What the Tech?

Google Classroom 2016

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At this point, many of you are already familiar with Classroom. If you are new to Classroom this year, don't worry, set up is easy. Click here to get to my original flyer and scroll down to the resources section for the set up link.

There are a few updates to Classroom. At the end of last year, the following updates were made available:

  • Scheduling assignments
  • Moving posts to the top of the stream
  • Integrating Google Calendar with Classroom

Now, they have also added "Topics" so that you can filter your stream.

The newest update is the parent access feature. This is an optional feature that offers guardian e-mail summaries in the form of daily or weekly digests. This can be toggled on or off from the "Students" tab in each of your classes. Once turned on, parents will be invited to your class and have the option to choose which digest they would like to receive.

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Announcements, Assignments, and Questions... oh my!


Announcements are for when you want to share out information with your students. They go only one way and nothing needs to be turned in. How could this be used in the classroom?

  1. Reminder/announcements about a class trip with a copy of the permission slip attached so students/parents can print a copy if they need another.
  2. Send out a video attachment with a discussion question for students to watch and think about for the next day's discussion.
  3. Link to a website article you want students to read
  4. Send a link to a Google Form you want students to fill out
  5. Share facts, reminders, quotes, etc...
  6. Morning meeting messages


Assignments are like a round trip ticket. They may or may not have a due date, can be turned in, graded, and returned to the student. How could this be used in the classroom?

  1. Send out a digital reading log, make a copy for each student to fill in each day when they read.
  2. Create Assessments online and assign to students, then grade and return
  3. Assign pre-writing/draft work for your writing workshop
  4. Assign hw by creating worksheets in Docs or by attaching scans of a worksheet. Students create their own Doc to write the answers.
  5. Post a set of questions/lab report template/reflection prompt for students to answer in their own doc.


Questions are a fairly new feature and one of my favorites. This feature allows you to ask a question and attach a point value to the answer. You can choose whether or not the students can see only their own answer or everyone's answer. How could you use this in the classroom?

  1. Exit tickets can be typed into Classroom in less than two minutes for students to answer, allowing you to check for understanding.
  2. Morning mtg/responsive classroom questions
  3. Take a poll, post a discussion question for students to answer.
  4. Reading responses or mini-assessments
  5. Debate questions
  6. Get feedback from your students

About the "About" Tab

It should probably be called the "Resources" tab. This is the place where you can add all of your resources for the class. This may include year-round documents, most important links, reusable Google Drive files, or Collaborative work folders.