiarity with Microsoft apps. This could be more of an issue for teachers and older students as they transition to Google Workspace from Microsoft.

The good news is that files from all Google Workspace applications can be downloaded as their Microsoft counterpart, which proves helpful.

*However, Chromebook with a launch date after 2019 support apps designed for Android mobile use. This means Microsoft 365 is available via Google Play for Chrome. Check this list to ensure your Chromebook model supports this feature.


Limited Functionality Offline

With teachers reporting that 12% of students have no access to the internet at home, this could be huge factor depending on your district. Because most work occurs in browser-based applications, collaborative, real-time exercises will require an internet connection. If they don’t have internet access, this could impact you’re their experience.

Working offline with a Chromebook is not impossible, it just requires planning. There is still a workaround for this. Many apps feature offline settings, which need to be turned on. Students can edit docs offline, and when they are online again, edits will be synced.


Not Ideal for Multimedia Projects

Currently, the best software and applications for audio and video projects are not web based. There are plenty of web-based video editors and other applications that can provide a solid workaround.

This most likely is not a contributing factor for most districts, but could affect older students in journalism and broadcasting, music, or theater programs.


AGParts Education supports 6,000+ innovative 1:1 school districts in Chromebook parts supply and technology buyback. Contact us today to see how we can help your school.


Benefits of Chromebooks in the Classroom

Benefits of Chromebooks in the Classroom

Is your school considering implementing a 1:1 Chromebook program? If so, you may be curious about Chromebooks and how they stack up to their competition. Today, we’ll look at that and more, including the benefits of Chromebooks in the classroom.


History of 1:1 Computing

Before we explore the benefits that Chromebooks can bring to your school, let’s look back at the history of 1:1 computing.

One-to-one computing is exactly what it sounds like—it is one computer for every student. Technology was first introduced in education in the 1920s when radio made lessons available to students within listening range. Since then, it’s been milestone after milestone as technology continues to be widespread across all schooling levels.

In the late 1990s, 1:1 programs were first introduced. In those early years, primary schools favored Apple devices while secondary schools favored Windows devices. Type of device is contingent upon many factors: age of students, budget, and benefits.

It’s estimated that 40% of US schools have a 1:1 program, with another 30% of schools having at least one device for five or less students. Despite the popularity of 1:1 programs, one statistic remains particularly troublesome: teachers report that 12% of students don’t have access to the internet or computer at home. In a world where technology dominates, 1:1 programs are a lifeline for these learners to prepare them for the future.


History of 1:1 Chromebook Programs

One-to-one programs saw two major tech inventions that rocked them to their core: the release of the iPad in 2010 and the release of the Chromebook in 2011.

There’s no denying the Chromebook’s universal popularity by schools and consumers alike. A streamlined, internet-heavy laptop with a price tag that can’t be beat, 30 million students and educators used Chromebooks in 2019 alone. After 2020, their popularity has only grown. The Chromebook was first introduced in the classroom in 2012 as Google began to pilot the device in schools nationwide. By 2014, Chromebook surpassed iPads in sales.


Benefits of Using Devices in the Classroom

With a reported 95% of teachers using technology in the classroom, it’s no secret that its presence is here to stay. When speaking about the benefits a specific device, it’s important to differentiate between benefits only that device can bring versus the overall benefits of using devices in the classroom, and largely the benefits of technology in education. Here’s a closer look at five of those benefits:

Provides Access

With 12% of students across the country with no access to the internet or a computer at home, devices in the classroom provide access to students that would otherwise not have it.


Transforms Ordinary Lessons

Using video or an interactive activity can make a boring subject more palatable to students and engage disinterested learners.


Assists with Student Comprehension

Technology-based learning incorporates different learning styles, which allow for students to tackle difficult subject according to their needs.


Prepares Students for the Future

College and career readiness is paramount for a student, and use of technology in the classroom will no doubt better prepare them for any digital demands the future brings.


