How to Use Google Classroom as a Teacher?
While it has some downsides and may not be as full of features as some other platforms, Google Classroom is free and easy to understand. To learn how to use Google classroom as a teacher you will need to have a basic understanding of how Google Drive and Google Apps work, as well as a cooperating school district. With just a little bit of effort, you can become a Google Classroom master.
Although it is possible to use Google Classroom to copy existing lectures to a digital format, knowing a few tips and tricks can improve the experience significantly. Using all of the features as well as promoting transparency will make it much easier for your students to know exactly what they should be learning, and how.
The one major downside of Google Classroom if you are a teacher is that your school district needs to be subscribed to Google Suite if you want to use it to the fullest. This will allow you to use larger groups and have extended privacy.
The service is still free, but as most decisions inside the district administration are made in glacial speeds, you might want to adapt to some other platform or use a mixture to ensure the utmost cybersecurity for yourself and your students.
You’re Probably Already Signed Up
If you have a Gmail account, then you already have a Google account too. The same username and password you will be using for your Gmail is the one you will use to enter the Google Classroom.
Additionally, someone in the school district might have already started the procedure for schools to allow Google Suite and use Google Classroom to its fullest potential.
So, How to Use Google Classroom as a Teacher?
As is the case with every good product worth your while, Google Classroom is easy to learn but you will need to learn some tricks if you want to master it.
Ideally, you would want to discuss its use with your students first and then manage what you want to transfer from the brick and mortar classroom to the one you will keep in cyberspace. Explain what would be the benefits, and how they should behave if they want to get the best grades without making issues for themselves.
Additionally, you will want to have your teaching materials digitized and already stored in your Google Drive. This way you can give assignments, quizzes, and give lectures without needing to make everything from scratch.
#1 Create a Class
This one is simple, but you will need to think about the optics when your students have multiple classes from multiple teachers. It would always be best if you can coordinate with your colleagues to make a unified nomenclature that would make every class easy to find and distinguish from others.
If everything is done ad hoc you must try to make it clear to your students that they are clicking on your class. Also, this will help if they need to submit their assignment so they don't send it to the wrong subject altogether.
If you have your student’s emails you might have an easier time simply inviting every student to join the class.
Provided that nobody has given you wrong information, you will have just the students you want without much possibility of outsiders snooping. But, it can also be a good way that someone without correct information remains excluded until you can contact them in another way.
Join Class with Code
If you already have contact with your students through social media, Discord, Skype, or Zoom, you can simply send them a class code and they can enter whenever they want.
Additionally, this way you can invite their parents or guardians, as well as other interested parties, to see what you are doing and how the are kids fairing in their assignments.
To make your class stand out from the rest, you can personalize the image. Similar to the class name, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to color-code your choice compared to other classes.
Aside from using templates, you can use custom photos. This means that you can use something as the class photo for the background, where every student can recognize their face and know that is one of their classes.
If you have multiple classes or have a co-teacher, you might want to select a different color for every room. This way you can quickly find where you want to look visually.
#3 Use Announcements
Ideally, you should use announcements for any major event in your class. Also, you can import any document from your Google Drive if you want your class to use it.
This tool is also good for creating a lecture plan because you can schedule multiple announcements that will go up at a specific time.
Specify Students or Study Groups
By changing specifications, you can make certain announcements only visible to other students. This way you can inform specific groups that their assignments are due, or that there is some change in the plan that might not be of interest to the rest of the students.
#4 Add Assignments
Assignments are the meat and potatoes of your online class. Here you can give different jobs for specific students, or groups.
By importing materials, you can make a clear task and everything your students might need to finish it, as well as the due date by when it can be submitted.
Online assignments can be much more versatile than regular ones because they can include multi-media materials that might be difficult to present in a regular classroom. By switching to online submissions, you open up both yourself and your students to be more creative.
Additionally, restrictions during the time of the presentation can be adjustable depending on what you think would best suit your students' learning experience.
#5 Make Quick Quizzes
With the incorporation of everyone’s Google account, you can make quick quizzes with Google Classroom and deliver them to your students.
But, because they are online, the concept of the quiz may not follow the same format that you're accustomed to in-classroom. For example, you can reasonably expect that asking your students to not search for answers to the questions on their other screen will be futile.
Your quiz should focus on information utilization, and not retention. This is something that takes too much time to look up online if they know nothing and will be an adequate test on how they will be able to use their education once they finish your class.
Finally, don't forget to make your own settings. This is a very simple panel opened by clicking on the cog icon found on the upper-right side. Here, there is a very valuable option giving only the teacher the possibility to post and comment.
Especially if you are using a code, you will want to restrict outside posting to prevent malicious trolling or any student or parent disturbing the class.
Learning how to use Google Classroom as a teacher is not difficult. Most items are set up so that everyone can use them. If you follow the directions above, you will be able to do all the basics and adapt your online class to your subject and style of teaching.
Just go into it slowly, and discuss with your students how you want their approach to be. As it is a good tool, it is certain that everyone’s work will be easier and that it will make lectures more interesting.