6 Teacher Tasks Google Classroom is Perfect For

From a classroom teacher’s perspective, what kinds of tasks is Google Classroom most effective for? How can Google Classroom enhance lesson planning, homework assignments, grading, and keeping parents informed? Come investigate how Google Classroom can help teachers manage the SIX most common teacher tasks. Can’t use Classroom? No problem, I’ve got alternative solutions available as well.

I’ve given numerous presentations on Google Classroom and G Suite before:

But for this presentation, I decided to refresh some of what I’ve already covered and take a look at Google Classroom from the perspective of a classroom teacher’s typical task list. i.e. What kinds of tasks would a teacher require of Google Classroom in order to make it useful for their work?

I came up with 6 common tasks that I feel every teacher needs to manage well.

6 common teacher tasks

The following YouTube video from Google demonstrates the application of Google Classroom to these 6 common tasks, and the rest of this article will be spent going over exactly HOW to perform them.

1. Organization

Keep yourself organized & on task!

Probably the number one best reason why I personally use Google Classroom is because it helps me better organize my own classes.

Even in situations where Google Classroom is not an option for students to use, I often utilize the Classwork Tab for myself because of the how well I can keep myself organized and on task with it. In the Classwork Tab, teachers can:

  1. Create (or reuse and edit) assignments
  2. Organize them by topic
  3. Write out full lesson plans or notes
    1. (Then refer to this when lecturing)
  4. Add relevant files to share or use in class
  5. Schedule the assignments for a later date


Whether or not your students can use Google Classroom, it’s still a great option for yourself as a teacher.

2. Distribution

Go paperless! Throw out the USB!

The second biggest reason to use Google Classroom (and Drive) is to be able to run a completely paperless classroom and get rid of your USB.

Personally, I haven’t used a USB stick for over 10 years because running around from computer to computer with an unprotected USB stick is like running around maskless during Covid-19. Eventually, some computer will infect your USB with a virus, which you’ll then likely spread to multiple other computers before you even realize it.

Additionally, Google Classroom keeps your class files organized inside class folders and assignment folders contained inside your Google Drive. When you Create an Assignment for students in your Classroom, you can virtually distribute a copy to everyone at once, and Google gathers those into a folder for you. You can access each student’s file later from within either the Assignment post in Classroom, or the assignment folder in Drive.

  1. First, be sure all students are already IN your class (with a join code or email)
    1. (If not, then when you distribute something with an Assignment, the students who aren’t in the class won’t get a copy, and you’ll have to do it again.)
  2. Then, in the Classwork Tab:
    1. Create (or reuse) an Assignment
    2. Add relevant files
    3. Set the distribution option to “Make a copy for each student”
    4. Assign it!

Can’t use Classroom?

I had a situation once where I had almost 50 students in a single class, but not all of them had Gmail accounts. Rather than forcing them all to register for a Gmail, and then join my class, I created a Google Site where I distributed handouts, and used Google Forms to gather self-graded homework.


3. Collection

Automatically collected & organized.

Google Classroom also automatically collects and organizes all your class files in a single folder inside your Google Drive.

As soon as your Create a new Classroom, Google makes a new folder for that Classroom directly inside your Google Drive and links it within your Classroom at various locations (wherever you find the folder icon as pictured above). Within the Classroom folder, Google additionally creates new folders for Assignments in two special ways:

  1. Whenever you create an Assignment to distribute to students, Google saves a copy of that file inside a folder in your Drive called “Templates – DO NOT EDIT.”
  2. And any time student work is distributed, Google also creates a separate folder for each Assignment where the student work will be automatically collected for you when the students hand it in.

After creating, distributing, and collecting a few Assignments, your Classroom folder structure (within Drive) will look like this:

  • My Drive
    • Classroom
      • Writing Class 101
        • Templates – DO NOT EDIT
          • [file] Personal Introduction (Original Worksheet)
          • [file] Book Report (Original Worksheet)
          • [file] Poetry Analysis (Original Worksheet)
        • Assignment 1: Personal Introduction
          • John – Personal Introduction (Turned in)
          • Frank – Personal Introduction (Turned in)
        • Assignment 2: Book Report
          • John – Book Report (Turned in)
          • George – Book Report (Turned in)
        • Assignment 3: Poetry Analysis
          • John – Poetry Analysis (Turned in)
        • etc…

Can’t use Classroom?

