Sunday, August 26, 2018

Google Classroom You Can Do - Part 2: Up and Running

Last week I focused on how to create your Google Classroom. There is a lot that goes into creating a Google Classroom. If you need to read more, here is a link to last week's post - Google Classroom You Can Do - Part 1: Creating.

Now that you are ready, let's get going on using your Classroom. I can't possibly give you all the ways to use Google Classroom, but I'll share as many as possible. The updates give teachers some pretty awesome new tools and features. The basic layout has changed. 

Let's get moving and check them out.

The Tabs ↬ Stream, Classwork, and People

The stream is still there, but it has had some changes. It now is only for announcements. Personally, I like this. It helps organize information for you and your students. Your announcements - purely the info you want to share, post, tell, has it's own section. 

Suggested uses:
  • morning message ↬ welcome students and give them direction on what to do
  • share important information about upcoming events, such as field trips or class activities
  • share videos or links to class or school related items, but not necessarily content related items
  • a location to post homework information

Definitely the BIGGEST change! The purpose of this tab is just what it's name says - it's where you post your Classwork. This is far more than just a "new spot". Topics can be created, allowing for even more organization!

Suggested uses:
  • If you are self-contained, you could create a topic for each subject. For the littlest learners, this can greatly assist them in finding the work.
  • a topic per chapter or unit
  • a topic for classwork, quizzes, homework, etc
  • in ELA --
    • a topic for reading, writing, grammar, etc
    • possibly a topic for each major theme covered in class

The option to create assignments and questions has moved from the lower right corner to the top, more on the left. You will also find quick access to your Google Classroom Drive folder and your Calendar for this class. 

***Note: if you created your Google Classroom before mid-August, you most likely won't see this tab. Google says it's coming, but no exact date has been given.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Google Classroom You Can Do - Part 1: Creating

Google Classroom has released some changes recently. My job is to support classroom teachers and the students they serve. This time of year, we welcome our new staff. Not all are brand new teachers, but some are brand new to Google &/or Google Classroom.

Today I want provide steps to create a Classroom as well as some things to keep in mind. This isn't only for brand new teachers, either. I've been lucky enough to attend workshops and work with numerous teachers and talk about the reasons why they have their classes set up the way they do. 

To get started, go to . If this is your VERY first time, you'll need to ensure you indicate you are a teacher. Likewise, when you have your students navigate to the same URL, make sure they select they are a student.
Photo from Google Classroom's Help page
Here is where every teacher is going to be different. You may not think too much about this initially, but here are questions you will want to ask yourself when creating classroom(s).
  • What is the age of your students?
  • How much do you plan on using Classroom?
  • How does your brain organize your daily teacher life?
I ask these because it will help you decide if you should have 1 classroom for everything ... 1 classroom for each subject/content you teacher ... 1 classroom per period ... etc. We live in a digital world, whether we like it or not. Our students need to be able to function in a digital classroom.

The younger your students, the fewer classrooms you most likely will have - Classroom probably won't be the main "vehicle" for content delivery. [It's perfectly ok if it is!] The older your students are the more likely you will use Classroom everyday - multiple times a day - to deliver content, assignments, projects, assessments, and more. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Google Classroom Updates You Can Do

The long awaited updates have officially been released for Google Classroom!

I have been curating helpful guides to best serve you ↬ we all learn so differently! My biggest take away is these changes gives Classroom a LOT more ... function, capability, & organization. It will take a bit of getting used to, but overall, I think they are great updates! 

Think about how you learn best and pick from the following - they all provide the same general info. 

Prefer to READ About the Updates?

Google's Classroom Help page ↬ Back to School 2018 FAQ

Eric Curts blog ↬ 9 Updates for Google Classroom (and 3 more to come) ↬ this is an EXCELLENT resource!

Susan Herder slidedeck ↬ Intro to Google Classroom

The Electric Educator blog ↬ Get Ready for the NEW Google Classroom

Prefer to WATCH About the Updates?

Google for Education [multiple short videos] ↬ Welcome to your first day of Classroom

Google for Education YouTube Channel  ↬ EDU in 90 (videos less than 90 seconds)

The Electric Educator's video [roughly 12 minutes] ↬ New 2018 Google Classroom Updates (detailed overview)