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6 Benefits of Google Classroom cover picture
Digital learning has become the new norm now that most school buildings are closed and millions of students are staying home. Teachers are looking for ways to connect with students virtually and provide meaningful learning opportunities for their students. While there are many platforms that exist to connect classrooms virtually, there is one very popular (and free!) platform that teachers should consider. Enter Google Classroom. Google Classroom is a web service provided for free by Google to schools that use Google for Education tools. It exists to connect teachers and students together and to streamline the process of sharing files. The possibilities of using Google Classroom are endless! Here are 6 benefits for using Google Classroom in your upper elementary/middle school classroom.

Schedule Posts in Advance

This is by far the best part of Google Classroom! Google Classroom allows teachers to write a post and schedule it to post at a certain time. You can write and schedule in advance as many posts as you want to. This allows teachers to plan out their week and let students know when to expect assignments. To schedule a post in advance, click the arrow to the right of “Post” and then click “Schedule.” Enter the date and time you would like to schedule the post for and click “Schedule.” You can go back to the post at a later time if you need to edit the time it was scheduled for.

Monitor Student Work

Google allows you to make a copy of a Google Doc or Google Slide for each student in your class. This allows students to work off of the same template that you provide. It also allows you to go into their Docs or Slides and look at what students are working on. You can provide real-time comments and suggestions to students while they are working. When creating an assignment in Google Classroom, make sure your sharing settings for your Google Doc or Google Slides are set to “Make a Copy for Each Student.”

Teacher-Student and Student-Student Communication

Google Classroom helps to easily facilitate student-teacher communication. Students can comment on posts either publicly or privately to ask questions. On the stream, teachers can share something with the class, rather than making it an assignment. This could be a video, link, or just a question of the day. Students can then respond to each other. Teachers can also create a formal question in the Classwork section that their students can answer, either in short answer form or multiple choice. Teachers can also choose whether students can reply to each other and/or edit their answers.

Connectivity to Other Applications

Google Classroom easily integrates with other applications. Many third-party applications, such as Flipgrid, Nearpod, or Quizlet, will have an option to post from their application into Google Classroom. This takes out the middle step of finding a link and then going to post it in Google Classroom. In Social Studies, Newsela integrates perfectly with Google Classroom! You can assign Newsela current event articles directly to Google Classroom from the website. With most applications and sites, you'll simply click on the Google Classroom picture and then a small screen will pop up that asks you to choose which class to post it to.

Post to Multiple Classes at One Time AND Reuse Posts

Teaching the same class but different periods? You can post the same information to both classes at the same time! When you are writing an assignment, you will see on the right-hand side of the screen a dropdown menu under the word “For.” It will show the class you are currently working in. When you click the arrow to the right side, all your classes in Google Classroom will drop down. Then you can click on the classes you would like this assignment to post in. You can also easily differentiate assignments in Google Classroom. Only want a couple of students to work on this particular assignment? If you click on the dropdown menu “All Students,” you will see a list of students currently enrolled in your class. You then can click on which students you would like the assignment to go to. Tip: be sure to make the title different for each differentiated assignment- if they are all the same it will be confusing for you when looking at all the assignments under the classwork tab. There are so many benefits to Google Classroom, especially when it comes to remote/digital learning. This is only the tip of the iceberg for what Google Classroom can do!

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6 Benefits of Google Classroom

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Grab a Free Growth Mindset Escape Room for grades 4-8.

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