Going Google? Simple overview of Sites and Classroom!

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Is your district a “Google district”? Is your school a pilot for using Google for Education? Have you been (or will you be) provided with Google credentials from your school or district?

Yes? Keep Reading!

No? Don’t give up on me just yet – there is still something here for you and maybe you want to talk to some important people in your administration to get them to join the Google movement!

A couple of years ago my district went Google and honestly, I had no idea what that meant and I had no training from my district on how to use this new thing that they had spent money and energy on…which is super unfortunate and I’m sure not uncommon. My district does lots of things really well, but I missed the Google bus with them initially.

LUCKILY, I went and learned about this awesome acquisition on my own!

Let me tell you that if your district has gone completely Google, with email addresses and everything, you can do some seriously COOL things!

Google Classroom: 

Google Classroom is an online hub for you and your students. Unlike a class website, students are “enrolled” in your Google Classroom which gives you a lot of useful options. Linking seamlessly with your Google Drive, it allows you to create worksheets there and then to “send a copy” to each student. Students can complete assignments and turn them back in to Google Classroom. Send them concert evaluations, theory tests, music history worksheets, and be completely paperless. Have them do these activities with some video instruction at home to keep class time performance time. The class feed serves as an announcements hub, but consider that it will only be useful if you use the entire platform with students frequently – don’t use it just for announcements! Students can keep track of grades if you allow that on Google Classroom and can also have collaborative conversations with peers in a large classroom group or smaller groups that you assign.

Assign students to classes with their google email address (if provided by the district) or have them register with a class code that is assigned to each class that you create.

Google Classroom has some GREAT features, but like I said earlier, use them all if you want students to rely on it – an announcement feed is easily replicable on a class website so don’t just use this technology to say that you did it 🙂 

Google Sites:

Google Sites allows you to create simple websites, but also allows your students to create simple websites….which could be quite useful!

As far as a class website, the only reason I would use Google Sites over my fave, Weebly, is because of the ease of linking documents in my Google Drive. There is nothing flashy about this website builder, which would make it great for student projects!

Scenario: You are absent because you are going to a MEA (music educators association) convention or other fun thing (running a race perhaps?). You want your students to be engaged and not doing busywork theory worksheets while you are gone. You book the computer lab or a laptop cart and have the sub monitor students while they make a famous composer website with Google Sites – a valid and useful assignment, you are using technology with your students, they are creating products that they can access later and that you can share with future students! Win, win, win, win.

Go to sites.google.com and check out how simple it is to build a site!

Here is an example (a VERY ROUGH example!!!!) of where to start with an assignment like this: I used a Google Doc to house this information so that I could embed links as well as make the doc a website for students to visit. Check it out here

If you didn’t know, you can make a Google Doc a website by just clicking on “file” and “publish to web”! So useful! Then anyone can see your document with a unique URL or embed code that it generates for you – yay! ….or you could just send the document to all of your students in Google Classroom 😀

 

This was SHORT and sweet – post your questions in the comments!

Has YOUR district or school gone “Google”?

What kind of Google training do you have?

Ever used sites or classroom? How? Share your ideas!!

 

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