Wondering what Google Classroom is like? Just getting started? This visual tour will walk you through setting up your first class.
Who can use Google Classroom?
Originally, a school district would need to give teachers access to Google Classroom. Google opened up Google Classroom to everyone recently. Now homeschool teachers and teachers at private schools can access Google Classroom.
If you teach at a public school and your district hasn’t set up Google Classroom, you need to be careful. Your students will need Google emails to use it and there are legal issues about giving email addresses to children of certain ages. You really want to let your district handle that.
For this tutorial, I went to Google Classroom on my personal account. My students wouldn’t be able to join classes from this account because of district settings. I can’t join the class from my district account due to settings for our district.
Getting Started with Google Classroom
It really is as simple as going to classroom.google.com!
To create a class, click the plus sign in the top right corner and choose Create Class.
Name the class whatever you like. As you can see, the first time you do this, there will be a lot of popups to help you.
You can go through and add students to your class, but honestly, you have enough to do. All you really need to do is have the kids go to classroom.google.com and click the plus sign and choose Join Class. Then give them your code. Next thing you know, all the kids are in your class and it took just a moment.
You can find the code under STUDENTS.
If you want to get a feel for the student perspective, you are welcome to join my class. Your district may have settings so you can’t join classes outside of your district. If that is the case, you can have a coworker set up a class for you to explore, or you can use a personal account. The code to this class is exil0b6 (that is an l as in lion and a zero).
What can you do in Google Classroom?
There are three main posts a teacher can make: post an assignment, ask a question, and make an announcement. You can have the post you create go out right away or you can schedule it. I love that I can go through and schedule things out for a week or two while I’m planing.
Post an Assignment
When posting assignments there are many options. My favorite option is demonstrated in this gif. I personally like to upload a resource from my drive and have Google Classroom make a copy for all of my students.
Click the plus sign and choose Create Assignment. You can give it a title, give written instructions, upload something, give a due date, and assign a topic. You can even click the All Students drop down menu to customize for intervention.
I love to use the drop down menu to choose Make a Copy for each student. I love how Google Classroom will organize this in your drive and the students drive. It will create a folder called Classroom in your drive and inside it will create a folder for each class and in that each assignment.
If you click Assign it will immediately be in your class. You can also click the drop down arrow to schedule it to show at a later date and time.
Ask a Question
I have fallen in love with this option. My weakness is that I often forget to wrap up a lesson. Now, I let Google Classroom do that for me. I like to schedule a reflection question ten minutes before the end of class. This way they can’t ‘reflect’ too soon. They also don’t know what I’m going to ask so it works to keep them accountable for the content.
Make an Announcement
This option is great when you just want to tell them something. For example, if I want students to watch a video and there will be nothing attached that I will grade, I use the Make an Announcement option. (If I attach the video as an assignment, later I would need to change the setting to not graded so this saves you that step.)
The ABOUT Section
This section is a great place to link to websites your students need to access frequently. You can also add things like your homework policy.
Personalize Google Classroom
You can adjust the settings so that you only get email alerts about things you want.
You can also choose your own theme.
Where Can I Find Resources to Assign using Google Classroom?
You can find all my resources for Google here.
If you are getting started with using Google in your classroom and you like this visual style of learning, this resource would be a great place to start: