Use Google Classroom to COLLABORATE
How does Google Classroom make learning better? Essentially Google Classroom allows you to assign work and collect it. If you’re doing the same tasks digitally do not expect student engagement or student learning to increase. I always encourage that we need to write the word COLLABORATE really big at the top of our lesson plans.
Attaching Files in Classroom
When creating assignments in Google Classroom you can attach Google Docs with 3 settings. By default when attaching a Google Doc, “Students can view file.” Clicking on the arrow next to this, you can change it to “Students can edit file” or “Make a copy for each student.”
Google Classroom Collaborate
Plan for It
When designing lessons ask the question
“How am I going to have my students collaborate today?”
Resolve to use that middle option in Google Classroom. What am I going to attach that “Students can edit file?”
Google Slides is magical. I can attach collaborative Google Slides to Google Classroom and have everyone in the document in 40 seconds. @htullmann created a Google Doc with the directions for how to to this.
What is great about Google Slides is each student basically has a blank sheet, they can do almost anything on a slide. I have ONE document to open and I can watch students work. Giving students feedback while they work is incredibly easy. Use the keyboard shortcut for comments Control Shift M. Peer feedback is a snap, students go to another slide and insert comments.
As we all know…. “The answer is always a spreadsheet.” What makes Google Sheets nice for collaborating is that each student can be on their own tab or their own cell. I use Google Sheets to start a discussion, this way I can hear from everyone. Try alicekeeler.com/discussiontab for creating collaborative discussion spreadsheets. I also love using alicekeeler.com/rostertab or alicekeeler.com/templatetab to create a collaborative spreadsheet with a named tab for each student.
Google text docs are not the best choice for collaborative documents. I recommend at most 5 students in a Google text doc at the same time.
Google Classroom listens to teachers. Make sure you are sending your feedback to Google Classroom by clicking on the question mark icon in the bottom left. If you agree with me that the middle option should be worded “Students can collaborate on this file,” send Google Classroom a friendly request! Remember, only one suggestion or compliment per “Send feedback.” Just fill it out again if you have another request or compliment 🙂