Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Google is Adding an Originality Checker to Google Classroom

Today, in what they're spinning as a feature to "help students turn in their best work," Google announced the addition of an originality checker to Google Classroom. Google is calling this new feature Originality Reports.

Originality Reports in Google Classroom will let students and teachers check documents for elements of plagiarism originality against the millions of webpages and books that are indexed by Google. Students will be able to run Originality Reports on their own work before submitting it as an assignment in Google Classroom. Teachers can run Originality Reports on any work that has been submitted through Google Classroom.

Originality Reports is a feature that is in a beta testing period. G Suite for Education domain administrators can apply here to have their schools participate in the beta.

I've applied to participate in the Originality Reports beta on behalf of two domains that I manage. Until then all I can tell you about the Originality Reports functions is what I've gleaned from Google's announcement and GIF of the feature. It appears that Originality Reports will display in the margins of documents any possible matches for sentences or phrases found online.

From a business standpoint, Originality Reports certainly looks like an attempt by Google to compete with other plagiarism detection services like TurnItIn.

On a related note, in a few weeks I am releasing an on-demand course that will be full of practical ways to use all aspects of G Suite for Education in your classroom. Register here to be notified when the course is available. 

DocsTeach Adds New Documents and Lessons About Suffrage

Earlier this week the Library of Congress launched a new crowdsourcing campaign to transcribe more than 20,000 primary source documents related to the women's suffrage movement in the United States. The LOC isn't the only organization to make primary sources related to suffrage available online. DocsTeach, produced by the National Archives, has a Women's Rights section that was updated this summer to include more primary source documents and more teaching activities.

The Women's Rights section on DocsTeach offers seven instructional activities built around primary source documents. Those seven activities are:

You don't have to use these activities exactly as written. When you create a free DocsTeach account you can make copies of the activities and then modify them as needed for your students. You can also create new activities from scratch based on the primary source documents available on DocsTeach. 

Sharing Videos Through Google Drive

One of the things that people sometimes forget about Google Drive is that you can use to share just about any kind of file that you have stored on your computer. This includes video files. In fact, using Google Drive can be a good way to share a video with students or colleagues without having to use YouTube. When you share a video through Google Drive the person you share it with can view it right in his or her Google Drive account without having to download it.

A few years ago I recorded a video about how share videos through Google Drive and it is still one of the most frequently watched videos on my YouTube channel. The video is embedded below.



In September I am releasing an on-demand course that will be full of practical ways to use all aspects of G Suite for Education in your classroom. Register here to be notified when the course is available. 

Join Me on Friday for Practical Ed Tech Live!

This Friday at 9am ET I'm bringing back my Practical Ed Tech Live series in which I answer batches of questions that readers like you send to me throughout the week. I'll be broadcasting this live on my YouTube channel (subscribe to my channel to be notified when I go live). You can ask me questions during the broadcast or submit them in advance to ensure that I'll see your question. You can submit questions through the form that is embedded below.