Friday, January 31, 2020

Google Snacks Volume 12 - Google Classroom Basics

Google Classroom is a very powerful tool for teachers to use for creating assignments, grading, organizing, and so much more. This session we will cover creating a Classroom, creating Topics and Assignments, how to prepare and schedule assignments, and what the Stream does.

Begin by opening Google Classroom (the Waffle icon) and click on the plus icon in the top right corner and select Create Class.

A new window should appear asking you to name your new class. You can add Section and Subject, but only the name is required.

Once you create the class, the screen will default to the Stream. We will talk about the Stream towards the end once we discuss what ties into the Stream. For now, click on the Classwork tab at the top of the page.

The Classwork tab will look empty when you first start a new class, but it will quickly fill in. Start by clicking on the Create button to show the different options for things you can make. We will start with the Topics since this will help you organize your assignments.

Topics are used to keep assignments in sections, such as for different units, chapters, etc. You can use these Topics for organizing assignments however you want.

After you have created a Topic or two to get started, click on the Create button again and select Assignment.

A new window will open for you to begin creating your first assignment.

The only thing technically required for an assignment is a Title, but you can fill out the rest (including your Topic) as needed. You can edit assignments at any time, and the screen will look the same when editing as it does when creating. You can change an assignment Topic anytime, just in case you forgot to set the Topic when creating the assignment or you want to just move it around.

You can choose to prepare and schedule assignments in advance or just save them as drafts for later by clicking the arrow next to the Assign button.

Creating Drafts is nice if you are not sure when you want to assign something, or you are just getting some concept assignments in order. Scheduling assignments will allow you to plan out your year/semester/quarter better than just assigning things on the spot. If you do just click Assign, it will immediately assign the assignment to the class. You can always change the scheduled date of an assignment, just in case the class falls behind or snow days happen, or anything else that would cause you to reschedule.

Now that we have created some topics and assignments, we can switch back over to the Stream tab by clicking at the top of the Classroom.

The image below shows what an example Stream might look like, let's go over the different aspects.

The top icon with the arrow is the Stream Share field, this is where you can post a variety of things. Stream posts can be anything from reminders about assignments, class announcements, or supplemental materials. The circled icon is what a posted assignment will look like. The icon for the assignment matches the icon from the Create image previously shown in this post.

The Stream is similar to a Facebook wall, if that helps to make more sense. You can allow or deny students from posting on the Stream. You even have the same posting options with Stream as you do assignments. You can schedule a post, draft one, or post it immediately.

In Classroom Advanced, we will cover integrating other Google apps into your Classroom (such as Forms Quizzes covered previously) and also exploring other assignment options. I hope this helped you get to know a Google feature you didn't already know before. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

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