Distance Learning Essentials: Google Classroom

What is Google Classroom?

After closely collaborating with the education sector, Google created the free Classroom productivity tool. Bringing together email, documents and storage, teachers benefit from a streamlined, easy-to-use platform which enables them to manage coursework, organize classes and improve communication with their students. 

With Google Classroom, creating classes, assigning activities, grading and providing feedback couldn’t be easier - everything is in one place! This ultimately saves teachers time so they can focus their attention on how to use Google Classroom as a simple solution for their distance learning needs.

Benefits for Teachers

  • 24/7 access via web or Android and iOS Google Classroom apps
  • View, comment and edit students’ work in real-time via the Google Docs grading tool
  • Assign tasks and grade coursework for individuals and entire class securely
  • Create customized grading categories and view class grades in the Grades page 
  • Engage students in virtual discussions and post announcements on the Stream page
  • Share links, videos and images using the Share to Classroom extension in one click
  • Easily copy and reuse previous assignments or topics and post to new classes
  • Organize distance learning materials and resources within the Classwork page
  • Manage parents, guardians, carers, students, and teachers on the People page
  • Invite parental community to receive email summaries of class work and performance
  • Set fun activities, like quizzes or Digital Breakouts to avoid distractions in the home
  • If students are on the district network on school chromebooks you can use the locked mode feature

Google Classroom for Distance Learning

All these benefits for teachers can exist beyond the classroom in a distance learning scenario. With Google Classroom, schools can make the remote teaching transition as smooth as possible and continue to run classes with limited disruption. Switching to a distance learning environment at home can be distracting! However, the plethora of features combined with real-time communication enables teachers to create regular tasks (just as they would do in a physical classroom) and assess the progress of their class - maintaining meaningful connection. 

To get started, teachers can easily set up their free Google Classroom using their school G Suite account and add students, who can join your virtual class using a unique code - to keep it safe and secure. For multiple classes, teachers have the option to save time by sharing existing posts, announcements, assignments, activities and questions with all their classes at one time. The Archive Class feature comes in handy for reusing any relevant material. 

When it comes to distance learning, the challenge is to hold your students’ attention to prevent gaps in education. Teachers can keep up the level of engagement by enriching their content - whether it’s creating a new assignment or reusing an existing one. To do this, you can easily add YouTube videos, Google Forms quizzes or surveys, worksheets PDFs and other files or docs from Google Drive. Mix it up and make assignments fun and varied - not repetitive and reach all types of learners. With the Google Classroom mobile app, teachers and students can highlight, annotate and draw on documents too - including PDFs. 

As well as live teaching through your Classroom Meet link, you can efficiently prepare online classes in advance. Draft announcements and tasks, then schedule them to be posted at a set time. All tasks are completely customizable, so due dates and grade categories can be included. After tasks and assignments are complete, schools can monitor how well their virtual classes are performing with quick exit-tickets and polling through the Question feature and the grading options like rubrics and originality reports - using the feedback to learn from and optimize lessons for the future.  

Did you know Google Classroom allows teachers to teach together too? That’s right - schools can interact with fellow faculty members during a distance learning class - with up to 20 additional instructors. This way - schools are kept in the loop with each other for peer-to-peer support.

We’re Here to Help You...

At MobileMind, we’re committed to supporting schools for short- and long-term distance learning. We understand it’s a difficult adjustment period - which is why we’re here to help. Take a look at our tips and advice on how practical and easy-to-use online applications, like Google Classroom, will benefit your school.

Find out more about Distance Learning tools from Google

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