Jumping Into Google Classroom, Pt.1

Google Classroom feature

This is the first in a two-part series on using Google Classroom. Part two will run next week.

Computers in the classroom have come a long way since Oregon Trail. What was once an exciting new tool is now an almost ubiquitous feature in K-12 education. Computers can be an important resource for teachers and students, providing everything from lessons materials to attendance platforms to research tools.

It is almost daily that new edtech tools are unveiled, declaring that they will solve a teacher pain point or help students learn more effectively. Whether those resources can live up to their hype, only time will tell. However, one resource that has been in classrooms for several years now and has steadily emerged as a reliable, useful tool is Google Classroom. A veritable teachers’ toolbox in one package, Google Classroom can manage grades, assignments, quizzes, and much more. It’s a digital foundation for a successful classroom.

Google Classroom logo

That’s why Education.com partnered with Google to bring our lessons and resources to Classroom. Through the Classroom API, teachers can assign materials to students on Education.com with the click of a button. That work can then be shared to the rest of the class and even the public with another click of the button.

If you’re a teacher who is new to Google Classroom or has heard about it but not used it, you should expect to use Google Classroom (or a similar program) in your own classroom at some point in your career. It is free to use and easy for school districts to adapt to their needs, which is one of the reasons why it’s used all over the world — Google estimates over 40 million students and teachers currently use the program.

To prepare yourself for using Google Classroom, here’s a few notes on what you can do with the program.

Sharing Assignments

One note to keep in mind when using Google Classroom is that the company did all it could to make it easy to use. Not only is it simply designed, it makes the most tedious daily tasks much easier.

“Google Classroom is a huge time-saver, both for teachers and for students,” Kelleth Chinn, elementary school teacher and technology coach, said. “It’s also great for organization, because online assignments are always in one central location, and they’re instantly accessible from any internet connected device.”

Take for example the ability to share assignments and other documents with your students. No longer do you have to print out and pass out your worksheets to your students; it’s all done online. Any file in Google Documents or your Google Drive can be shared with your students with just a click of the share button.

Google Classroom Share Button on Education.com

You can create your own documents or find them through the various sites connected to Google Classroom, such as Education.com. There you’ll not only find lessons, but support materials such as glossaries and worksheets too.

Students can then work on the assignments online and attach additional materials, if required by the assignment.

If you have more questions about Google Classroom, visit Google Support. You can also learn more about getting started on Classroom through this video, hosted by Super Schoolhouse.

More on Google Classroom comes next week, when we publish part two.

By Kevin L. Jones, former journalist covering the Bay Area.

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