I am excited about Google Classroom that will launch to the public next week. I am in a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) school district. This allows my students to have protected email accounts accessible only within my district. Students in my technology classes in Grades 4 and 5 created Google Docs, Google Presentations and Google Spreadsheets last year. I loved that these docs could be accessed on computers or on iPads. If your school is not a GAFE one, it is easy to apply to be one.
I am thankful that with the new Google Classroom, teachers can set up a class, add their students and push out assignments. There is a Facebook-like screen to show messages that can be seen by all members of the class. Students can also receive email from the teacher. Communication can occur between teachers and students. As of now, there can only be one teacher assigned to a class, but I am glad for the option to create a class. Teachers can upload files from your computer, attach a source from Google Drive, put links to websites and add video. Students will read the teacher’s directions and follow them. For example, if a teacher had a student watch a video at a link, students can comment on the video. Students can share files, links, sources from Google Drive and videos as well to promote sharing, discussion and collaboration. I love that teachers and students can set an option when they share to allow students to edit so that they can build and add on to the original document. Teachers can comment directly to students or to the entire class. The class creation feature opens many new opportunities for blended classrooms and for teachers to not have to haul around loads of paper when grading assignments.
I discovered a great resource on Twitter this morning which helped me learn about the features of Google Classroom and am providing it here:
I am still learning about the new features in Google Classroom. If you have suggestions on how to use it, please share your thoughts in the Comments below.