Collaboration & Connection

Students are not only able to collaborate with their fellow classmates, removing the singularity of learning, but also with students on the other side of the globe. More importantly, technology-based education gives a voice to the voiceless—from shy students to students with learning disabilities, devices enable these students to connect in ways that aren’t possible previously.


Benefits of Chromebooks in the Classroom

Chromebooks continue to be a popular choice given their low-price tag and ease of use. How do they compare to the competition, and why choose a Chromebook over another device? Here’s a look at six benefits that Chromebooks bring to the classroom.


Easy to Use

How about a computer that boots in under ten seconds? With a Chromebook, you’re hard pressed to find a device that is easier to use. From long battery life to integrated virus protection, the only interruption students and teachers experience will be the bell ringing with these devices.


Ideal for Sharing

If your school doesn’t have the budget for one device to every student, Chromebooks are a great shareable device. Chromebooks require a Google account for every user and are cloud-based devices. When sharing, all students need to do is sign into their account for a personal learning experience.


Low Price Tag and Low Cost of Ownership

With some school-friendly Chromebooks starting at $99, there’s no denying their value. Since Chromebooks are very lean laptops (few components and parts), they are generally have very low cost of ownership.


Low Maintenance

As just mentioned, Chromebooks have few moving parts—few components—which means they are easier to maintain than other devices. Beyond hardware, Google delivers all auto updates until the model reaches its AUE. With built-in virus and malware protection, you have peace of mind knowing your computer is protected.


Long Battery

A huge draw for Chromebooks is that they don’t draw battery life quickly. Some models can last 13 hours (almost two school days!) on a single charge.


Offline Capabilities

Don’t be fooled—yes, Chromebooks are internet-heavy laptops, but students can still use a Chromebook offline. In fact, there’s many ways to use a Chromebook offline.


AGParts Education partners with 6,000+ innovative 1:1 school districts nationwide in Chromebook parts procurement and buyback. For more info, contact us today!

Internet Safety for High School Students: 5 Tips

Internet Safety for High School Students: 5 Tips

Almost 90% of teenagers have home access to a computer and almost half of teenagers say they’re online almost constantly. It’s more important than ever before to teach internet safety for high school students. This is due in part to complacency—with such computer prevalence, it’s easy to become relaxed and fatigued on the most basic internet safety principles.

Why? Well, let’s not forget that teenagers (13-17 years old) grew up with this technology. In the early and mid 2000s, when this age group was born, computer ownership fluctuated around 75% in US. The iPhone, which not only made the smartphone a household name, but a household requirement, launched in 2007. This technology was in their hands earlier than any other generation.

How do you combat this complacency? While it may seem paradoxical, it’s important to return to the basics, but also teach more advanced safety tips. Here are five tips in teaching internet safety for high school students:


Teach the Risks & Rewards

Internet safety all starts with educating all students on the dangers and risks of being online. Be open and honest. Don’t sugar coat—transparency is key. Since high schoolers are older, this is a great time to share any unpleasant personal experiences you’ve had with the internet. This is not to paint the internet as a bad place, but to remind them that there are dangers.

It’s also important to remind high students that what they contribute to the internet, including what they share on social media, can stay with them a long time. Social media is often used a tool to screen candidates for jobs and college entrance. They should never post anything that is discriminatory to anyone, even in jest.


Teach the Art of Data Mining

Encourage older students to perform an exhaustive data mine on themselves once a quarter. For someone who has regularly Googled herself over the years, I was shocked what my latest results returned. An uncomfortable amount of personal information including current address, old phone numbers and addresses, family names—the works! Much of this information was on third party sites that I could contact to remove my information which was a huge relief.

Students should do just this, and when they find personal information that they do not want online, help them contact the sites to remove the information. Even if the information is outdated, it should still be removed. Old contact info can often be used for verification purposes in setting up bank accounts, applying for personal, auto, or student loans, etc., as well as security questions for important online accounts.

