10 things you might not know about Google Classroom

Ed Tech

Ed Tech | Thursday, December 17, 2015

10 things you might not know about Google Classroom

Google Classroom is great for speed, simplicity and efficiency. But not all functions are easy to get at first. Here are 10 you might have missed, taken from Kasey Bell's new Google Classroom teacher's guide. (Cover image via Shake Up Learning)

Google Classroom is great for speed, simplicity and efficiency. But not all functions are easy to get at first. Here are 10 you might have missed, taken from Kasey Bell’s new Google Classroom teacher’s guide. (Cover image via Shake Up Learning)

Google Classroom has become a hot topic among educators because of its simplicity, speed and efficiency in working with Google Apps in the classroom.

As easy as many features are to use, some aren’t as intuitive … and some are just hard to find. I regularly stumble upon a feature in Classroom that makes me think, “How did I not know about this before?”.

If you’re looking for a how-to guide that walks you through the basic points of Google Classroom as well as its finer points, look no further.

Kasey Bell, author of the Shake Up Learning blog, has produced a very thorough, clean and easy-to-understand guide to Google Classroom. Her blog is full of great useful Google content, and her “Teacher’s Guide to Google Classroom” is no exception.

Its table of contents includes:

  • Getting Started
  • The Stream
  • Announcements and Questions
  • Assignments
  • Reusing Posts
  • Communication
  • Google Drive
  • Getting Around
  • Tips and Resources

In this post, I’ve excerpted some of my favorite Google Classroom ideas from Kasey’s guide.

If you’d like to get your copy, it’s available here. At $9.99, it’s a ton of value and content for a very reasonable price.

Plus, for additional value, Kasey created a 15-page printable student quick guide to Google Classroom that’s included for free! Two books for the price of one … you can’t beat that!

Here are 10 functions in Google Classroom that you might not know about …

1. Look for the lines and the dots — When you see a button with three lines or with three dots, you can click them for more options. The three lines usually denotes the main menu; the three dots usually denotes more actions.

2. Get it right the first time — When a teacher or student logs in to Google Classroom for the first time, he/she must choose the correct role — student role or teacher role. If he/she chooses the wrong role, the Google Apps IT administrator will have to be contacted to change it.

3. Put classes in order — If you teach multiple classes, when creating those classes in Google Classroom, create them in reverse chronological order. By doing that, they will display in chronological order in Classroom.

4. Don’t overload the About tab — Only add the most important, year-round links to your About tab. If you overload it with too much content, it will become difficult to find anything there!

5. See the student side — To see what the students are seeing, ask a colleague to invite you to one of his/her classes. That way, you’ll be a student in that class and you’ll see what Classroom looks like as a student.

6. Set comment settings — Take control of your Google Classroom stream (where students see all the assignments, posts and other content) by deciding what students can do. Options include:

  • Students can post and comment (students can write their own posts and comments for the class to see)
  • Students can ONLY comment (they can’t write posts but can comment on teacher’s posts)
  • ONLY the teacher can post or comment (students can’t write posts or write comments)

7. Save it for later — You can prepare your announcements, discussion questions and assignments for use later without publishing them immediately. Write them now and click the drop-down button next to “Assign” to save them as a draft.

8. Assign without a Google file — Students don’t have to turn in a Google Document, Slides presentation or other file to submit an assignment. If the assignment doesn’t require a file, the students can click “Mark as done” to show the teacher that he/she has completed the work.

9. Add more than one — You can add multiple files, videos and links to an assignment. Be sure to include everything the student needs, and maybe offer multiple options the student can choose from!

10. Download your grades — Get a spreadsheet of the grades for an individual assignment or for all assignments. When viewing grades, click the settings gear wheel in the top right corner and choose “Download assignment grades” or “Download all grades.”

[reminder]What are your best Google Classroom tips? How are you using Google Classroom in your role in education?[/reminder]

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  • […] Ways Google Classroom Will Make Learning Better and 10 Things You Might Not Know About Google Classroom – Although I am unsure a program itself can make learning better, Matt Miller identifies some […]

  • […] 11. “Don’t overload the “About” tab. Only add the most important, year-round links to your “About” tab. If you overload it with too much content, it will become difficult to find anything there!” (Ditch That Textbook) […]

  • Cay Freeman says:

    Students like to compete against each other, so create an assignment with a link to the online game/website, and choose the “students can edit” option. Ask the students to play the game and post their high scores as an “answer”. Then they can go back and play the game again and again to try for a higher score. At the end of a designated time, reveal the scores and see who won! This works great for online math games.

  • […] Ways Google Classroom Will Make Learning Better and 10 Things You Might Not Know About Google Classroom – Although I am unsure a program itself can make learning better, Matt Miller identifies some […]

  • […] Kasey Bell, author of the Shake Up Learning blog, has produced a very thorough, clean and easy-to-understand guide to Google Classroom. Her blog is full of great useful Google content, and her “Teacher’s Guide to Google Classroom” is no exception. – Matt Miller, DitchThatTextbook.com, 10 Things You Might Not Know About Google Classroom […]

  • Nanette says:

    How can I use this with SPED students when the caseload is K-4 and many varying levels and needs?

  • Aviator says:

    Kari Rocks!!!

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