If you and your students are using Google Apps in the classroom, Google Classroom can save you tons of time and effort. It helps you assign, collect, grade and return work seamlessly.
But, like anything else, there are tricks that can help you do the same work in less time.
They make you more efficient and effective.
Here are some tips to save you some time while using Google Classroom:
Digging files out of assignments in Google Classroom isn’t the only way to open and review student work. Files that students turn in to you are saved in a folder in your Google Drive called “Classroom.” They’re sorted by class and by assignment, too. You can always find those files by opening the subfolders in Drive. You can also use the search bar to search for a specific student name or assignment name.
Teachers don’t have to answer every question! We can empower students to help each other. Use the “+” button to create a question for a particular assignment or project. It can serve as a discussion board where students can help each other. (Of course, you can always pop into the question to view discussions to make sure they’re accurate and on point.)
Is all the email that Classroom sends you killing you? There are some settings that let you customize it.
First, Classroom lets you turn email notifications on and off. (Classroom sends you emails when someone adds a comment to your post and when a private comment is posted on a student’s assignment or question submission.) Click the menu button (three lines) and “Settings”, then check or uncheck notifications.
Next, Google sends you notifications when someone replies to a comment you wrote. To change those notifications, open the file (in Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc.) and click the “Comments” button. Then click “Notifications,” where you can decide to receive notifications …
Keeping your fingers on the keyboard can save you seconds each time you do many things on Classroom, and those seconds add up quickly!
For example: When entering grades, once you’ve clicked on one student’s grade, you can push the up and down arrows to move to students’ grades up and down the list. This is SO much faster than clicking and typing.
Other keyboard commands: Tab can move through links and text fields on the page. The space bar works like a mouse click.
Of course, don’t forget the basics: Ctrl+C = copy, Ctrl+X = cut, Ctrl+V = paste, Ctrl+Z = undo. Another favorite: Ctrl+K = add a link. (Use Command instead of Ctrl on a Mac.)
Not all keyboard commands are faster than clicking with a mouse, but you can definitely find some that save you time
I was reminded of this useful trick in this Alice Keeler blog post. When viewing an assignment, there’s no button to open all of the student files at once. But, if you hold control while you click the files (Command on a Mac), it will open them one by one as new tabs in your browser window.
Google Classroom will not email you when students turn in late work. However, you can create a Google Form for students to use to do that for you. (This is one of 20 practical ways to use Google Forms in class/school from this blog post.)
Then, go to Google Classroom …
Tell students that submitting that form is part of the process for turning in late work … that if they don’t submit that form once work is late, it’s like the work isn’t turned in!
If you find an article or webpage you want to share in Classroom, you can add it with a single click. Install the Share to Classroom extension for the Google Chrome web browser first. It will create a little Google Classroom icon in the top right corner of your Chrome browser.
When you’re on a page you want to share to Classroom, click on that icon.
From there, you can:
Lots of great educational websites work hand in hand with Google Classroom. Here are some examples:
Do you feel like all the assignments, announcements and questions in your Classroom are too unorganized? Tag them with topics and you can filter and sort them to create some order!
Create topics by clicking “Add topic” in the topics window in your Classroom stream … or create a new topic when making a new assignment, announcement or question.
Click on an individual topic to see ONLY the posts in that topic.
(Curious about that animal cell claymation video you see above? Click here to watch it.)
Do you create the same kinds of posts over and over? Don’t re-create them from scratch each time! Use the “reuse post” option.
Here are some other blog posts I’ve written about Google Classroom:
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