Click on the About Tab along the top and find in the sidebar an option for “Class Drive folder.” Anything in the folder is private to the teachers. Suggestion to create your documents in this folder for organization purposes.
When in the Stream of Google Classroom you can find the topics listed on the left-hand side. Click on the topics in the listing to filter assignments for that topic.
You can add a topic by clicking on “Add topic” in the sidebar.
Alternatively, you can add a topic when creating an assignment. By default an assignment has “No topic.” Click on the tiny triangle next to “No topic” and click on “Create topic” at the top.
Think outside the box of the traditional topics you would have used in your gradebook. Instead, think… how will students FILTER the Stream. Create topics around what would make filtering useful, not simply by category. You’ll likely change your mind and need to edit your topics. In the sidebar on the left, hover over a topic to reveal the 3 dots options. Click on the 3 dots to either “Rename” or “Delete” a topic.
Launching the Google Classroom app you will see the tiles of the classes you are teaching. Notice 3 dots on the tile. Tapping on these provides the option to “Edit” or “Archive.” Edit allows you to edit the class title. Note that this does NOT edit the folder title in Google Drive. Archive hides the tile from you and students. Students can no longer interact with the course but they can see course materials. All files were never in Google Classroom; all files are and still are in Google Drive. Locate archived classes by clicking on the 3 lines menu icon in the upper left.
Google Classroom is no longer restricted to users on the same domain. If you have an @gmail.com email address you can go to http://classroom.google.com and create a class. You can also join a Google Classroom class by using your personal Gmail account.
For Everyone But…
This does not mean that you can use your personal Gmail to join anyone’s Google Classroom. You can if the teacher made the class in Gmail but not necessarily if it was created on a school domain. School accounts are managed by the G Suite admin. In order to join a school Google Classroom class the G Suite admin will have to have checked some checkboxes in the admin panel to allow it. This is highly unlikely to happen at most schools.
G Suite Admin
If your G Suite admin is willing to allow personal Gmail users to join the domain they will need to go to http://admin.google.com and under Apps, choose G Suite, and then expand the settings for Google Classroom. They will want to choose “Any user” for both who can join classes and for classes you can join.
Go Slow Workshop
Alice Keeler has Go Slow online workshops that take place through Google Classroom. You can join with your personal Gmail accounts. If your G Suite admin will check the “Which classes can users in your domain join” option “Any G Suite class” then you can use your school account for the Go Slow online workshop training.
Each of the Google Apps in G Suite have a shortcut URL that allows you create Google Apps super quick!
No Save Button
One of the most challenging things to get used to when moving to Google Apps is the lack of a save button. You create and close the doc. It is immediately available to add to a Google Classroom assignment.
Google Classroom now allows parents to use any email address to sign up for guardian summaries.
On the left-hand side, turn on “Guardian email summaries.”
Invite guardians by clicking on “Invite guardians” next to each student’s name. Note that once a guardian is invited it copies to all Google Classrooms on the domain. In other words, other teachers will not need to also invite the guardian.
We know that learning doesn’t stop when our students leave the classroom. Google Classroom has several new features that help us to move learning beyond the walls of our classroom and increase our connections with students.
Email Summaries for Parents
The email summaries tool automatically creates summaries to provide parents with an overview of their students work. Parents or guardians can customize how often they receive summaries. Summaries can be received each day, once a week or even once a month. The summaries include assignments, grades and missing work. Parents or guardians have the option to opt out of summaries at any time.
Draw on Documents
Now students can add their ideas – and write outside the lines – by annotating documents in the mobile app. They can draw on Google Docs, images and PDF. This lets students participate in learning beyond using online texts and images. They can write math problems and draw diagrams and create their own designs.
This provides students with more options for express their ideas and allow for teachers to better assess and gauge learning.
Google Expeditions truly expands the walls of the classroom by allowing students to participate in travel to new places through virtual experiences. The expeditions app will soon be available on iOS.
Streamline the Stream
Google Classroom has also become more user friendly for both teachers and students.
The Stream can get messy as the school year goes on. Now teachers can organize the stream by including topics to posts. This allows for you to organize your assignments and announcements. It also helps students to navigate the Stream and locate the information that they need.
Images in Google Forms
A new feature on Google Forms allows for you to include images and videos in a question. This is helpful when using Google Forms to assess student learning.
Organize your Inbox
Google Classroom can flood your inbox. When you are using a Google Apps for Education account, gmail now automatically organize your inbox by grouping emails from Google Classroom. This is useful for both students and teachers to make the workflow more efficient and sort emails into tasks.
50 Things to Go Further with Google Classroom: A Student-Centered Approach
Dr. Libbi Miller and I have finished the follow-up to our popular book “50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom.” This book helps you take Google Classroom further with 50 more tips. The book is chock full of ways to take it further with tips, resources, and templates. Libbi and I are excited about a student-centered classroom. Technology such as Google Classroom helps to provide a more student-centered classroom when previously it was very challenging. This book helps you consider ways to start moving towards a more student-centered approach to teaching and learning. Lisa Highfill, co-author of the book “The HyperDoc Handbook,” provides the foreword to give her view on shifting the classroom model.
If you are interested in being notified when the book is available for sale on Amazon, please fill out this Google Form.