I thought it might be nice to be able to refer my students (and other teachers) to a quick Cheat Sheet for Google Classroom. I’m sure I’ll leave out something, but here is what I think are the important things to understand about how Google Classroom works.
When a student “Turns In” an assignment two things happen. First, you have a great indicator of who has and has not completed the assignment at a glance. However, and maybe more importantly, the ownership of the document changes from the student to the teacher. The student can no longer edit the document unless they “Unsubmit” it. This keeps students from being able to just click “Turn In” and then continue working after a due date has passed.
I’m currently the only teacher on my team (and maybe the school) using Google Classroom right now, but if my students have multiple teachers using it, they can access a list of assignments from all their teachers via the menu in the top left. This is a handy feature that in theory replaces the old agenda for assignments as it automatically populates for the students and they can see what is due and when at a glance.
There are two ways a student can access an assignment to continue working on it. Once they start an assignment, they can go back to the original assignment and click on it to open their work in progress. But they can also go into their Google Drive and find the file itself in the automatically generated folder called “Classroom” and all of their classes and assignments are organized there as well.
There can be both public and private comments made from the student to the teacher and back for each assignment. This is helpful if there is a technical issue with an assignment – publicly discussing the issue can help the whole class at once, while private questions encourage the shy student to speak up.
Finally, you can have the students create content and upload it back to Google Classroom. This is very useful when assigning projects or group work. The student can create their video, presentation, poster, ect. and upload the file or link to the assignment. This is a wonderful feature if you are lucky enough to have Chromebooks or laptops in the classroom where it is easy for the students to create content and not just consume it and edit it.
Finally, don’t forget that there’s an App for that! There is a Google Classroom App so that you can interact with your classroom on the go, or students who forget their 1:1 device that day can still access the lesson and work for the day. The App is very complete, and works just like the Browser interface.
Hopefully, this quick Cheat Sheet will help to convince you that Google Classroom has a ton of features that will make the teacher’s life easier and allows educators to focus more on the student interaction and content rather than the paperwork side of the profession. Now just use Flubaroo to grade your quizzes/tests and you’ll have more time than you ever thought possible!!!