There are two main options for (digitally) collecting and organizing student work without using Classroom:

  1. Have students submit work via email. You can collect those and manually organize them in your Google Drive according to a similar folder structure as listed above (a classroom folder, then a folder for each assignment).
  2. Collect student work with a Google Form. Google Forms now allows you to include a “File Upload” Question Type. You can select allowed filetypes, quantity, and file size. (Be careful not to allow files that are too large, and keep an eye on your folder space usage, or you’ll quickly run out of storage space.)
Be careful of the storage space that is used up when students upload files so that you don’t go over your Google Drive limit.

4. Correction

Use a rubric, leave comments, assign a grade.

When creating an Assignment, Google Classroom makes it very easy to add a rubric to any Assignment, such as the one pictured in the right sidebar.

Additionally, in the right sidebar, near the top, you can view a collection of all the student’s Files for this Assignment. Then, after leaving comments (at the bottom, or in the Document itself – as pictured), you can also “Return” the Assignment to the student with the blue button at the top right. Or, wait until you’ve graded and commented on ALL the students’ Assignments and click the blue dropdown button to the right of “Return” and you can choose to “Return ALL” to every student at once!

Another great grading feature in Classroom is that Google is able to load consecutive student work at the click of a button. Underneath “Screenplay” in the upper-left side of the image, you can see a student’s name. To the right of the name are left / right arrows. When you click the arrows, Google loads the “next” or “previous” student’s work.

Or, click the student name itself and a dropdown appears with ALL the students in the class. Beside each name will be a status marking whether the work is “Late” or “Not Submitted” or a point value if it’s graded.

Can’t use Classroom?

You can still grade student work in at least two ways:

  1. If the assignment is a Quiz, create a self-graded (or auto-graded) Quiz in Google Forms, select the correct answers, assign point values to each question, distribute it via email, and wait for students to answer the quiz and their scores to be recorded.
  2. If the assignment is more subjective, like a writing assignment, you can highlight things, change things, and leave comments for students directly in Google Documents.
    1. Insert Comments with CTRL+ALT+M or by clicking directly in the light gray sidebar in Google Docs.
    2. Or, change the Document mode to “Suggesting” rather than “Editing” so that every change you make will be clearly marked and students will be able to “accept” or “reject” your corrections.

5. Analysis

Need a gradebook? Graphs?

Google Classroom automatically creates a gradebook for you as you start creating Assignments and grading them.

You can view the gradebook at any time in the “Grades” tab within Classroom to get a full overview of the class, including viewing or updating any grades. You can also see which students still have “Missing” work. If you update or assign grades directly in the gradebook here, you can click the three dots menu beside the Assignment name to “Return All” student grades and work at once.

Can’t use Classroom?

  1. As mentioned above, you can still collect grades with a self-graded Quiz using Google Forms. Google Forms also provides great tools like graphs of right and wrong answers for each question, individual reports, and so on.
  2. Alternatively, create your own Gradebook in Google Sheets. (Here’s a presentation of mine on doing so in Excel, but the concepts are the same.)

6. Reporting

Keep parents in the loop.

The feature to “Invite Guardians” only applies to G Suite for Education instances (where a school is using G Suite, not on personal Gmail accounts), but it allows a Teacher to link a parent or guardian email with a particular student email. Then, the parent or guardian also gets the same updates about the student’s progress that the student gets. This includes all Assignment notifications, grading, comments, and returned documents.

Can’t use Classroom?

If your account is a personal Gmail account, so that you can’t link guardian emails to a student account, or if you just can’t use Classroom, you can still keep parents in the loop with the traditional method of sending emails.

Or, take another look at the Google Site I created for one of my classes (shown in #2. Distribution above), and consider creating your own Google Site for parents and students to bookmark and use to keep updated about the happenings in your class.


The big takeaway from this presentation is:

Google Classroom is not perfect, but it is a tool that can (and should) be leveraged to your advantage for better classes.

I hope you found this presentation / tutorial helpful. If you’d like to learn more about other Google products, or G Suite for Education, I’d encourage you to go through Google’s training to earn your own Google Educator Certification!~

Increase your Professional Performance

Over the years, I’ve collected numerous tips for better teaching, better presentations, making course materials, and presenting your best professional face to the world – both in person and online. This talk will include a collection of at least 10 such tips.

The best Teachers are Life-long Learners

With this presentation, I hope to convey to you that becoming life-long learners is the #1 best way to become a better teacher. Over the past 10 years, I’ve accomplished the following and grown immeasurably:

  • 170 Lynda.com (LinkedIn Learning) courses
  • 100+ books (Audible.com)
  • Online Master’s degree (Full Sail University)
  • Online Nanodegree (Udacity)

If you want to stay “ahead of the curve” in any industry (or even keep up, let alone catch up) you need to become a life-long learner and make a habit of keeping up to date with the goings-on in that industry.


