A Google Classroom Tutorial

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Google Classroom is coming soon and more and more teachers are gaining access to this latest product in the Google Apps for Education suite. I was lucky to receive an invitation to try Classroom at the very end of the school year. Although my students left for summer vacation before I had a chance to use it with them, I have been tinkering with Classroom over the past several weeks and I am really excited to use it in September. In my opinion, Google’s Classroom slogan, “less teching and more teaching” is the perfect description for this new product. And while I’ve been running a paperless classroom for the past two years now, Classroom is by far the easiest product I’ve used to achieve the goal of being 100% digital.

I’m excited I’ll no longer need to figure out workarounds for my students to submit their assignments. I’m excited Classroom works on the iPad. I’m excited it lends itself to teaching various aspects of digital citizenship, including appropriate online communication and self-identity. And I’m excited it fully integrates with Google Drive, which is the foundation of the digital tools we use in Burlington. Google’s commitment to education is evident and if you haven’t yet “gone Google” you really shouldn’t wait any longer. If I’m preaching to the choir and you’re a self-proclaimed “Google junkie” as many of us are, then I hope the Classroom tutorial I’ve created will be helpful to you and that after watching it, you’re just as excited as I am to introduce it to your students in the fall. If you are responsible for PD in your school, feel free to show this video as well as this excellent Classroom walkthrough created by Google Education Trainer Kelly Fitzgerald. It is important to remember that Classroom is still  in beta and that by September it may not only look different, but there might be additional features. Regardless, if you’re a GAFE school, it may end up being your LMS of choice. I know it will be for me personally.

Lastly, if you are looking to connect with other educators who believe in the power of Google, please take a moment to join the official Google Educator Group for the state of Massachusetts. I am honored to be leading this group and there are already 65 great educators who have joined. This is a great community to join if you are interested in getting that latest updates about Google Apps for Education. You’ll also have access to a variety virtual and exclusive live events about all things Google.

TWO IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT CLASSROOM:

1. Classroom Tutorial: Sharing files with students 

It’s important to note that when you add an assignment from Google Docs in Classroom, you will have three sharing options. This isn’t included in the demo screencast, but it’s an important and exciting feature in Classroom. Sharing options include:

1. Students can view the file

2. Students can edit the file

3. Make a copy for each student

The screenshot below demonstrates the sharing options you will have to choose from.

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Classroom Room Tutorial: Viewing files in Drive

In the screencast, I demonstrate what the Drive view is from the Activity stream. The screenshot below shows you a different view of Drive (Classroom and assignment folders in grid and list view) and one that you will likely use more often. I’ve also shown you how to disable the Drive Activity view if you prefer not to have that enable.

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I hope you find the tutorial useful.

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