What is Google Classroom?
In June, Google started sending out invitations to Beta testers for Google Classroom. Google Classroom is a management tool for your GAfE account. It allows users to create classrooms in which you can assign work – YouTube videos, links, anything from Google Drive, or other files you may have stored elsewhere. In addition, you can also create announcements where students can interact with you and each other.
Currently Google is gathering feedback from all users. I am sure in the true Google ‘Spirit’, they will continue to modify and iterate (they are the masters of iteration) their latest tool.
Getting Set Up
So here is a BASIC overview from the teacher’s viewpoint. When you first open Google Classroom, a folder (Classroom) is automatically created for you in your Google Drive. Once open, you will be taken to the ‘Home’ screen. Here I have a current class set up and have highlighted some of the features available. If it is your first time, you can easily set up a class by choosing the plus sign (+) next to your user information at the top right corner.
Creating a Class
Looking at how to ‘Create a Class’: A pop-out will appear, and you will be guided on how to create a class. You can then create classes for each class or period needed.
Inside a Class
Once your class is created you will be taken to the class ‘Stream’. This is where you can add students, create announcements and assignments. You will also be given the option to ‘Take a Tour’.
So you’re not fond of the purple bubbles? Not a problem. When your cursor hovers over the header, the option to ‘Change Picture’ appears in the lower right corner of the header. Once you choose that other options will appear.
Manually Assigning Students
As I am in an elementary self-contained classroom, I find it easier to sign my students up myself. However, if you are dealing with multiple classes, it might be easier to have them sign up via the ‘Class Code’.
Adding your own students only takes a few simple clicks. Start by switching your current view from ‘Stream’ to ‘Students’.
To manually add students choose the blue ‘ADD’ button. I can then either checkmark students from my contact list or select an entire ‘group’.
Join With a Class Code
When students go to their ‘Classroom’ for the fist time, they should choose the plus sign (+) at the top right corner next to their user information. This gives them the option to ‘Join a Class’ using the class code.