  1. Google
    1. Google Classroom
    2. Google Tips
    3. Google Drive
  2. Korean
    1. Korean Grammar
    2. Korean Vocabulary
    3. Korean Games
  3. Apps
    1. Lightshot
    2. Audacity
    3. LinkedIn
  4. Bonus
    1. Bullet Journal

1.1 Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a great way to stay organized as a teacher and distribute assignments to students in a whole class or individually. Check out the following links for some of my other presentations on Classroom:

1.2 Google Tips

Google Service is the most ubiquitous, powerful, and yet also the most under-utilized Google service. Follow the link below to get some tips for making the most of it. There are 10 other Google Services listed as well:

1.3 Google Drive

Drive acts like a hard drive in the cloud, but has some pretty unique features that you may not know about.

  • Sharing & simultaneous collaborative editing
  • Preview files you don’t have programs for (.AI, .PSD)
  • Review Drive activity ( Info)
  • Review File Revision history
  • Add-Ons (DriveTunes)

Plus, Drive is a great way to keep your USBs safe (by simply not using them). But if you insist on hanging onto your USBs, you should really install Panda USB Vaccine to disable Autorun that often gets you viruses when you plug it into an infected computer.

2.1 Korean Grammar

As you learn more Korean grammar, you’ll be better able to teach English grammar. You’ll be better able to pick out common mistakes and explain English grammar patterns in a way that is easily understandable. 

But first, you might want to learn Hangul touch typing. This will save you loads of time in the future, if you type in Korean much. It can also be quite beneficial in class to type 명사, 동사, and 형용사 (noun, verb, adjective) and other things to help you explain the grammar patterns better.

2.2 Korean Vocabulary

Did you know it’s possible to learn 3600 new vocabulary words in 4 months by only practicing for around 30 minutes per day? Have you ever tried it? I’m living proof that the method outlined in the link above works.

And here’s a video with 10 more suggestions to learn new words. Use it yourself or share it with your class:

2.3 Korean Games

Learning a little Korean pop culture also provides you with a great opportunity to connect with your students on a new level and make classes more interesting and engaging for them. Here are three games that they’ll all be familiar with that you can learn in class to teach new vocabulary:

3 Korean word games to test or improve your Korean vocabulary

3.1 Lightshot

Lightshot is hands down the BEST screenshot app I’ve ever come across (yet). It’s so good, I install it on every computer I have access to. I’ve also installed it on every computer in the lab at the high school I work at. 

  • Simply press the PrtSc button to darken the screen and get a crosshairs mouse pointer
  • Draw a shape around the area you want to copy, print, or save
  • The editing tools in the app also give you the ability to DRAW or type anything within the space you’ve outlined
  • Key point: Basically, you’ll be able to create an instant on-screen whiteboard in any class to draw on scans of the book or highlight grammar points in a document you’re showing on the projector

3.2 Audacity

Audacity is the best FREE audio editing app, and it’s great for making listening tests. It’s so versatile that I’ve used it for the following:

  • Recording podcasts
  • Editing sound for movie production
  • Creating pop song remixes and mashups

3.3 LinkedIn

Find me on LinkedIn here. I’ve optimized my profile to showcase my professional skills and abilities. These days, your “resume” isn’t just something you hand in on paper. Every employer can (and will) Google Search you, so it’s important to have something online that is complete, professional, and highlights your accomplishments.

There are plenty of great books online to help you optimize yours. 

Bonus: “Real” online resumes with WordPress

If you couldn’t tell by the rest of this site, I’m a big fan of WordPress (this site is built on it as well). WordPress is the BEST way to get started cultivating your professional online presence. You have two to choose from:

  1. WordPress.com is a managed host – you just pay the bill
  2. WordPress.org is self-hosted – meaning you need:
    1. URL name registration (around $12.95 for a .com)
    2. Hosting (affiliate) (starting at $2.59/mo)

Bonus: Bullet Journal

If you really want to stay organized (a very good idea in today’s busy world), going analog (paper) is so much better than taking everything digital (too many distractions). The Bullet Journal is one of the best methods I’ve found for staying organized. Check out the following for more details:


Let me leave you with three quotes from some of my favorite authors and public speakers regarding your “Professional Performance.”

