This. Book. Is. Gorgeous. There… I said it. It’s the first thing I thought when I picked it up! The weight has been lifted from my shoulders. This sixth book in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line up is very different than the first five. It’s different in that it is basically a “how-to” book, a resource book for Google Classroom. The book was just updated a third time in April 2018 (with 10 bonus tips – woo hoo!), and is currently #6 in Computers & Technology on Amazon. You don’t get that kind of longevity from a book because it’s “gorgeous”. The full-color pages do make for eye-catching graphics (truly, it is a beautiful book), but it’s the content that keeps readers coming back over and over again! Alice Keeler and Libbi Miller, Ed.D. walk us through setting up Google Classroom and give practical advice and tips for using Google Classroom in their book 50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom!
Google Classroom was launched in 2014 after months of beta testing in classrooms. If you currently use Google Classroom, it’s likely obvious to you that they have teamed up with educators in the field and respond to feedback related to their product. They continue to improve the functionality of Google Classroom, updating and tweaking their already impressive online platform. Alice & Libbi used Google Classroom and Google Apps for Education (GAfE) with students and adult learners at the university level.
If you are familiar with the GAfE platform, you can skip right to the good stuff! If not, no worries! Alice & Libbi have you taken care of with a quick overview of Drive as well as a Getting Started section complete with a quick tour in teacher view and in student view! Yep – they thought of everything! Here are a few examples of things you can do with Google Classroom, as indicated by the authors!
- Make Class Announcements – Transform one-way communication into two-way communication!
- Go Paperless – Use the awesome ideas in DITCH That Textbook paired with Google Classroom to assign and collect classwork from students across all of GAfE (Slides, Sheets, Docs, Drawings, etc)
- Organize Assignments with Due Dates – You have the power to indicate a due date for each assignment. These assignments will clearly display the due date within the stream of the student’s view, as well as the tile of the class in the Home page! *This also integrates with Google Calendar if you have it set up!*
- Email Students – With a click of a button, you can email all students in your class, or only a few select students. Perhaps you have a group that hasn’t completed an assignment. Simply click the assignment, the checkbox beside their name, and choose to email those who aren’t finished all at once with a friendly reminder!
- Student Projects – When students turn in work, they can submit multiple artifacts at once. This makes the feedback process much easier for the teacher as it keeps it together in one place!
There are so many more tips within the book, so you’ll want to grab your own copy! In my opinion, the single greatest thing about Google Classroom is the ability to create an assignment that automatically generates a copy for every student in your class! BONUS: It even puts their name in the title for you! (No more trying to figure out which handwriting belongs to which student! No more bulletin board for “NO NAME’s” work! No more waiting to grade the one without a name until the end so you can use process of elimination to determine which student forgot their name!)
This incredibly practical book, complete with screenshots and step-by-step directions, is a must have if you are using Google Classroom! If you aren’t using Google Classroom yet, you will definitely want to click to BUY IT NOW! You’re going to want to remember the name of the authors! Alice Keeler shows up several times in the DBC, Inc line-up and everything she writes is practical and made of solid gold for teachers! I was fortunate enough to meet her before #iste18 for breakfast and I immediately understood why she appears as a DBC author multiple times! She is a pirate educator through and through! She has a passion for the profession of educators. Within just a few minutes, I was drawn in to everything she had to say. She had me hooked (It’s been a minute since I used a Pirate Pun… couldn’t pass that one up!) and wanting to jump onboard with her; I had no idea where we were going, but I wanted in! Her enthusiasm is contagious.
SPOILER ALERT: My big takeaway from this book is the integration of GAfE and Google Classroom. Many in my school are already using Google Classroom and love it! I plan to focus on making teachers’ jobs more efficient by sharing select tips from this book (and, ah-hem, future Google books by Alice Keeler for DBC, Inc) at faculty meetings or via a weekly screencast. It’s time to update the spreadsheet.
The next resource I will give you will change your life. Honestly. You will either 1) love me forever, or 2) dream up CSI-esque scenarios where I disappear. (Please let it be #1, please let it be #1!) This resource is not to be taken lightly. Do not open the link until you have a couple of hours to spare because it is seriously a rabbit hole of awesome-sauce that you will venture down. Trust me. I’ve spent hours in this space, clicking links and trying things out… and I made the mistake of returning to it tonight. I should have published this post about 2 hours ago. Instead, I’ve been playing in Alice’s world of Teacher Tech. I just came up for air and refuse to go back tonight. If you think I’m exaggerating, try clicking the links below at your own risk.
But before you go (because you won’t be back, let’s be real right now), here is the link to the Flipgrid if you’d like to share your own reflections of 50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom. Passcode is DBCSummer – be sure to follow our friend Andrea Paulakovich’s journey as well. The addition of flipgrid was her amazing idea! Finally, Book 7 is one that I’ve been so super pumped about reading and reflecting on for #DBC50Summer! As a media coordinator, I believe teaching Media Literacy is of utmost importance for our students’ future! Author Julie Smith is the Media Literacy guru and she proves it in her book Master the Media! Blog post will be coming in the next couple of days. I expect the soap box will be brought out and stood on… just sayin’!***
Now… you may continue. May the Force be with you… May the odds be ever in your favor… Let someone know where you are before you click anything below this paragraph. Seriously… they need to make sure you come up for air! It’s incredible!
The website for the book can be found here. You will find all the awesome of Teacher Tech with Alice Keeler here. To view Alice’s Add-Ons & Scripts, click here. Alice’s templates are here. Finally (but I’d bet you don’t even make it this far because you’ve already taken the red pill from the Matrix and stayed in Wonderland) ed-tech tools… LOTS of ed-tech tools are here.
***Are you okay? Did you make it out? Isn’t it wonderful? See you next time!***