As the classroom is becoming more and more paperless, teachers have to start finding solutions to hand out assignments, manage their classroom, communicate with students, and so on. Especially in times where we no longer have access to the traditional classroom during the recent lockdown. There are a number of solutions available on the market for distance learning but one that is becoming extremely popular due to the reasons listed below is Google Classroom.
A rapidly growing number of teachers are finding their way to Google Classroom. An ingenious virtual classroom that focusses less on tech and more on teaching. You don’t have to be a tech professional to handle this classroom.
In this post, we will explain what Google Classroom is, and what you can or can’t do with it.
What is Google Classroom?
Google Classroom helps teachers and students to communicate and can be used to organize and manage assignments, to go paperless, for collaboration between students and between teachers, and so on! You could compare it with iTunes U, Showbie, and other online learning platforms.
It’s built on top of Google Docs and Google Drive, which means it’s straightforward to use and intuitive for any teacher. But that doesn’t mean it’s annoying. Google Classroom is full of surprises you’ll encounter along the way.
Things you can do with Google Classroom
So this is probably the most crucial question. Why would you use Google Classroom?
What’s in it for you?
First of all, it’s completely free. You won’t have to upgrade to a pro version that will cost you some money. Yes, $0,00. Nothing. At. All.
After you’ve set up your classroom, you can get started. You’ll find out how to set up your Google classroom account in just a few minutes. Here’s a list of the things you can do with it:
Add announcements and lesson material: Give your students announcements about your lesson. Add lesson materials in the announcements. That way, students drive, connected to that Google Classroom lesson, add files and images from your computer, add a YouTube video or add any other link you want your students to visit. You can add a BookWidgets exercise in just minutes. It’s that easy!
Add assignments: Just like adding an announcement, you can add an assignment to your course. It works the same way, but here you get the option to add a due date. It will notify your students when they have to make an assignment, and it will also appear in their Calendar.
Grade an assignment: Afterwards, you can check and grade the assignments your students have handed in. There’s room for feedback via a teacher's comment. Then, send the assignment back to your students.
Manage students: Of course, your students have to be able to share comments. Or not? That’s entirely up to you! You can manage permissions, giving students the ability to post and comment, the only comment, or provide only the teacher’s ability to post and comment. You can even e-mail your students individually.
Things you can’t do with Google Classroom
There are a few things you should know before you start using Google Classroom for the wrong reasons. It’s an online learning platform, but it isn’t:
A Chatbox: You can comment on assignments and announcements, but there’s no chat function. If you do want to be in direct contact with your students, you can send them an email, or you can enable other Google apps to take over that function.
A Test or quiz tool: There are some possibilities when it comes to making quizzes in Google Classroom, but it’s still not meant to be a quiz tool.
I hope this has provided a useful insight into Google Classroom and how it could possibly influence teaching and learning.