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Google Classroom: What Is It, How to Use It, and Benefits

With today’s health risks of going to public places, even the education sector is greatly affected. Although online universities are available from a few years back, face to face learning is still the first choice. Given this fact, most of us are naive when it comes to online learning or eLearning. One such eLearning tool is Google Classroom.

 

What Is eLearning?

Online Classes
Photo by Tumisu from Pixabay

 

eLearning is the term used for using technology to access a school curriculum outside the conventional classroom. It also refers to programs, courses, webinars, or even completing a degree online.

eLearning could be both live or recorded. To differentiate, live eLearning is having an instructor who will interact with you throughout the session. While the recorded eLearning is more intended for on-demand or self-study courses.

eLearning also comes with an evaluation at the end of each program so you can get a certificate afterward, which most recruitment websites recognize as merit.

 

Is eLearning for You?

The truth is it is not for everyone. eLearning offers flexibility when it comes to its terms of completion, so if you decide to enroll in one, you must have the discipline to complete it. Some eLearning programs offer a side by side campus immersion. They will require you to be present for submitting papers or projects needed for your course. Some have actual textbooks aside from the electronic module or slides that the program provided.

eLearning may require a stable internet connection for the best learning experience. That said, you can use many WiFi boosters to improve your internet speed.

 

Benefits of eLearning

Is eLearning for you?
Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

 

If you have self-discipline, then you can enjoy the benefits of eLearning. You can access the program at your own pace, and you do not need to worry when you missed some bits from the instructor. You can always go back to the recording and thoroughly understand the lesson before you take the required evaluation.

 

Methods of eLearning

There are a lot of available platforms to have your learning. For quick courses, you have websites like uDemy, Coursera, and Teachable. If you want to make use of live streaming, you can make use of your good old Facebook live from Zoom and Streamyard.

And finally, for webinars, you can look at WebinarJam or any Zoom alternatives. Of course, big players won’t let this opportunity slide by introducing Google Classroom.

 

What Is Google Classroom?

Photo from Google Play

 

Launched in 2014, Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google for schools with requirements for grading system, assignments, creating courses, and distribution. The main goal is to streamline file sharing between students and teachers.

Popular G-Suite apps like Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, and Calendar is integrated into Google Classroom. Teachers will invite students to a class using a secret code or from a school domain. Through the Google platform, all teachers can start lessons, distribute, and check their students’ assignments. 

The users have access to their Google Drive, where each Class has its separate folder. Project and assignment deadlines are automatically added to Google Calendar for reminders.

Every year, Google improves its interface for better user experiences. In 2018, they added classwork sections and topic organizations. Last year, 78 new themes were launched, including an option to drag and drop assignments and topics. 

 

Google Classroom Features

 

Assignments

Google Classroom Assignment
Photo from The Verge

 

To further enhance collaboration, Google uses its productivity apps within the classroom. You can find assignments on your drive and the teacher can choose the files for grading.

Teachers can create doc templates that students can edit while uploading their files as a supporting document.

 

Grading

Google Classroom has various grading systems. The teachers can attach files for students so students can view, edit, or get individual copies. On the other hand, students can also create their files and attach them to the assignment given.

The progress of each student is monitored by the teachers. Once they have submitted the assignments, the students can longer edit them. Only the teacher can have access to the submitted assignment unless the teacher returns the tasks to students.

 

Communication

Online Learning
Photo by Jagrit Parajuli from Pixabay

 

There are class streams available, to which the teachers can put on announcements where students can comment. Students and teachers have open communication by using chat, comments, and streams. Students can also post on class streams but will need moderation from the teachers.

You can attach any files and media from Google Drive and YouTube to the announcements. Teachers can send emails to students through Google Classroom without having to leave the dashboard. To communicate seamlessly with your Class, you can check your internet speed before chatting or videoconferencing.

 

Course Archive

Google Classroom places the material on the archive at the end of each term. The students can still access it from the archived folder. You can no longer modify these classes marked as archived until they are restored. This helps classes to be more organized on the teacher’s side.

 

Mobile Applications

Photo from Sleek-Food
Photo from Sleek-Food

 

You can download Google Classroom mobile apps on any iOS and Android device. The app allows students to take photos, attach their assignments, access support, take offline classes, and share files. 

 

Originality Reports

Teachers can check the authenticity of the student reports using the search feature. You can scan the reports for plagiarism and cross-check citations. All content made for Google Classroom belongs to you and your students. They are not retained by Google.

