This school year saw an increase in remote, hybrid, and distance learning due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic for schools and educational institutions around the country. With millions of educators and students participating in virtual learning for the first time, many school districts and universities have turned to remote learning platforms and software to recreate a productive educational environment at a safe distance.
While there are many remote learning tools and video conferencing platforms to choose from, many educators have stuck with the familiar and chosen to utilize Google Classroom for all of their remote learning needs.
If you are an educator or student participating in remote or hybrid learning this year, here is everything you need to know to get started with Google Classroom.
Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google that integrates Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, and Calendar into a cohesive platform to simplify the creation, distribution, and grading of educational assignments.
Google Classroom was created to streamline the file, document, and assignments process between teachers and their students. When COVID-19 first interrupted the usual classroom experience for educators and students in March of 2020, Google Classroom immediately saw a rise in users as schools all over the United States turned to remote learning tools. That rise continued through the summer and now Google Classroom is estimated to have over 120 million users.
Google Classroom allows you to combine all of your favorite aspects of Google tools and features into the customizable education experience that is right for your students. While you may already be familiar with many of the benefits of utilizing Google tools, Google Classroom has much more to offer.
Here are some of the benefits of using Google Classroom for all of your remote and hybrid learning needs:
Like any Google application, you need a Google account to use Google Classroom— but not just any standard Google account will give you access to Classroom. Instead, you will need to create a Google Apps for Education account.
To set up your Google Apps for Education account, follow these steps:
Now that you have successfully set up your Google Apps for Education account, it is time to create your classroom. To create your own classroom, click the plus (+) sign in the top right of Classroom’s main page and click “Create Class”.
From here, you can invite students and additional teachers into your Google Classroom from the “People” tab. To give students access to your classroom, you have two options:
When you are getting started with Google Classroom and familiarizing yourself with the platform, it is natural for you to find yourself with some questions about certain features or requiring assistance as you are setting up your assignments.
For all the information you need to set up your Google Classroom, Google Support is available 24/7 through Classroom Help to assist you and answer any questions you may have.
For additional Google Classroom assistance and resources, you can join the Classroom Community of like minded educators who write posts and help one another out on their journeys of navigating distance learning while utilizing Google Classroom.
As any educator or teacher knows, keeping students engaged is one of the primary concerns when it comes to remote learning. In a physical classroom, keeping all students eyes on the appropriate materials and assignments comes second nature to most teachers. But once students are logging into their class from home, the world of potential distractions multiplies tenfold.
The good news is, thanks to the expansive virtual tools that Google Classroom has to offer, there are endless options for educators to creatively and effectively keep their students engaged from a distance.
Here are some of the ways you can use Google Classroom tools to keep your remote students engaged:
To give your next virtual class that coveted in-person feel, use a smart video camera. The Meeting Owl is a smart camera that is being used by more than 2,000 K-12 schools, colleges, and universities to enhance the distance and hybrid learning experience. To learn more about specific use cases, classroom and meeting room setup options, and key features of the Meeting Owl, download our Meeting Owl for Education Guide.