The 411 on Google Classroom

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This year I took the plunge and moved my class over to Google Classroom.  I was lucky enough to receive a class set of Chromebooks from Donors Choose last year (see my April post for more info on Donors Choose). So last September, I decided to assign classwork and homework solely on Google's Classroom platform.  This month I will give an overview of Google Classroom.  Over the next few months, I'll explain other Google Apps for Education and how to use them in a digital classroom.



Getting the classes set up is pretty easy. You need a domain name for your school.  It only costs $5 a year and your tech person can easily set one up right here. Once that has been done, the teacher has to click on the plus sign and then "create class." Then you set up a description and parameters for what the class is.  The kids sign up by going to the classroom.google.com website and adding a class code. That's it.  Your class is now online. Each class automatically is set up with its own folder in Google Drive, where all their turned in work goes.  It makes it very easy to find assignments later.  All work can also be posted in Google Calendar for kids and parents to access.



 So what can you and your class do on Google Classroom? Basically, you assign work and the kids complete it digitally.  There are a few ways to post work.  You can create an assignment that kids can turn in, create a question that kids answer under it, create an announcement for important info or reuse an old post. You can assign it to more than one class at a time, pick a due date and time, assign it immediately or save it for a later date and add pictures, links, or materials from your computer or Google Drive.




Mostly I used Google Classroom for reading discussion questions for classwork and homework.  As you can see, on the bottom right hand side there is a plus sign.  When you hover over it, you get a set of options.  I create a question, assign it and then the kids enter their answers underneath it.  The kids can reply to each other as well which creates a fabulous classroom discussion that even the shyest student doesn't mind joining.


Sometimes I also create assignments.  You are able to add websites or documents that are helpful to completing the assignment. Students need to open a pre-made Google doc, slide, etc or create a new one, complete the assignment and submit it. In both cases you can see how many kids have turned it in with a just a glance.  


This is what you see when you click on the assignment.  You can click on the individual assignments to review then.  You add grades in the left hand column and return them to the kids.  You can import them to Google Sheets (something I will attempt to explain in a later blog post) or transfer them to whatever grade book you use.


Overall, I was very happy with my experience.  All of my classwork was done on Google Classroom , which made reviewing and grading a snap.  About 1/3 of my kids also did homework online as well.  There was a huge reduction in lost work.  It was much easier to read assignments as well. I will absolutely continue to use Google Classroom next year.

Next month, I will attempt to explain Google Docs and Slides and how they can be used in your digital classroom as well.

by XClass to the Rescue

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1 comments

  1. Thanks for this awesome post. I would be saving this page because it would serve as an aid to me one of this days. Though over here (in my school), we are still warming up to some of these technological tools that can be employed in learning facilitation.
    Glad to come across this. Do check out my blog at www.papammeso.blogspot.com I am teacher based in Lagos, Nigeria.

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