Google Classroom helps reduce the workload of teachers as well as aids students with time management and organization. However, for many teachers, there’s a learning curve when it comes to incorporating digital tools in the classroom. If you’re considering Google Classroom or are already using it, keep reading to discover useful tips to make the most out of this learning platform.
What is Google Classroom?
Google classroom is an online learning platform designed to simplify the creation, distribution, and grading of student assignments. It provides a digital space for students and teachers so that they can easily share files and access information in real-time.
It was developed by Google with educational institutions in mind. The motive behind its development was to get rid of paper in the classroom and enable online learning. It was initially intended to be used in conjunction with computers in classrooms, such as Chromebooks, to make it easier for teachers and students to share information and tasks.
Given that it is powered by Google, it is frequently updated with new tools and resources to make it easier for instructors to use. It simplifies the teaching process and makes it more flexible.
Google Classroom tutorials have seen a significant increase in popularity as more schools switch to online lessons and remote learning. The platform integrates with Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Sites, Google Earth, Google Calendar, and Gmail. Google Hangouts or Meet can aso be added for in-person live instruction or queries.
Google Classroom is not a learning management system (LMS) but it functions in a similar manner, by giving teachers who use Google Classroom the ability to exchange class materials with students, assign homework, hold presentations, and more — all in a centralized location.
Best Google Classroom tips for teachers
1. Choose a topical organizational strategy
Using the ‘subjects’ option on the classwork page makes organizing assignments easier. That being said, even within Google Classroom, there are numerous different approaches for organization. What works for one teacher might not work for another. Teachers have their own preferences in this regard. Pick a plan that works for your grade level and preferences!
2. Create a Resources folder and keep it at the top of the homework page
Every class requires a location to keep materials, links, guidelines, syllabi, etc. You should create a dedicated folder for resources and course materials and keep it near the top of the page for easy access. Make sure each folder has a clear name so that students can understand what is included within.
3. Make a class template for Google Classroom
Once you've chosen your preferred Google Classroom organization strategy, create a duplicate of the class to use as a model. Every time you require a new class, you can create a copy in order to have all of your topics prepared and structured. Additionally, all your assignments can be saved as drafts. In order to replicate a class, all you need to do is go to your Google Classroom home and select "copy class" by clicking the three dots on the class card.
4. Create direct links to assignments
Did you know that you can create direct links to specific assignments? This makes the process of directing students back to a certain task incredibly simple. Simply navigate to the Classwork website, find the assignment, click on the three dots to its right, and copy the link.
5. Projects should be divided into smaller assignments with individual due dates
As we try to get past the static, one-and-done tasks, we have to think differently about how to integrate project-based learning in classrooms. For students, particularly those who haven't mastered time management, large projects can be intimidating. It's crucial to set milestones for them and break the job down into manageable tasks with checkpoints. Using an integrated digital planner is a great solution for this!
6. Organize enrichment and extension activities
Early work completion in class should not equate to extra time or entertainment. Instead it should entail reading and participation in class activities aimed at enrichment. Consider setting up an additional class in Google Classroom for extracurricular activities. This concept might even be made game-like by awarding digital badges to people who complete challenges or tasks.
7. Use private comments to provide personal feedback
The “private comments” tool in Google Classroom is quite popular. This handy tool can help you communicate with your students more effectively and strengthen the feedback loop. One of the most crucial elements in a student's development is teacher feedback.
8. Use the different commenting tools that are available
You should be aware of the different commenting tools you can use. In your class stream, you can post a comment on the outside of a task, or an announcement. This will make the comment accessible to the entire class, which is great if it is a response to a possible inquiry. Similarly, selecting a specific student, while viewing student scores, will allow you to add private remarks. The bottom comment bar can be used to add a comment that only one student can view.
9. Instead of using the mouse, use the keyboard
Relying on the keyboard is always quicker than using a mouse. The ideal way to enter grades in Google Classroom is to first enter the grade for a specific student's assignment before pressing the return key to go on to the next student. Instead of using the mouse to click through the kids, use the keyboard to scroll through them.
10. Use old posts
If you have already created assignments, announcements, or questions, you don't need recreate them. Select "reuse post" after clicking on the “Classwork” tab, then click the "Create +" button in the top left corner. Pick a task, announcement, or question that you've previously created. Before posting a new version, you can edit and change it. You have the option of making fresh copies of every attachment you previously used whenever you reran a post.
11. Receive emails from Classroom in a manner of your choosing
Do you find yourself deleting Classroom's email alerts a lot and wish that there was a way to disable them? You can do so by clicking on the three lines in the top left corner. Then, select "Settings" from the bottom menu. You can turn off email notifications by checking the appropriate box. Alternatively, if it's off and you'd like to receive emails, you can switch them on there.
12. Customize Google Classroom to your needs
Do you have an idea for a new Google Classroom feature? Are there any things that you wish were simpler to do? The Google Classroom team is desperate for teachers to provide them with this kind of feedback. To reach out to them, select the question mark on the lower left corner of the screen. From the options available, choose “Report Issue” or “Request Feature”.
Someone from the Google Classroom team reviews every piece of feedback submitted. This was how they were able to change several feature additions to Google Classroom. The likelihood that a feature request will be implemented increases with its popularity. Therefore, providing constant feedback can enable you to set up a Google Classroom experience that meets your needs.
13. Invite parents and other teachers to partner with you
Having parents and other teachers assist you can be handy. However, you should bear in mind that not all teachers are tech-savvy. Those that aren’t might be hesitant to use Google Classroom. The same may apply to parents.
Inviting a reluctant or technophobic teacher or parent to join your class as a student or a co-teacher could help open their minds to Google Classroom’s benefits. It could also lead to greater parental participation. However, before granting them access as potential co-teachers, invite them to attend as students first so they can get a sense of how the platform operates.
14. Create a demo student account to see how your classroom works
Teachers cannot currently watch their classes through the eyes of a student in Google Classroom. In order to do so, you need a student account. What you can do is set up a demo account and log in as a student. This will enable you to see things from the student point of view. It will also help you show your students how to use Classroom.
15. Integrate with Digital Planners
Any virtual campus' overarching goal is to enhance the educational process. Digital planners go beyond merely creating a virtual learning environment. Rather, they contribute to a more comprehensive learning experience. The integration of a digital planner into a Google Classroom environment is key to educational success.
Studyo's school planner empowers users to self-manage, take charge, and overcome obstacles both inside and outside the classroom. Students are more likely to succeed when they are given clear instructions to follow. Our digital planner includes progress tracking, editable templates, and step-by-step assignment breakdowns to make it easier to stay organized and schedule classes.
None of the student-focused applications on the market help students achieve their objectives by revealing obstacles and patterns that can impede success as Studyo does. Our school planner also encourages kids to study in an organized manner, learn more effectively, and gain confidence while tackling difficult project ideas. These are all excellent resources for enhancing student learning.