My school year is under way. I understand that many districts around the nation, and the world, are not in session right now, but that time is coming, so be ready.
This is my second year using Google Classroom, and my third year being a paperless classroom. The experience has been a learning lesson the entire way. This year is no exception, but if we aren’t learning, what are we doing?
So, for the sake of this post, I will assume (no matter how dangerous that can be) that you have Google Classroom set up for the beginning of the year. If you have not, then get on it. Google Classroom is a wonderful easy to use tool. Set up is a breeze. For some of the basics, you can look HERE or HERE. Alice Keeler, at www.alicekeeler.com is a great resource for some of the nitty gritty stuff using Google Classroom, so be sure to check that out as well.
Once you have that all set up and ready to go, dive in and look around. Create a fake class if you like, and experiment a bit. Create an assignment, an announcement, and get to know the system.
One thing I would like to point out. Google Classroom organizes everything for you. It creates folders and subfolders as needed. Initially, to get to a class folder, one had to navigate through their Google Drive to get to it, however, now, Google has made it much easier. As you can see below, there is now a link from the teacher view of Google Classroom that takes you straight to that class folder in Google Drive.
From here, you can get to any file that your students are working on. You can view activity to see who was working on assignments when, and more. This is a great feature, it allows you to see which students were going the extra mile and working on things when they didn’t have to. That says a lot, or at least to me.
Another feature that I want to be sure you realize is that when you issue an assignment or make an announcement on Google Classroom, it emails the students. This takes away the need to create a distribution list in Gmail, as you can get information out to students via Classroom quickly.
As we all know, especially those of us who have already started back to school, once the year gets rolling, it’s fast paced and hectic. Organization is a key to making it all come together, and Google Classroom should be in your arsenal of tools to keep you, and your students, on track.