Either run the day, or the day runs you… Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time… Time management is the best kept secret of the rich.

Jim Rohn

The whole purpose of time management and getting more done in less time is to enable you to have more time to spend with the people you love, doing the things you enjoy.

Brian Tracy

‘Time management’ is really a misnomer – the challenge is not to manage time but ourselves. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

Stephen Covey


Aaron Snowberger is a Google Certified Educator, Trainer, and G Suite Administrator. He teaches Computer Science & Graphic Design at Global Prodigy Academy and English at Jeonju University. He also does freelance graphic design and website programming work, specializing in WordPress and React. He has designed multiple publications, websites, and KOTESOL posters, and has previously presented at the KOTESOL National and International Conferences, as well as the Seoul WordPress Grand Meetup. Apart from work, Aaron also enjoys cycling and playing musical instruments (like bass guitar).

11 Great Google Services (for your classroom)

I want to briefly introduce you to 11 powerful Google Services that can have a big impact on your teaching. These are things that I personally use nearly everyday. I’ll start with the most commonly used and easiest-to-learn tools, and progressively take us through more difficult or less commonly used tools.

View Slides →

Self Introduction

  • Google Certified Educator & Trainer (Feb. 2017)
  • G Suite Admin @ GPA HS (Certified Feb. 2017)
  • Computer Science & Graphic Design Teacher @ GPA HS (Feb. 2013)
  • ESL Teacher (Jeonju University Mar. 2010, Korea July 2006)
  • WordPress & web designer/developer (2010)
  • Freelance Graphic designer (MFA Apr. 2011)


I want to briefly introduce you to 11 powerful Google Services that can have a big impact on your teaching. These are things that I personally use nearly everyday. I’ll start with the most commonly used and easiest-to-learn tools, and progressively take us through more difficult or less commonly used tools.

  • Easiest (Search, Gmail, Translate)
  • Normal (Drive, Docs, Slides)
  • Harder (Forms, Drawings, Classroom)
  • Expert (Photos, Sheets)

Please, join my Class:

Class code: qa3d0gu


#1 Search

The most ubiquitous Google Service is also the most powerful, and the most under-utilized Google service. Here are some tips to get the most of it. I’ve also linked to Google’s full Tips & Tricks page below.

Find stuff for class:

Use in class:

All Google Search Tricks →

#2 Gmail

Personally, the greatest 2 tricks to using Gmail are:

25 Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts that save me 60 hours per year →

#3 Translate

I know many people don’t think Google Translate is a really efficient tool, but there have been some really great updates to it recently that make it a much better tool.

  • Handwriting
  • Audio input (speak in English, HEAR and SEE the Korean response)
  • Camera input (for signs, etc)
  • Tap to Translate is the BEST thing I’ve recently discovered – it allows me to use Translate within ANY app, without switching
  • Translate dictionaries are also available OFFLINE

Tap to Translate video


#4 Drive

Drive acts like a hard drive in the cloud, but has some pretty unique features that you may not know about.

  • Sharing & simultaneous collaborative editing
  • Preview files you don’t have programs for (.AI, .PSD)
  • Review Drive activity ( Info)
  • Review File Revision history
  • Add-Ons (DriveTunes)

#5 Docs

Google Docs acts as an online Word document editor – but it has some unique features that are only available through a cloud service like this.

#6 Slides

One of the most powerful features in Google Slides is the ability to crop and edit images directly within the Slides window itself.

  • Templates & Master Slides View > Master
  • Image manipulation
    • Crop into shapes Format > Crop image
    • Recolor Format > Format options

I’ve previously created a complex PPT using the cropping images feature. I’ve included a link to this PPT below.

I’ve also linked to some really great Slides Templates and an alternate to PPT (slides.com) – that this presentation is based on.


#7 Forms

Google Forms allows you to create self-grading assignments and quizzes.

I’ve personally used Forms for Homework, surveys, quizzes, and chapter tests. It allows you to specify

  • Multiple Choice answers
  • Checkbox answers
  • Dropdown answers
  • Short answers

And if you need more flexibility and grading features, check out Flubaroo as a Google Sheets Add-on which can also analyze your student data and help you to see which questions were the most troublesome for a class.

#8 Drawings

Google Drawings allows you to create complex vector shapes (like logos). They can even be embedded into Docs.

