As a new school year starts, many schools are looking at distance learning or hybrid learning for the foreseeable future. With this in mind, I wanted to write a Google Classroom tutorial for those of you who are just getting started with Google Classroom or even those who are looking for hints and tips to make sure you are getting the most of this wonderful app!
So, is Google Classroom free? Yes it is! You are able to access Google Classroom with a Google account. Ideally, your school should have a G Suite for Education Account, which has a free version and with this you get added security features.
Getting started on Google Classroom
To login to Google Classroom, sign into your Google account and click on the Google Classroom icon from the drop down menu.
By default, the icon is towards the bottom of the menu, but you can drag this to the top to make access a little easier.
Create a Class
- Once logged in, the first screen will prompt you to join or create a class.
Click the + symbol and select create a class. This form will pop up:
Complete the form with your class name, section, subject and room. However, only the class name is required. The number of classes you teach will determine how many classes you create. This may be just one, or several.
2. The next screen you see will look like this:
This is your class home page. If you want to change the class name or any other information on the previous form, click on the class settings icon in the top right corner. You can also change the header image by clicking on ‘Select a theme’. Alternatively, you can also upload your own photo to use as your class header. If you have several classes, it may be helpful to have a different header for each class, so it is easy to distinguish them at a glance on your home screen.
To post to your class stream, click ‘Share something with your class…’. This is where you can post announcements, updates or news to your class.
By clicking on the drop down, you can choose whether you post to just the one class, or multiple classes. You can also choose whether you share your post with all students or only particular students. You can also add a document from your Google Drive, a web link, a file or a YouTube video to your post.
Inviting Students to Google Classroom
To invite students, click on the ‘People’ tab at the top.
Here you can add students by clicking the ‘invite students’ icon and inputting their email address. Alternatively, you can also invite students by sharing the class code with them. They will need to input this code into the ‘Join a class’ section when they log in.
On the People tab you can also add other teachers to the class if you team teach or have a teaching assistant. You do this by inputting their email in the ‘invite teachers’ tab.
Assigning Work and Resources in Google Classroom
The classwork tab is the place to assign work to students and to share resources and materials. You’ll need to click ‘Create’ to do this. I’ll give a little more detail about each item you can create.
This is the place to distribute your students’ assignments. Here you can add a title for the assignment and add student instructions. To add files, click on ‘add’. Here you can add a document saved to your Google Drive, a web link, a file from your computer or a YouTube video. You can also create your own document in a Google App by clicking on ‘Create’. A key point here is make sure you select ‘Make a copy for each student’ from the drop down menu for any document you want students to be able to work on. The default setting here is ‘Students can view file’, which means that your students will not be able to edit the document. You also need to be careful that you don’t select ‘Students can edit file’ or they will all be editing the same original file on your Google Drive, so make sure you select ‘Make a copy for each students’ and each students will then be editing their own copy.
You can also assign the work to the whole class or to particular students, add points, add a due date and also create a topic and add a rubric.
This is the same as assignment above, but it automatically creates a Google Form for a quiz. A great thing about Google Form quizzes is that you can set them up to be self grading!
Here you can assign a question to your students. You can set this up to be a short or long answer, or multiple choice. This is great for getting students to research a topic and then submit their answer.
Great for assigning useful resources to students such as word banks, prompt sheets, number squares etc to support them in their assignments. These do not have a submission date, but are instead stored materials available for when students need to access them.
Reuse a post
Ideal for assigning a repeating task, or a similar task to a previously assigned task, where maybe just a couple of elements need altering. This will save you from having to create an assignment task from scratch. You can also use this feature to assign the same task to a different class. A great time saving feature!
You can create different topics for your class and then create assignments within the topics. This is a really good way to organise your assigned tasks within the Classwork tab.
Google Classroom Grades
Here you can easily view each of your students’ grades at a glance within a table. You can see the score for each assignment for each student, as well as a class average. Also, you can easily see which students have not turned in their project yet, by the blank box and which assignments were resubmitted or turned in late. To view a student’s assignment, click with the box with the assignment grade and you will be able to select ‘view assignment’ from the drop down menu.
I hope you have found my guide useful. Google Classroom is a wonderful tool for organizing your classroom online and a fantastic help in the current climate as well as being a great way to cut down on paper use in the classroom. How are you getting on with using Google Classroom? What are your top tips for using it? Please leave a comment below!