 

Google Classroom for Teachers

Google Classroom for Teachers
Photo by Jerry Kimbrell from Pixabay

 

You need a Google account to access a Google Classroom. If you are not a G Suite Administrator, you need your admin to verify you as a teacher. Users identified as teachers will have access to the classroom teachers’ group.

Google Classroom will ask for verification so that non-teachers will not have access to settings like creating classes or grading students.

If you are the admin and need to verify or assign a user as a teacher. You need to do the following:

  1. Sign in to your administrator account
  2. From the admin console, click on “Apps”
  3. Click on G Suite
  4. Next, click on Groups for Business
  5. Click on Edit Service in the upper-right corner
  6. Click on “ON for everyone” and then save
  7. Now open the dashboard for Classrooms Teachers Group
  8. On the left sidebar, click on Members and then Join Requests
  9. Check the user’s name and click on Approve Applicant or Reject Applicant

 

The settings also allow you to assign roles, change roles, or decide who can create classes. You can find the guardian settings on this dashboard as well. If you want to delete a teacher’s account, make sure the classes under the specific teacher are no longer in use. If the classes are active, you need to transfer its ownership to a new teacher.

 

How to Create a Class

Google Classroom Class
Photo by Wokandapix from Pixabay

 

Anyone that has been assigned as a teacher can create a classroom. The classroom will allow you to create assignments and post announcements. If you are above 13 years old, you can also create classrooms. However, you should use the Google account generated by your school.

To create a class:

  1. Go to classroom.google.com
  2. On the classes page, click + then Create Class
  3. Enter the class name
  4. You have the option to add a description, grade level, class time under the Section field
  5. You can enter subject details under the Subject field
  6. Lastly, you can also add location under the Room field

The class code is automatically generated after creating a class. From here you can invite the students. You can also access the class code on the stream page. If you cannot create a class, contact your account administrator.

These settings are also available on your Android or iOS device.

 

How to Delete a Class

How to Delete My Downloads Entirely Without Leaving a Trace?
Photo by ImageDB on Alamy Stock Photo

 

When a specific class is done, you have the option to archive it. As mentioned above, archived classes can no longer be modified. For you to delete a class, you need to send it to archives first. Once a class is on archives, you have the option to restore it or delete the class forever.  

Any of the assigned teachers or co-teachers have the ability to archive a class. However, it won’t be completely be deleted until the primary teacher does so. All students do not have access to the archive or ability to delete a class; only teachers can do that. Please note that once you delete a class, you can no longer restore it. So, think carefully.

 

How to Create Assignments

All assignments that you created can be posted instantly. You may also save them as a draft or schedule them at a later date. Whenever a student submits an assignment, you can grade it right away and return it to them.

  1. Go to your Google Classroom Dashboard
  2. Select Class and then classwork
  3. Create an Assignment
  4. Add the title and instruction

You can post the assignment to the entire class or a chosen student. All assignments have the capability to attach media files. It could be from an outside link, a Google Drive or YouTube.

 

How to Grade on Google Classroom

Google Classroom Student Work
Photo from InsertLearning

 

Choose a grading system prior to any classes and homework. You can grade using total points acquired or by weighted average. If you do not want to use any grading system, then you can opt for “No overall grade.” However, if you choose this, no grades will be calculated. 

 

Total Points Grading System

You can compute the overall grade by dividing the total points that the student earned from the class. Grade categories are available per class and you can set each value.  

 

Weighted by Category System

In this system, the percentage per category is computed to get an overall grade. The system computes for the average and then get scores out of 100%

The grading system category can let you select the grading system, create a grade category, or remove a grade category.

 

Google Classroom for Students

Google Classroom for Students
Photo by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

 

Now that we’ve covered Google Classroom for teachers, we will also cover Google Classroom for students.

As always, you will need a Google account from your school to have access to Google Classroom. There are two ways to enter the classroom, one is to enter the class code and the other to accept a class invite.

If you join one class, all your devices will be enrolled in that class.

 

How to Join Using a Class Code

  1. Go to classroom.google.com
  2. Double-check to ensure that you sign in with the correct account. You can switch accounts in the top-right corner, just by clicking your profile picture.
  3. At the top, click on Join class.
  4. Enter the class code from your teacher and click on Join. Class codes are 6-7 alphanumeric values.

