Google Classroom Basics
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Google Classroom Basics


Hello everyone! In today’s edition of
Classroom Digital Tools, we’re going to take a close look at how to begin your
Google Classroom. So, let’s get started! When you are setting up Google Classroom
for the first time, the first thing that you want to do is click on the Google
Apps Cube in the top right-hand corner of your work email. After clicking upon that Google Apps
Cube, you should see an app that says “Classroom” in the lower right. An
alternative way to access Google Classroom is to open up a tab, and in the
URL address you can type in classroom.google.com and that will likewise take you to
Google Classroom. Clicking on the app icon here for Classroom you can see that
I am currently a member of two different classrooms. To create your own classroom, click on the plus sign near the top of the screen. You then have the option to
join a class or create a class. In the Johnston County school system, there is a
failsafe in place to prevent students from being able to create a class. In
other words, if you are a teacher and you have previously joined a class before
ever creating one, this option for creating a class may not appear. If that
is your situation, you will need to contact someone at the county office to
re-enable this access for you. Other school districts, however, may not have
that safeguard and therefore this may not pose a hurdle for their teachers. Go
ahead and click on “Create Class” and in the top line here you will go ahead and
enter in the name of your class. For this example, I’m going to type in the name of
the club that I sponsor. So…”Future Bestselling Authors.” You can enter in a
section here–for example, “block one.” This is optional though, and you can also
enter in the subject area. Section information can be very useful if you
teach more than one block of the same class or more than one section of the
same class. That way, you’re less likely to get the different sections confused
under the general heading [or Class Name]. For this example, I’m going to enter in “English”
and you can see that different options begin auto-populating, but I’m going to
keep it simply as “English.” I’m going to click off to the side here and then I’m
going to click on “Create,” and it is in the process of creating the class. And
here we go! Upon first creating a class, Google will supply you with helpful
information. For example, over here this box appeared that says “Create
announcements, assignments, and questions for your class. Anything you post appears
on the class stream.” And I’m going to click on the “Got it.” The next thing I’m
going to do is change the theme because I do not like this image of a frog. So
I’m going to click on “Select Theme,” and you can see the wide variety of themes
that are available that you can use in the background. If
none of these pictures appeal to you, you can also select from patterns. And here
you have a wide variety of abstract patterns that you can use as the banner
for your Google Classroom page. I’m going to go back to “Gallery,” and I’m going to
select one of these pictures as my theme. Then, for this example, I’m going to
choose the library shelf of books. After clicking on my theme choice, I then
click on “Select Class Theme,” and it has now changed.
I can also upload a photo. Just click on “Upload Photo” and you can either drag a
photo into this area or you can select a photo from your computer, and I’m going
to try this picture of myself on horseback. So I’m going to double click
on this picture, wait for it to upload, and it turns out “The photo you uploaded is
too small. It must be at least 800 pixels wide and 200 pixels tall.” So
let’s find another one. I’m going to select a photo from my
computer, go over to pictures, and then I’m going to open one of these folders. Double-clicking on this folder, I am then
going to go over to camera media, set one, scroll down, and I’m going to find a
photo that’s more in landscape. So let’s try this one,
and again it’s uploading. All right, so now it gives me the option
to crop the image. So I can expand this here, but notice that there are size
limit–so I’m going to keep it as this right here. And then I click on “Select
Class Theme,” and now it has changed again. If I change my mind about the theme, it’s
very easy to fix. Just go back to “Select the Theme” and click on the desired image
once again. It may seem that I am spending a lot of time discussing how to change the
theme, but understand that this is the first impression that your students and
their parents or guardians will get of your Google Classroom. So the next thing
is: how do we go about sharing this with the community? Go up and click on
“Students.” And here it says “Choose if students can post and/or comment on the
class stream. You can also mute individuals.” I’m going to click on “Got It,”
and I can click on this arrow here to choose which option I want for students
(like “only teachers can post or comment,” “students can only comment” and “students can post and comment.”) For this example, I’m going to choose that “students can only
comment.” Up here you see the class code. I’m going to click on copy–so class code
is copied, and then I can go over here and click on “Invite Students,” and I can
proceed to invite students one-by-one by typing in their email addresses, but
considering that you may have–let’s say three classes of 35 students each–
this could take awhile. You could still go ahead and do this and click on “Invite”
when you’re done and then students will receive an email inviting them to the
class, but it’s rather time-consuming to do this. A much easier way to get
students enrolled in your Google Classroom is to simply share with them
the class code. You can write this class code on the whiteboard in your room, you
can include it in your syllabus, or you can place it on your teacher webpage.
You can also share your Google Classroom to your students’ parents and guardians.
Click on this slider over here and it says “Add class to Guardian. Email summaries.
