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.

This tab has the feel of the previous Students (or Classmates, on the student side). However, now you will also see a top section for co-teachers in your Classroom. Like the previous version, you can easily access the class code and you still have the option to invite students on this tab. 

Other Changes: About & Settings

The About tab is no longer there, but there is a modified About section. While a far cry from what it used to be, this About section can still be helpful. In the bottom right corner of your Classroom banner on the Stream tab, you will find About. Without doing anything more, your class code will be housed here, and after clicking on "About" you can easily project the code for students to use to join.

The setting gear wheel does many cool things. On the settings page, you can adjust the name, description, and location of your class very quickly. You can quickly access & adjust, if needed, your class code (as well as project it in larger format). You can allow and adjust the ability for students to post and comment here. And finally, here is where you can enable Guardian Emails. 

***Next week***

I'll wrap this up with a few ideas on moving beyond the basics of Google Classroom. The more comfortable you become with it's features, the more amazing it can be as a tool in your classroom.***

Other Posts of Interest ↬

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