Intro To Google Classroom


Google Classroom. You’ve heard about it but you don’t know where or how it fits into Friends’ Central’s electronic workflow. This is the beginning of a series of posts on how to use Google Classroom effectively with your classes.

First, what are the differences between Google Classroom, eBackpack, and Hapara Teacher Dashboard?

Google Classroom and Hapara provide similar functions. Hapara allows you to push out documents and files to students and then you can see those student documents in a simple dashboard view. But that is all it does. Google Classroom also allows you to push out documents, files, and links to students, but it associates those documents with an assignment making it easier for students and teachers to know what documents are tied to the assignment.

There is only one difference between Google Classroom and eBackpack. Teacher inking of student work. Here’s a simple explanation of when you would use Google Classroom or eBackpack to collect student work:

Teacher Work Flow - New Page 2

Classroom also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each class to help keep everyone organized. Teachers can attach material from their Drive folders to assignments they create. Students can also attach files from their Drive folders to coursework they submit in Classroom. Any files submitted as part of an assignment are automatically stored in Google Drive.

Students can keep track of what’s due on the assignments page and on the class Calendar and begin working with just a click. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn’t completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom.

Some of the things you can do in Google Classroom are:

  • Attach a Google Form to an assignment and when that students submits their response it is marked as done in Classroom.
  • Each class has a calendar, and work with a due date is automatically added to the calendar. Teachers and students can view the calendar in Classroom, or in Google Calendar on their computers and mobile devices.
  • Share to Classroom with Chrome: Teachers can use the Share to Classroom Chrome extension to share web content to to their classes. Teachers can use the extension to create an assignment or announcement in Classroom from any web page.
  • Ask and answer a question: Teachers can post a short answer question to students in the class stream at any time, with options to allow students to edit their own answer, and to see and reply to classmates’ answers. Students answer the question in the class stream, and teachers have the option to grade answers.

Understanding the assignment flow

Classroom weaves together Google Docs, Drive, and Gmail so teachers can create and collect assignments paperlessly. Within Classroom, teachers can create an assignment, use it in multiple classes, and choose how students complete the assignment (for example, whether each student receives an individual copy or all students work in the same copy of the assignment). The teacher can track who has completed the assignment and who hasn’t, and provide feedback to individual students.

Here’s an example of the assignment flow between a teacher and a student:

  1. Teacher selects the option to create a copy of the Google Doc for each student and sends the assignment to the class.
  2. After turning in an assignment, the student loses edit access to the Doc but remains a viewer.
  3. The teacher edits the Doc to grade the assignment, returns it to the student, and editing access is again transferred to the student.

Both the teacher and students can see a list of pending and completed class assignments. The teacher can see the all of the grades for an assignment(assignments do not have to be graded), and students can see their own grades for completed assignments.

This was a broad introduction to Google Classroom. The next post will will focus on the Classroom interface.