But one of the most useful features I recently discovered was the “yellow handle” (shaped like a diamond) on some shapes that allows you to change its dimensions. I was able to recreate the KOTESOL logo in Google Drawings using this feature:

#9 Classroom

I’ve previously presented on Google Classroom at the KOTESOL 2017 International Conference. One exciting new feature that I’ve discovered since then is that it’s now possible (since January 2017) to assign work to INDIVIDUAL students as well as the whole class. This allows me to personalize assignments for students.


#10 Photos

Google claims you can have UNLIMITED storage of photos and videos on their service – at a reduced quality (their uploader converts it automatically) – I haven’t run out of space yet.

You can also create Shared albums that people with the link can “Add” themselves to and add their own photos. This is great for schools, families, and groups that want to easily encourage participants to upload and share their individual photos.

Read more about this on the article Google Photos adds smarter sharing, suggestions and shared libraries.

  • Unlimited storage with file reduction
  • Share album to allow uploaders

#11 Sheets

Sheets is a VERY powerful program once you start getting beneath the surface of things. It includes at least TWO useful features I’ll introduce here: Data Validation and Pivot Tables.

I’ve previously presented at the JNJ KOTESOL 2012 Conference about this topic – to create a Gradebook that only accepts certain values.


You can get Google Certified too!

There are two levels of Google Educator, tests are $10 each (online, and require a web cam).

Review & Resources

This is a list of ALL the resources I gathered for this talk.

  1. Search
    1. ALL Search Tips & Tricks – Inside Search
  2. Gmail
    1. Keyboard Shortcuts
    2. The 25 Gmail Keyboard shortcuts that save me 60 hours per year
    3. Gmail Guide: Inbox Management and Labels
  3. Translate
    1. Translate
    2. Camera Input example: La Bamba
    3. YouTube: Introducing Tap to Translate
  4. Drive
    1. View activity & file versions
    2. DriveTunes Add-On
  5. Docs
    1. Docs Template Gallery
    2. Google Fonts
    3. Version History
    4. How to Add Stock Photos to Google Docs
  6. Slides
    1. Slides Template Gallery
    2. SlidesCarnival.com (Copy additional, stylish Slides Templates)
    3. Slides.com – Make Better Presentations
    4. KOTESOL slides: Become a Better Presenter
    5. How to crop & edit images
    6. Editing Master Slides
  7. Forms
    1. Forms Template Gallery
    2. Flubaroo Video (better auto-grading of Forms)
    3. Flubaroo Sheets Add-on Link
    4. Example of my Google Site with Quizzes
    5. Create & grade quizzes with Google Forms
  8. Drawings
    1. 8 Creative Uses of Google Drawings
    2. Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers – Link
    3. KOTESOL Logo in Google Drawings
    4. Google Drawings: Semicircle
    5. Google Drawings on YouTube
  9. Classroom
    1. Using Google Classroom (5 page) – Link
    2. Google Classroom Manual (15 page) – Link
    3. Aaron.kr: Google Classroom 101 Talk
    4. Google Classroom updated
    5. Digital Differentiation with Google Classroom
    6. Individual Assignments & Small Group Work
  10. Photos
    1. YouTube: Introducing Shared Albums
    2. Google Photos About
    3. Shared memories made easy with Google Photos
    4. Google Photos adds smarter sharing, suggestions and shared libraries
  11. Sheets
    1. Sheets Template Gallery
    2. Data validation in Google Sheets
    3. Get Organized with 2 Google Spreadsheet Features
    4. My KOTESOL Gradebook Presentation
    5. How to Create a Pivot Table in Google Sheets
    6. Google Sheets Pivot Table Tutorial
    7. Pivot Tables in Google Sheets (Ultimate Guide)
    8. Tutorial: How to make pivot tables in Google Sheets
  12. BONUS! Get Google Certified
    1. G Suite Training – Chrome Web Store
    2. G Suite Training
    3. Training Center: Certification
  13. Other Resources
    1. Naver Office

Thank You!

Google Classroom 101

Google Classroom is an excellent way to stay organized as a teacher and distribute learning material to a whole class or individual students. This presentation gives an overview of how Google Classroom works and how you can use it to your advantage.

View Slides →

Self Introduction

  • Google Certified Educator & Trainer (Feb. 2017)
  • G Suite Admin @ GPA HS (Certified Feb. 2017)
  • Computer Science & Graphic Design Teacher @ GPA HS (Feb. 2013)
  • ESL Teacher (Jeonju University Mar. 2010, Korea July 2006)
  • WordPress & web designer/developer (2010)
  • Freelance Graphic designer (MFA Apr. 2011)

You can get Google Certified too!

