The Basics of Google Classroom (video)

Tiffany OttBlog, Class Management, Innovation, Technology, Video

The Basics of Google Classroom (video

Looking to use Google Classroom in your classroom?

Let’s see some of the really awesome things we can do in Google Classroom. Click To Tweet

Full transcript below video.

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Video Transcript

Hey guys, it’s Tiffany Ott here, and I am excited to be talking to all of you about getting started with Google Classroom today in this video. I’m going to show you the ropes, how it’s all done.

Make sure that you like the video and click “subscribe” so that you never miss awesomeness from anybody at the Teach Better Team. So let’s go!

Alright guys, here we are, Google Classroom. If you have a G Suite for Education account, simply log into Google, go over to the waffle here, and select “Classroom.” That will take you to the main classroom page. You can see that I have a whole bunch of classes on this page. That’s because I’ve been using Google Classroom for a long time. You, if you’ve never used it before, probably don’t have any classes there. Or maybe you have one or two, because you’ve been playing around. If you want to create a new class, you go up to this plus sign here and just select “create class.” Call it whatever you’d like. Maybe it’s “4th Grade Math 2018-2019.” Once you’ve titled it, click “create.” And just like that, you have created a Google Classroom!

You can do a couple different things here to make it your own and personalize it. Maybe you want to upload a photo of your class, or select one of the themes that they have premade. Let’s do “Jelly Bean” today. Alright, so let’s see some of the really awesome things we can do in Google Classroom. I want to draw your attention first to these 3 tabs up here: Stream, Students, and About.

Stream is where you’re going to be posting questions, assignments, announcements, etc. Students will give you a list of all the students in your class. Notice, right now I don’t have any.

And then the About tab is where you can store resources that your students will need to go back to continuously. So maybe you put dictionary.com up there. Maybe you use NewsELA alot, or Khan Academy. This is the place that you want to keep things that you need students to find quickly throughout the year.

If you’re over here in the stream, things are going to get varied very quickly because for every new announcement, assignment, question, whatever you post, is going to be at the top of the stream and it’s quickly going to vary everything else. So resources in the About tab are things students need to have access to all the time.

Once you have a classroom set up you’re going to have to add some students. There’s a couple different ways you can do that. You could invite students directly by e-mail. So typing in the name of the student and their e-mail address should pop up if they’re within the google system. Another way you could do it is to go over here to the class code. You can project this up on your board, have students login to Google Classroom using their gmail account, and then on the student’s main screen, their homepage for Google Classroom, they would just click that plus sign there, and instead of create class they would join a class and enter that code that you just showed for them.

Once you have students in your class, it’s time to actually start using Google Classroom. Over here on the bottom right-hand side there’s a plus sign and if you hover over it you will see four different options. Each option here will add materials, assignments, etc., to your stream. The main stream that students see when they login. So one option is to simply create an announcement, something you want to say to your students – “hello, it’s Monday, welcome back, so glad to see you here!” or maybe it’s “don’t forget the field trip coming up in two days.” Whatever your announcement is, just type it up. You can add a file from google drive, you can add a youtube video link, or you can add a link to some other website.

One your assignment’s ready you go down here to the blue tab and then you have some options. You can either post it right away or you can click this drop-down arrow and schedule it for sometime in the future or if you’re not quite sure when you want to post it you can simply save it as a draft and come back to add that time later. All the saved posts you have will be shown at the top of your stream and clicking this arrow will show you the drafts that you have so you can go into them and edit them and post them.

Another option you have here with the plus sign is to create an assignment. This is probably what I use more than anything else in Google Classroom. So let’s say for example students are working on a fossils assignment. The instructions are to individually work through a fossils scavenger hunt. I want it to be worth 100 points. The due date will be, hm, let’s say end of August, and I am going to create a topic for this. If I’m doing a unit on fossils I’ll probably be posting several things in google classroom about it and assigning a topic to it is going to make it easier for my students and myself to find information specific to that unit.

For this assignment I’m going to add a google drive file and it’s my fossils scavenger hunt and this, guys, this is one of the cool things about Google Classroom. You can have that file in here and only allow students to view it. They can only see it, they can’t do anything with it; you can allow them to edit that specific file, which is really nice. Let’s say that you’re doing a collaborative google slide show and each student gets a different slide. You need to give them access to edit that slide. You can also, and this is my favorite, make a copy for each student. So when I select this option it’s going to put a copy of this 2A fossil scavenger hunt into each student’s google drive for them to access. Again, you can schedule it for sometime in the future or assign it right now.

Another thing that I want to show you real quick, and you can do this with any of the options from the plus sign. See up here where it says “all students?” Once you have students in your class you’ll see a list of their names right here. You can choose to give it to all students or just give it to a couple students. This is great if you’re doing tiered assignments where students are going to be working on different things – maybe a jigsaw activity – or if you’re working in a mastery-based classroom like I do, where students move at their own pace through the content. This allows me to unlock assignments as students are ready for them so I can get everything drafted and in google classroom for the unit and then just open up these assignments to students as they get to that point in the mastery learning path. You can also choose to put this assignment in multiple classes. Let’s say you teach four sections of a math class. You can take this assignment and copy it to the other math classes that you want it to be in.

A third option in this plus sign is to go to “create question.” This is nice for a bell-ringer option or a quick formative assignment. I can set it up for a certain number of points, once again put a due date, I can categorize it by topic, and I can make it either short answer or multiple choice. For short answer I can chose to allow students to reply to each others answers or to edit their answer. So depending on the kind of conversation you want to have around this question or the kind of information you want, choose those options carefully. If you set it up as multiple choice you can add your answer choices and you can choose to either let students see the whole class summary or not. Again, decision is totally yours in how you want to use it. You can also add files, youtube videos, links, etc., all the same options you had for assignment or announcement.

And the last option is here: reuse post. Let’s say that you created an assignment in another class and you want to use it in the same class. Just find the other class that you assigned it to, choose the assignment, and click reuse. And it will automatically create copies of everything and bring that assignment into the class that you’re working in.

One final thing that I want to show you before we go is over here. You can chose to allow students to post and comment in this stream. You can set it up so they can only comment on things that you’ve posted or you can set it up so that the teacher only can post or comment. Each one of those options has pros and cons that you need to decide what’s going to work best for your class.

Alright guys there you have it, that is the basics of Google Classroom. Now you can go get set up, add some classes, and start putting some assignments into your Google Classroom. Let me know how it goes for you if you have any other classrooms feel free to leave a comment and I will create a video to address them. Thanks guys! Bye!