They should:

  • Search names, usernames, and nicknames using quotation marks.
  • Search on various search engines (Google, Bing, etc.).
  • Sign out of any browser prior to searching as results can be filtered when signed in.
  • Use various browsers to perform the search (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.) as they will yield different results.
  • Go past the first page of results until the name no longer appears (five pages deep at minimum).


Enable Privacy Settings on Social Media

With 27% of teenagers using social media hourly, don’t skip this tip! Encourage your students to restrict their privacy settings appropriately across all social media platforms.

Social media privacy settings have come a long way. Largely, they are much more granular which gives the user more control. However, this means there are more settings, and it’s easy to miss one or two that could be set to public when they should be restricted. Comb through privacy settings together to ensure none are missed.

Students on social media should also:

  • Regularly review their friends or followers on social media and remove anyone that should not be there.
  • Regularly review their posts and remove those they would not want a parent, teacher, employer, or college official to see.
  • Regularly review posts, images, and videos in which they are tagged, and remove tags as appropriate.


Don’t Disclose Personal Info to Strangers

This seems like a no brainer, but it deserves its due and bears repeating. Never disclose sensitive information online, especially to strangers. Under no circumstances! This includes where they go to school, their address, their phone number, their various social media handles, etc.

Since teenagers have been around the internet for so long, they may start to feel like a veteran. They could start to feel like they could spot a fake. Most likely not true. It doesn’t matter how trustworthy the person may seem; you simply don’t know the real person on the other side of the screen. All it takes is one conversation to let sensitive information slip into the wrong hands.


Teach Digital Best Practices

Ideally, internet safety for high school students falls into a larger lesson on digital literacy, a core tenet of digital citizenship. Digital literacy is a broad topic, but it deals with how to interact responsibly online and evaluate information online effectively. Safety falls into digital literacy as well.

While this may take more time to teach, here are a few key best practices students can follow immediately:

  • Use strong alphanumeric passwords: teach about password safety and password algorithms.
  • Make sure parents or guardians have access to student passwords. Students can write passwords on a piece of paper, place it in a sealed security envelope, and store in a safe, but visible, place so their parents can access passwords in case of an emergency.
  • Stress the importance of logging out of online accounts by physically signing out, not just closing the browser window. This is especially important if students are sharing devices.
  • Encourage students to regularly back up their files including important emails and photos.


If You See Something, Say Something

Perhaps the most important and universal tip—if you see something, say something. As digital citizens, we are responsible for ourselves and others. The internet is not just a place where your identity can be stolen. It’s also the playground for cyberbullying. Give examples of cyberbullying. If a student sees suspicious, discriminatory, or uncouth behavior, encourage them to bring their concerns to a responsible adult.

In order for this tip to work, it’s crucial to create an honest and transparent environment where students feel comfortable to bring concerns to an adult, whether that be their teacher or parent.

Even if you create the most trusting environment in the world, teenagers can still be deterred from bringing their concerns to an adult. This is why it’s so important to check in with high school students regularly about their online and social media habits. Pay attention to what they’re interested in online and who they are talking to. Limit access to certain sites to avoid potentially harmful situations.

While teenagers may be complacent to technology, it’s always important to teach internet safety for high school students. Use these five tips to remind older students how to stay safe online.


AGParts Education partners with 6,000+ innovative 1:1 school districts nationwide in Chromebook parts procurement and buyback. For more info, contact us today!

Chromebook Buyback: What Every School Should Know

Chromebook Buyback: What Every School Should Know

If your school has a 1:1 Chromebook program, chances are there will be a need to refresh your devices at some point. A great option when renewing your devices is to resell your old devices through Chromebook buyback. AGParts Education has a comprehensive technology buyback program that specializes in Chromebook buyback.

Today, we’ll discuss what Chromebook buyback is, the models with the highest resell value, and what to look for in a buyback company.


What is Chromebook Buyback?

Chromebook buyback is the process of selling back your used devices to a company that processes used electronics devices. That company will evaluate your devices and assign a value to each device.

