Google Classroom.

If you’re just getting started, here is a two minute video from Google’s extremely helpful and frequently updated help section.

This tool will serve both as a walk through for teachers new to Google Classroom, and as a resource to come back to for new tips from me, a forum to talk about what you have accomplished and a place to take content from. It is able to be all those things thanks to a helpful new platform called Medium that allows for just this sort of thing (and much more). I encourage you all to try it out, it is an easy way to create a multimedia rich artifact for your students and we can assign it through google classroom to their devices.

Why Google Classroom?

Easy setup — Teachers set up a class, invite students and co-teachers, and then share information — assignments, announcements, and questions — in the class stream.

Less time and paper — The simple, paperless assignment, workflow allows teachers to manage student work quickly, all in one place.

Better organization — Students can see assignments on the Work page, in the class stream, or on the class calendar. All class materials are automatically filed into Google Drive folders.

Enhanced communication — Teachers can create assignments, send announcements, and start class discussions instantly. Students can share resources with each other and interact in the class stream.

To learn more about different LMS platforms click here.

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have logged into your APS Google account (OneLogin) not your personal GMail account. Then go to this Google Classroom link or open the app on your iPad. Familiarize yourself with the front page, this picture details what all the icons do. If you are having trouble getting to the page you have most likely tried to sign in with a personal GMail account. Sign out of all accounts, login to your APS google drive via the OneLogin Page and try to navigate there again.

  1. The first thing we will do is is find the + in the top left hand corner to the left of your email address. To create a single class, title it with your name and grade. For example, Mr. Taylor’s 3rd grade. If you’re a specialist or want to break up your classes into sections that can be done as well, but for the first day, we will create one. You may need to select “I am a teacher” first but that will be a one time only selection.
  2. Once you have a class we will need to add content to the “Classroom.” The first thing we will do learn how to create an Announcement, which can be used as a one time welcome, or on a weekly/daily/every period interval. If you want your students to get information quickly but specifically accomplish a digital task, this is the place to do it. Just like creating anything in GoogleClassroom we start at the plus in the bottom right hand corner. Click here for a image detailing all the options on this screen.
  3. Next we will work on the “ABOUT” section. This is one of the 3 main tabs your students will interact with throughout the course of the year. The about section will remain static unless you adding to or reorganizing the content. Many teachers use this as a syllabus, an area for classroom behavior “norms,” for multimedia content that would be used across the curriculum, or a library of frequently used web links. This 5 minute video will walk you through it step by step if you need a reminder!
  4. Most of your and your students experience with Google Classroom will take place in the “Assignments” area. This will take us the most time of anything we do during our first training. Click here for a detailed walk through of assignment creation. You just need to hover over that + in the bottom right and pick the second selection from the bottom “create assignment” and enter the assignment’s Title and the short instructions for what you need the students to do to open their work. It defaults to “Due Tomorrow” but you can change that via the date and time selection. To create one without a due date just click the “remove X” icon next to the date. Now it is time to add content, you can do this in a couple of ways. Click the paperclip to add content (PDF’s, pictures, videos ect) files you have on your computer that you want your students to access on their iPads. Click the Google Drive Icon to attach something you have in your google drive (a document, slide show or just a file that lives in your drive), select the item and click ADD. Remember you get to control their level of access to these items via the pull down arrow next to the attachment. You get to pick if they can just view the item, edit the file, or have google automatically create a copy of the item in the students google drive. If you’re going to have every student in a class work on something and then turn it back into you, this is the option you want. You can insert YouTube videos directly, but since APS is currently blocking YouTube access at the elementary level we will skip this. But you can always record *something* with your iPad and upload it as a file. To attach an internet page to the assignment click the Link icon, copy the sites address and click Add. To remove any of these from an assignment click the X next to the attachment.
  5. Create a quick and easy quiz all with in your google classroom environment! If you’re looking for the best way to handle short quizzes or even exit tickets, look no further than the “post a question” link below this!

One of the more crucial elements to getting started with google classroom is the WONDERFUL help section. Unlike most of the “help sections” you see in web tools this one is actually helpful. Every time Google release a new feature or update they make sure to post a formal “how to” instructions in this location.

Linking your new class to your students — now that you have a fully formed Google Classroom, your students will need to access it.

Locate the “Classroom Code” in the bottom left hand corner of your newly created Google Classroom. Find the randomly generated, 6 character code. All your students will need to do to get “enrolled” in your class is enter this code when they open their google classroom app. You may want to write it on the board.

Congratulations, you are officially set up to start using Google Classroom with your students. The next step for us will be working on making the process easier on you, the teacher.

The next step!

Reusing a lesson is super simple, click the + and select the lesson you want to Reuse! This is invaluable for push in teachers who want to use the same lesson in multiple google classrooms!

Post an assignment to multiple classes — at the bottom of an already created assignment, next to the class name, click the arrow pointing down and select from any number of your other google classroom’s.

Chrome extension! — share to classroom! With this simple chrome extension you can automatically post content from the web to your google classroom without having to leave the page you’re on. You can click the above link to see what it will look like in your browser. To install it, simply go to the Chrome Web Store and search for “Share to Classroom” and agree to the permissions. An icon just like the one above will appear in the top left of your Google Chrome Web Browser, find the page you want to share, and simply click it!

Share an already made lesson with a colleague. This currently requires another step, namely adding a co-teacher to your class. Once you have shared access to a class you can take an assignment from that class and re-post it in your other Google Classrooms. You can read all about it here, but we will be working on that as part of the shorter/smaller grade level training.

As google creates more options and we learn more about it as a staff I will be updating this page, check back later!