The Google Classroom app is a fantastic tool that has made the lives of teachers easier in countless ways. Besides that, it offers students an engaging and fun way to learn. This article focuses on 11 things you might not know about Google Classroom and shares valuable Google Classroom tips that will make your life as a teacher more effective.
How to Use Google Classroom
Gone are the days when teachers used a chalkboard to teach their students! Google Classroom is an online program that can be used to create a virtual keynotes classroom. It is free and easy to use. It's a handy tool that helps students stay on top of their work, but there are a few things to consider when you first start using it. Below are some of the steps you need to follow to create an account, log in, and navigate the app.
Step 1: Create a Class
To create a class, head to Google Classroom. You'll be asked to sign in using your Google account (the one you use for Gmail) and create your style. Name it any way you want and give it a description to help others find it later. Don't worry about making it too specific — think of general terms that are easy to understand. For example, if the class is for students in grades 6-8, then "Middle School Math" is fine.
Step 2: Invite or Add Students
The second step to using Google Classroom is to invite students to the course. You can ask students directly from within a Google Form or import them from your school's existing student data system, such as Google Apps for Education, Enrollment Services, and other methods.
To invite students:
- In the left navigation panel, click Students.
- Click New Student Group.
- Enter the student group's name (e.g., Grade 6), then click Create Group.
To add individual students**:**
- In the left navigation pane, click Students.
- Click New Student.
- Enter your student's name or email address in the appropriate field (e.g., John Smith), then click Continue.
Step 3: Create an Assignment or Question
After you have created a class, you can create assignments. You can do this by clicking the ‘’Add assignment’’ button on the Home tab. In the Add Assignment dialog box, enter a title and description of the assignment in the Title and Description fields. Don’t forget to include a description so that students understand what they are expected to do.
If needed, you can also include additional information such as links or attachments in the Description field. Next, click the Assignments tab at the top of the page to view all your assignments within Google Classroom. Click on each project and then click on View to see the specific instructions. Otherwise, click on Manage Students if you'd like to add more students to your class later down the line (or edit existing ones).
Step 4: Grade Assignments and Ask Questions (Optional)
Grading assignments for students and feedback are an essential part of the professional learning process. They can also be a great way to get students' full attention, primarily if you use Google Forms or Google Docs.
Using Google Classroom, you can easily create a rubric and assign it to student work. Students will then see their grades in real time throughout the grading period and receive feedback on their work as they complete it. You can also use this form to ask questions about student work or have students submit questions that you answer in class later on.
Step 5: Check Your Class Stream to See What's Happening
The Google Classroom stream is a private, secure place for teachers to post questions and assignments, share files, and communicate with students. The stream is also where you'll find all student responses and grades. In Classroom, you can view student work by assignment or student.
To see the stream:
- Go to your Homepage.
- Click the Settings gear icon in the upper right corner
- Select Show Stream from the dropdown menu.
Can Google Classroom See What You Are Doing?
Google Classroom doesn't record every keystroke or video chat. The system is designed to record only the essential interactions between students, teachers, and administrators. Teachers don't have access to any other student data or records unless they specifically request it from the school district or administration office. All the information shared in Google Classroom is private unless otherwise specified by the teacher or administrator who shared it.
What Cool Things Can Google Classroom Do?
There's a lot that Google Classroom can do. Students can upload private assignments, and teachers can add private comments. Here are some cool things you might not know about Google Classroom:
1. Classrooms Can Be Added To As You Go
Google Classroom is a great way to start using it, but if you have a class set up already with another program like Remind or Edmodo, it's easy to add that Classroom to your Google Classroom account. Go to Classrooms in the left-hand menu and click on Add Classroom. You'll be able to enter the name of your old school year account and add all of those classes into your new one.
2. There Are Multiple Ways to Assign Work
Google Classroom makes it easy for students to submit work through their phones or computers but if you want something more hands-on, there are also options for students to submit their work by hand.
Students can print out assignments and turn them in on paper instead of typing them on their phone/computer or they can handwrite their answers directly onto the project itself! This is especially helpful when students need to do something like proofreading.
3. You Can Use Google Slides For Feedback
Google Classroom allows you to upload the slides from your Google Slides presentations directly into the assignment area. This gives students a way to submit their work using the same format they're used to in class, which helps make the process more familiar and less stressful for them.
4. You Can Set Up a Classroom Quickly and Easily
Google Classroom makes it easy to create new classes quickly by copying your existing classes (or another teacher's). You can even use this feature to share a single account with multiple-choice users (for example, if you have an assistant who helps grade papers).
5. The Student View Is Helpful
The student view in Google Classroom shows each student's assignment, and the teacher can see who made what changes or who hasn't completed a task. This allows teachers to keep track of their student's progress without checking each student's Google Docs individually.
6. You Can Add Co-Teachers and Guardians
Google Classroom allows you to add co-teachers and guardians who can monitor student progress from home or another school. They'll be able to see what every student is working on, which makes it easy for them to check how their kids are doing at home and school.
7. You Can Add Links to Resources
You can add links to resources like websites or videos, so students can access them easily without searching online or using other apps while they're working on assignments in Google Classroom. This saves time and helps students focus on their work instead of searching for materials themselves.
8. Customize Your Classroom Homepage
Google Classroom allows you to customize your Homepage for each class. You can set up a welcome message at the top of your homepage, add links to resources and documents, as well as create announcements for students. This is a great way to keep students on track and informed about what's going on in the Classroom.
9. Use Google Classroom as Your Class Hub
In addition to offering many different tools and resources, Google Classroom is also a hub where all assignments, discussions, and grades are managed. This can make it easier for teachers to keep track of everything that's happening in their classes without using multiple tools like Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, email, or other platforms like Moodle or Schoology.
10. View Student Work from One Place
Tracking student progress on assignments is a big part of being a teacher. In the past, this meant collecting papers, reading them over, and grading them by hand — a time-consuming process that often left teachers scrambling at the last minute to meet submission deadlines. With Google Classroom, you can view all student work in one place and track progress easily, making it easier for you to grade all of your students' work at once.
11. Integration with Digital Planners
Teachers can set up Google Classroom to work with a digital planner like Studyo’s school planner. Once you've added your classes and assignments, you can select one of the digital planners as your default assignment calendar. Students will see their assignments in their lesson plan instead of only on the Google classwork page. Teachers can also choose to keep track of progress on an appointment outside of Google Classroom by adding it to their planner.