Thursday, July 30, 2020

Back to School Google Classroom Tips: Stream Settings and Classwork Resources Topic

It's almost time to head back to school, but for many of us, it's not the back to school we were used to. More teachers than ever before will be relying on Google Classroom to facilitate distance learning. Anything we can do to streamline Google Classroom will be beneficial for students. Here are two of my favorite tips to better organize the Google Classroom Stream and Classwork tabs.

Announcements Only in the Stream

In the years I've used Google Classroom, I noticed students struggle to find easily find assignments while "fishing" through the Stream. By default, the Stream displays class announcements and class assignments. My recommendation is to separate the two. One quick setting change will keep all class assignments out of the Stream and only in the Classwork tab. This will make it easier for kids to navigate.

To enable this, go to the settings button in Google Classroom. Scroll down to the setting that says "Classwork on the Stream". If it says either "Show Attachments and Details" or "Show Condensed Notifications", switch it to "Hide Notifications". At the top, click Save.  This will prevent assignments posted in Classwork from clogging up the Stream. Kids will know the Stream is for class announcements and Classwork is for assignments.

Resources Topic in Classwork Tab

In a physical classroom, we create bulletin boards for kids to easy, quick access to a variety of learning materials. In distance learning, using Google Classroom, it's a little bit different. My recommendation for this is to create a "Resources" topic in Classwork. What I have done in the past is create Materials under a Resources topic that are links to a variety of websites and resources that students refer to often. I keep this topic "pinned" to the top. Doing this gives students easy, quick access to these resources.

The video below explains each of these tips.

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