Guardians will receive a summary of their student’s work and class
announcements. See an example.” And right here is an example of what a
guardian would see. It shows assignments a student has not completed, it shows
future assignments, it shows class activity from the
previous week, and this is one really great way to communicate with your
parents! Now I’m going to click on “Add a Class.” The next thing that I am going to
do is add a description of my class, and I do that by clicking on the tab up here
that says “About.” Here I can go ahead and enter in a class description: “Future
Bestselling Authors is a reading and creative writing club designed to
support student interest in literature.” I can optionally add information about
when the class meets. And then when I am done, I click on “Save.” If I decide to
change what I had entered, I can click on these three dots here off to the right
and then click on “Edit.” I can also add class materials–simply click on this
white text box here. Then I can add an attachment, something
for my Google Drive, a video, or a website link. For this example, I’m going to add
something from my Google Drive, and in the area under “Recent,” I have the Future
Bestselling Authors Syllabus. So I will go ahead and double click on this and then I will click on “Post.” Another thing
that can be done on this “About” page is I can invite other teachers to be an
instructor in this class. I simply type in the email address. As it says here:
“Teachers you add can do everything you can except delete the class.” Over here
you can see that there is a Class Drive folder that has been created for this
particular class and that can help with organizing materials in your Google
Drive. In addition, there is a classroom calendar specific for this class. Clicking on this link up here simply
opens up my personal calendar. Returning to the stream by clicking on this tab up
here, we are now going to look at how to actually post items onto the class
stream. Going over to the plus sign, I’m going to,
first of all, “Create an Announcement.” You can post to the stream right away or you
can pick a date in the future or you can save a draft and finish it later. I’m
going to share this with the class, and I will advise them “Read the posted
syllabus as soon as possible–period.” And if I want, I can again attach a file,
something from my Google Drive, a video, or a website link. I can also choose
whether or not I want to share it with all students. Over here I can enter a
topic: “Learn about the class.” I click outside of it to save it, and in order to
post it, I can click on “Post” right away or, clicking on this down arrow, I can
schedule it for a future date. So let’s say I want to post it on September
5th at 8 a.m. I can also change the time here to 9 a.m. Then I can click on “Schedule.” if I change
my mind about when the post goes out, I go up here to “Saved Posts,” click on it,
and I click on the post time. Go over here for the schedule and I make the
necessary adjustments. But notice that it must always be scheduled for the future.
I can always undo the post…..copy….and remove–“Delete.” And then I can
go ahead and add it live, and now you can see it on the screen. If I want to add an
assignment, I go back to this plus sign and click on “Create Assignment.” I then go
ahead and type in a title for the assignment–in this case: “Creative Writing
Example,” and for the instructions in this example, I’m going to say: “Create a poem
or short story of no more than two typed pages.” Again I can select a topic
here if I would like, so I’m going to click on “Create Topic,” and I’m going to
type in “Writing Samples.” And I can go over here and create a due date–
let’s make it the sixth. I can attach a file, something from my
Google Drive, a video, or a website link. And then I click on “Assign.” I can also
schedule or save this assignment as a draft if I’m still working on it, but I
want to go ahead and assign it. And it’s now assigned. As students complete the
work, I can click on this over here to see who did it and who did not do it,
and it says here: “Assignments and questions can be graded out of any number of
points or remain ungraded.” Since no students have been added to the class
yet or, since no students have been enrolled in class yet, there’s nothing yet to
review. Notice that over here I can change the point value–right now it’s
set for a hundred. I can change over to ten if I want to. So, “Are you sure you
want to update the point value of this assignment?” And I’m going to click on
“Update.” Notice that this will be a problem if students have already
received grades, but since that doesn’t apply, I’m going to click on “Update.” I can
also elect though to make this an ungraded assignment. Once the students
have been added and start submitting their work, I can sort the students by
first name or by last name. Returning back to my main page, also
known as the stream, I will hover over this plus sign and move up to “Create a
Question.” And here I can create a question for my students to answer. I’m
going to keep this question very general like, “Why are you interested in creative
writing?” I can supply instructions if I want, but I believe the question is
pretty straightforward. I can create a due date. I can change the topic. I can
decide if this will be a multiple choice question or short answer.
I’m going to leave it at short answer. I can allow students to reply to each
other. Now, depending upon your particular class, you may choose to disable this
option to prevent any classroom management issues from occurring. And you can either allow or not allow students to edit their answers. And when I’m done,
I’m going to click on the tab that says “Ask.” Alright! The question has been
submitted and is now showing up in the stream. Thank you for watching this video,
please like it, share it with friends, comment, and subscribe to my channel. Your support is greatly appreciated! Thank you again, and everyone have a great day!

About James Carlton

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