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Know with Jo: Teacher Tips for Google Classroom - #1

Teacher tips for Google Classroom

Looking back over my time using Google Classroom, the biggest tip I can give you is to ask other teachers to add you to their Google Classrooms. It only became clear to me the struggles students face navigating each teacher’s Classroom when I was added to some. We all have our preferences, and we use the tool in different ways. Some teachers are clearly using it because they have been told they have to and not because they want to. I get that, as I felt the same way when I first started using Google after years of using Microsoft. 


Using Microsoft Files

One of the first things I noticed was that teachers were adding Microsoft files such as Word and PowerPoint to their Classrooms. This is absolutely fine if you only want students to read them, but if you expect them to interact with the files then they need to be in a Google format. The easiest way to deal with this is to change the settings in your Google Drive (see below) and then upload the Microsoft files into your Google Drive. This will automatically convert your files to the equivalent Google file.


FIRST: Go to the settings cog in Google Drive.

Teacher tips for Google Classroom

NEXT: Scroll down and check the ‘Convert uploads to Google Docs editor format’ box.

Teacher tips for Google Classroom

Reusing assignments

I would encourage you to reuse assignments from your classes and from the classes of other teachers BUT be aware that you need to amend the topic title. You run the risk of having multiple topic titles for the same topic if teachers have worded it slightly differently or used emojis.


Teacher tips for Google Classroom

Ordering Assignments and Topics

You can drag topics and assignments up and down the page. Keep the latest topic near the top, so students can find them. By the end of the year, you will have lots of assignments and having the oldest at the top makes it harder for students to find the latest work. I would recommend having the current topic and the current assignment right at the top.  


Assignment Titles

Something I noticed in many of the Classrooms I was in was an inconsistency in the assignment titles. Decide on a format and stick with it. Numbering them can be helpful for guiding students to the latest work. I generally used #1 for Term 1, #2 for Term 2, etc. This was followed by the assignment number, e.g. #101 would be the first assignment in Term 1. Other teachers number the assignments within a topic, starting at 1. What you should avoid is reusing work from other Classrooms and not changing the titles …


Teacher tips for Google Classroom

Finally...

Google Classroom can be a great tool in the classroom, but you must make sure the students in front of you can find the work you set. So, try navigating another teacher’s Google Classroom to see how you can improve your own.


😉 Remember, if you need help, no trouble! Just email me! 😉

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