This Tech Tuesday series is brought to you by the incredible mind of Beckie Teaches. Beckie is a Middle School Social Studies teacher in Colorado. Today she is bringing you five tips for all of our Google Classroom beginners. Next week she'll bring you five more for our advanced Classroom users. Thank you, Beckie, for sharing your knowledge with The Snarky Schoolteacher!
Google Classroom is a great tool created to help teachers efficiently run a classroom. As the Google Classroom page claims, “Classroom was designed hand-in-hand with teachers to help them save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students.” In order to use Google Classroom, you must have a Google Apps for Education (GAfE) account. Chances are, if your district uses Google as their e-mail service, then you can access Google Classroom.
If you are anything like me, you might find jumping into a new technological tool a little daunting. That’s why I am writing this: to help you, the educator, set up and utilize Google Classroom.
1. Create your Classroom
Once you sign into Classroom with your GAfE account, you can create your first classroom. Simply click on the “+” located on the top right corner of your browser window. Fill in the name of your class and the section (optional) and click the blue “Create” button. Voila! You have created your first Classroom!
Tip: Create a Classroom for each class you teach, even if you teach multiple sections of the same class. Google organizes student submitted documents into folders for each Classroom, so by creating a Classroom for each section, you reduce clutter!
2. Add your students
Now that you have your Classroom, let’s fill it up with some students! On your Classroom main page, you will see a bar under the name of your Classroom with three links (Stream, Students, and About). From the Students page, you have two options when adding students; give them a code they enter manually or send the students an e-mail invitation by clicking on the blue invite button. Both options are very easy and quick, so it’s up to you how you want to add your students.
3. Create an announcement or assignment
Let’s give your students something to do. You can create an announcement to share information with your students or you can create an assignment to give them something to do! When creating announcements or assignments, you can attach documents by uploading them from your computer or by uploading them from your Google Drive. You can also attach a link or a Youtube video. Also, when creating an assignment, you can set a due date and time. You can even save an announcement or assignment as a draft to post later.
4. See which students have turned in an assignment
Now that you have an assignment, you can see which students have or have not turned it in. This is one of my favorite features in Classroom because it makes it easy to identify which students have done the work and which students haven’t.
5. Fill in the “About” section
Finally, fill in that “About” section. You can quickly access this section by clicking on “About”. Everything here is optional, but I highly recommend you take the time to upload some materials (syllabus, etc.) to this page.
That's it! You have your Classroom up and running! There are so many features to utilize in the Google Classroom platform, so click around and browse your options. As always, the best way to get to know new technology is to dive in and use it.
Next Tuesday, we'll bring you five tips for our advanced Classroom users!
The Snarky Schoolteacher is an education and lifestyle blog run by dedicated educational professionals. Our goal is to bring you relevant and fun educational content with a side of sass. Read more about our team here. Thanks for visiting, and we hope you will find these ideas and resources helpful in your classrooms and in your lives.