In my first post of this series, I covered some of the basics of Google Classroom like creating classes and provided some tips for naming classes. The second post of the series covered many of the features of the Classroom Stream page, including posting announcements, assignments, questions, and reusing posts. This article will include the features of the Students page.
To find the Students page, start at classroom.google.com, when it opens, click on the desired class. The page will automatically open to the Classroom Stream which includes all the announcements, assignments, etc. Underneath the Classroom header is a list of the three main pages in Classroom: Stream, Students, and About. Click on the word “Students.” Doing so will open a landing page similar to this:
From this page, I can invite students to the Google Classroom, determine how or if students can comment on the Stream, email guardians, email students, check for missing work, and more.
Inviting students to the classroom can be completed one of two ways: email an invitation to students or share a class code. If I click the invite students button at the top of the page (below the header), this pop-up window appears.
I can enter some, all, or even one student (like the one who joined the class three weeks in). Once my list is entered, all I need to do is click the Invite button on the bottom left. Students will then receive an email in their student gmail accounts inviting them to join the class. IMPORTANT: Students must use email accounts associated with the school’s G Suite for Education account; they may not use personal email accounts.
Instead of entering email addresses, you can just share the class code with students.
New in 2017, Google classroom will now allow a teacher to display the class code. It will work like a Google slide. (Hooray! for Google adding this feature). I can display the code on my smart board and students can join. They will need to go to classroom.google.com, click the plus sign in the upper right, and choose join a class. They will be asked to enter a the class code an provide their gmail address. Once entered, they will automatically be added to the class.
I can also copy the code and share it in a Google Doc with my students with instructions for joining the class.
If the random code generated is something I don’t like, or could be construed to be something inappropriate in text-speak, I can click “Reset” and a new code will be generated.
I can also disable the code for any reason.
I can also decide if and how I want students to comment on the Classroom Stream.
Many reasons exist for not allowing students to comment. To be honest, last year (my first using Classroom) I didn’t allow my students to do so because of the students who attend our school are usually adjudicated to come andThis post from Alice Keeler in Teacher Tech explains why.
- Students can post and comment
- Students can only comment
- Only teachers can post or comment
As the teacher, you will have to decide what works best for your classroom. Before you make that decision, though, read the post by Alice Keeler. Really. Do. It. By the way, you can change your mind at any point in time during the year.
What if a student posts something inappropriate or won’t stop posting? Google Classroom gives the teacher options. I’ll address those in just a moment in this post. First, though, I need to show the Actions button.
First of all I can select all students by checking the box at the top of the student list, or I can select just one student, or five. Once at least one student is selected, the Actions button will become active. If I click that button, I will get a drop-down list of options like email, remove, and mute.
I can email a student reminders, encouragement, high fives, or whatever. I just click the email and Classroom redirects me to a gmail screen.
If a student moves, is transferred to another class, or is accidentally added to the wrong class, I can easily remove the student from this class by clicking the Remove option. Doing so will open a dialogue box asking if I really want to remove this student. Then, it’s just a simple click on Yes or No.
Now, remember that student who is posting ALL. THE. TIME? First of all, I can hide or delete comments on the stream since I am the teacher. Students do not have that ability. I can give the student another chance to post appropriately (which is my first inclination), or I can simply mute the kid. Once I click this, the student cannot post on the stream or respond to questions or other comments. This is a lifesaver! Seriously. I can always go back an un-mute the student at any time. I tend to think of it as a time-out.
To invite guardians, all I need to do is click on the “Invite Guardians” following the student’s name and provide an email address. It DOES NOT have to be a G Suite for Education account..
As soon as I do this I will be asked if I want to invite the guardian. When I click Yes, an email will be automatically sent to the guardian that looks like this:
Hopefully the guardian will accept (Google adds a fail-safe just in case the email entered was incorrect) and a page will open asking how often they want to be updated.
They can choose weekly, daily, or no summaries. Then a time zone page will open, asking the guardian to select his/her current time zone.
At this point, Google Classroom will not allow teachers to tweak the form email that goes out to guardians. It will send current and upcoming assignments, grades, and class activity. An example is located here. Emails will be sent out as frequently as the guardian requested. Teachers do have an option to email guardians directly.
I can click on the three dots on the far right of the student’s name (love those three dots) and I get several options. I can email the student, email guardians, invite additional guardians, or remove guardians. If I click either of the email options, a gmail page will open for me to compose an email.
Alright, one last NEW option Google Classroom added in 2017: I can get an individual student view by clicking on the student name. Once I do so, this page will open:
From this page I can filter assignments by what the student has turned it, what has been graded and returned and what is missing (HALLELUJAH). I can click on any assignment and grade it from here (more on that in a later blog post). I can quickly see what each assignment’s status is (assigned, turned in, graded, returned, etc). Also, that little envelope at the top right of the screen is another option for me to email the student or parents. How handy is that? I can see from right here that Chris needs to hand in some work. I can quickly send a reminder to him or his guardians and walk away.
This completes my overview of the Student page in Google Classroom. In my next post, I will cover the About page and the flexibility it offers to your Classroom. See you then!