Buyback falls under the umbrella of IT asset disposition (ITAD). ITAD is the process of disposing of used or unwanted IT assets in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. This includes securely wiping data of the devices prior to disposal.

Note that “disposed of” doesn’t mean thrown in the general waste stream. Many electronic parts and components are harmful to the environment. Sometimes, parts can be recycled, reused, or donated—one method of disposal. Even if the part has no useful value, there are certain protocols that must be followed to ensure safe disposal.


Best Models to Resell

Just as certain vehicles hold more value and garner more money when resold, the same is true of Chromebooks. So, which models have the best resell value, akin to the power of a Honda or Subaru?

Here are a dozen popular Chromebook models that carry high resell value:

  1. Acer C732
  2. Acer C733
  3. Dell 3100 models
  4. HP 11 G6 models
  5. HP 11 G7 models
  6. HP 11A G6 EE
  7. HP 11A G7 EE
  8. HP 14A G5
  9. HP 14 G5
  10. Lenovo 100E
  11. Lenovo 300E
  12. Lenovo 500E

Bear in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. If your school’s model is listed above, that doesn’t mean your school is guaranteed to recoup high value for your used devices. Likewise, if your school’s models aren’t listed, it doesn’t mean they’re worthless! Remember your used devices will be evaluated and assigned a monetary value based on condition. Even if your school has old models, buyback is always a worthwhile process to pursue as older models do hold value.


What to Look for in a Tech Buyback Company

Now that we’ve reviewed the most popular models, is your school ready to start the tech buyback process? If you answered “yes,” it’s crucial to do your research. Here are four things to look for in a buyback company.


#1: Experience

Since Chromebooks aren’t even ten years old, it can sometimes be difficult to find an experienced buyback company. Still, this should not be overlooked. Experience means peace of mind knowing that this isn’t the company’s first rodeo. Experience can also translate into more money for your used fleet.

AGParts Education has been in the classroom since devices were introduced. We even worked with Council Bluffs School District, one of the first schools to pilot a 1:1 program. Not to mention the fact that we’ve operated in the computer hardware industry since 2000. Plus, we process tens of thousands of used Chromebooks via buyback every year.


#2: Certifications & NIST Compliance

To ensure a company does recycle used devices safely and sustainably, they should hold certain national and international certifications. At the very minimum, they should hold ISO 14001 (environmental management) and R2 certifications (responsible electronics recycling). They also hold ISO 9001 (quality management) and 45001(occupational health and safety) certifications.

Additionally, they have to comply with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Sensitive info lives on our devices. When we recycle those devices, that data doesn’t magically disappear. Your devices must be wiped clean according to NIST guidelines to ensure your student data is protected.

We hold all four ISO and R2 certifications. We fully comply with NIST guidelines and issue data privacy certificates upon completion.


#3: Simple Process & Flexibility

The last thing the buyback process should do is give you a headache. The process should be simple and smooth. At the same time, buyback companies should be flexible to work with you and accommodate the needs of your school.

Our three-step process is truly hassle free.

  1. Request a quote for your used devices.
  2. Upon quote approval, ship your devices to AGParts Education (we’ll provide free boxes).
  3. Redeem your cash or technology department credit.

We also have flexible options—you can even finalize all the details of your buyback deal in advance and send your devices later. Our payment options include cash or credit. When your district chooses credit, you earn 10% more and guarantee those funds stay in your technology budget.


#4: Partnership

When looking for a Chromebook buyback company, you really want to look at a company that will be with you from start to finish. This can mean many things, but really it comes down to the company viewing you as a valuable partner and not just a number.

We view our customers as partners. You’ll have a dedicated account executive by your side every step of the way. To top it off, we send you all the materials to ship your devices and cover all freight costs.

In short, AGParts Education offers a Chromebook buyback process that is designed to make your life easier. When your district is ready to recycle devices, contact us or request a quote today.