Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Google Classroom by Mike Siekkinen

Are you and your students using Google Classroom? If you are in a school with one-to-one technology (all students have access to computers, chrome books, tablets, etc.) I highly recommend this application. Google Classroom is an easy-to-use virtual space where a teacher can post messages, assignments, links, etc. Virtually anything can be posted for your students. It's also an easy way to assign students work and they have the ability to turn things into the classroom. You can also grade assignments and post grades and give individual feedback to students. Very powerful and easy to use application at a great price- FREE! Google updates the platform frequently and there are lots of tutorials on the web to teach you how to use google classroom. 

Setup is easy. Sign in for the first time
1. Go to and click Go to Classroom.
2. Enter your username and click Next.
3. Enter your password and click Next.
4. If there is a welcome message, read it and click Accept.
5. If you're using a G Suite for Education account, click I'm A Student or I'm A Teacher. ...
6. Click Get Started.

Google Classroom also allows you to personalize each classroom with a picture so as you are teaching a certain topic, you can add a background to your classroom related to your subject area. You also have the ability to post assignments ahead of time and have them become available for students on the date you select. Very handy when you may be away from the classroom and are leaving student work.

At the end of each year, I archive my classes and then start new classrooms for the new school year. The process is easy and allows you to keep student work from previous years to be able to show students good and bad examples of assignments. Also if there is ever a question about grades, you have the actual work done by the student. I find teaching 8th grade that my students now come to me familiar with how it works and I have to do virtually no “teaching” students how to operate within the application. In fact, many students show me new things that you can do! 

If you haven't tried it, give it a go!

Dr. Mike Siekkinen, a retired U.S. Navy submariner, became a teacher as a second career. He teaches history at St Marys Middle School as well as Adult and Career Education at Valdosta State in Georgia.