 

How to Join From an Invitation

  1. Go to classroom.google.com.
  2. Double-check to ensure that you sign in with the correct account. You can switch accounts in the top-right corner, just by clicking your profile picture.
  3. On the class card, click on Join.

If you lost your class code but already entered the room, do not worry as you only need to enter the code once. If you haven’t entered the code yet, kindly get it from your teacher.

For login trouble, make sure your class code is correct. Otherwise, you should let your teacher know.

 

How to Submit an Assignment

Google Classroom Assignment Status
Photo from Google Chrome

 

The process will depend on the kind of assignment you have. As a student, you can send a document to your teacher or create your own files, and attach them.

 

If you need to edit the assignment you submitted, you can “unsubmit” it. All assignments that are marked as done after the due date will get marked as late.

  1. Go to classroom.google.com.
  2. Click on the assignment.
  3. Attach an item: Go to “Your Work,” select add or create files either from a link or Google Drive.

Note: You cannot attach files that you do not own, but you can connect or create more than one file.  Post private comments to your teacher if necessary, and then click on “Turn In” and “Confirm.”

 

How to Submit a Quiz Assignment

  1. Go to your Google Classroom Dashboard. 
  2. Go to Classwork > Assignment.
  3. Next, click on the form and answer the questions.
  4. Click on Submit, then mark as done and confirm.
  5. Assignments will automatically be marked as “Turned In” if there is nothing else to do. 
  6. If there are other tasks, you can reaccess the assignment. 

 

How to Submit an Assignment With a Doc Assigned to You

  1. Go to Google Classroom.
  2. Go to Classwork > Assignment.
  3. To open an assigned file, click on the thumbnail with your name.
  4. Submit your work.
  5. From there, you can choose any of these options:
  6. Click on Turn In and confirm on the document itself; or
  7. In the Classroom assignment, click on Turn In and confirm. The status of change into “Turned In.”

 

How to Mark an Assignment as Done

Any assignment you mark done after the due date is recorded as late regardless of whether you previously submitted it before the due date.

  1. Go to classroom.google.com.
  2. Click on Classwork > Assignment.
  3. Leave a comment for your teacher and post.
  4. Once marked as done, confirm the status of the assignment to “Turned In.”

 

How to Unsubmit an Assignment

Unsubmit Assignment
Photo from Alice Keeler via Teacher Tech

 

Any assignment you turn in after the due date gets marked as late, whether or not you previously submitted the work before the due date. Whenever you “unsubmit” and assignment, always make sure to send it again before the due date. 

  1. Go to your Google Classroom Dashboard
  2. Click on the classwork assignment.
  3. Click on Unsubmit, and confirm.

 

How to Check for Late or Missing Assignments

  1. Go to Google Classroom Dashboard
  2. Click on your work. Work status is found on the right pane.
    • Assigned: Assignments from your teacher
    • Turned in: Assignments you submitted on time
    • Graded: Assignments with grades
    • Returned: Assignments that needs to be revised
    • Missing: Work you weren’t able to turn in.
    • Turned in, Done late: Work you turned in late.

To see more details, click on “View Details” to expand the view.

 

Benefits of Google Classroom

We do not know whether we will be back to normal anytime soon, but platforms like Google Classroom solve the debate on face-to-face learning.

If you don’t agree with eLearning, here are the following points that may convince you to use eLearning.

 

Environmentally Friendly

Environmentally-Friendly
Photo by Tumisu from Pixabay

 

Since the paper is reduced for books, notebooks, and worksheets, eLearning through Google Classroom is economical. Aside from that, no actual school facility will have to worry about electricity and water consumption.

 

Accessibility

Remote Learning
Photo by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

 

Gone are the days when you have to wait for the next day when you missed essential points from your class. With Google Classroom, you can return to your classes anytime, access multiple devices, and never miss anything.

Remote Learning

Learning
Photo by ludi from Pixabay

 

If ever you want to explore homeschooling, you can begin the transition with Google Classroom. This way, you can measure your child’s ability to study on their own.

A New Career

For aspiring teachers or volunteers, you can use Google Classroom to jumpstart your career. This could also be a training ground given that Google Classroom is free on G-Suite.

If you are a business or a life coach, you can take advantage of Google Classroom to offer your followers education.

Overall, Google Classroom helps students and teachers organize homework, enhance collaboration, and nurture better communication.

Pia

Pia

I write about upcoming gadgets and tech news.

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