There are two levels of Google Educator, tests are $10 each (online, and require a web cam).


  • Intro
  • Student View
  • Teacher View
  • Tips


You (and the students) need a Google Account in order to use Google Classroom. But only you need a Google Account to use Google Drive. I’ll show you both. We’ll start with Google Drive.

So, please, join my Class:

Class code: jklasdf

Student View

While you’re joining my class, let’s take a look at some student opinions about Google Classroom.

Now, let me introduce you to the most common types of files I share in Google Classroom. You have access to all these files when you click the “Open” button.

Now, please complete the “Assignment” in the Google Doc and Turn it In using the button in the upper-right of your Doc.

Teacher View

While you’re completing the “Assignment”, let’s take a look at what some other teachers have to say about Google Classroom.

Let me show you some more of what Google Classroom can do from the Teacher’s Viewpoint.

  • Share files – View only
  • Share files – Editable
  • Each student gets a copy
  • Assign topics and due dates
  • Schedule assignments (or Save Drafts)
  • Grade assignments


This all seems well and good, but what if you can’t, or don’t want to, force all your students to use Google? The next section will give you some tips and suggestions for using Google Drive and Google Classroom, even without adding students to a class.

  1. Throw away your (insecure) USB key
  2. Go paperless
  3. Run a more organized classroom
  4. Use Google Sites and Forms for Quizzes and Homework
  5. Flubaroo for grading Form answers
  6. Use Naver Office if you want the Korean version
  7. Make better PPTs with SlidesCarnivaland Slides.com

Check out what Flubaroo can do.

Review & Resources

Here’s one more video reviewing all I’ve just covered.

  1. G Suite Training – Chrome Web Store
  2. G Suite Training
  3. Training Center: Certification
  4. Docs Template Gallery
  5. Sheets Template Gallery
  6. Slides Template Gallery
  7. SlidesCarnival.com (Copy additional, stylish Slides Templates)
  8. 8 Creative Uses of Google Drawings
  9. Forms Template Gallery
  10. Example of my Google Site with Quizzes
  11. Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers – Link
  12. Using Google Classroom (5 page) – Link
  13. Google Classroom Manual (15 page) – Link
  14. Slides.com – Make Better Presentations
  15. Naver Office
  16. Flubaroo Video (better auto-grading of Forms)
  17. Flubaroo Sheets Add-on Link

Thank You!

Google Classroom & G Suite for Education Training

This talk provides an overview of what Google Classroom is, how it works, and gives practical tips for how to incorporate Google’s other main product apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms) into your classroom.

This presentation was given as part of a training seminar at Global Prodigy Academy international high school in Jeonju. It covers the following:

  1. What Google Classroom is & can do
  2. G Suite services that work well with Google Classroom
  3. Caveat for using Google Classroom
  4. Alternate ideas if Google Classroom is not a viable option for your classroom

What Google Classroom can do


Classroom allows you to do the following:

  1. Add Class (+ symbol in the upper-right)
  2. Join class (+ symbol in the upper-right)
    1. by email (Students tab -> Invite Students)
    2. with a code (you can also display this in huge letters on the projector. Go to the Gear wheel -> Class code -> Display)
  3. Create Assignment (now also Reuse Assignment is possible)
    1. Add attachments (files)
    2. Insert videos / links
    3. Schedule the assignment / Save Draft
    4. Groups Assignments within Topics
    5. Give Assignments Due dates
  4. Grading (I personally don’t use this feature, but it’s wonderful for keeping student Assignments organized and in a central location)
Classroom’s Grading feature keeps assignments organized

Assignment Types

Classroom is best used in connection with Google Drive and gives you access to a number of Microsoft-esque products that you can use to create assignments:

  1. “Microsoft”-esque
    1. Docs (like MS Word)
      1. The best tool I introduce to students in Docs is the paragraph styles
    2. Sheets (like MS Excel)
      1. The tools I focus on teaching students in Sheets are the spreadsheet functions and chart creation tools
    3. Slides (like MS PowerPoint)
      1. One great feature to learn in Slides is where to edit the Master Slides (View -> Master)
  2. Non-MS
    1. Drawings (Can be created separately and downloaded as PDFs or image files, or can be inserted into Docs)
    2. Forms (great for giving tests/quizzes – and can also be self-grading if you input answers)
  3. Distribution methods
    1. Students can view (This is best used for things like class Slides and lecture notes that shouldn’t be edited)
    2. Students can edit (Use this to collaborate on a Shared Document or Spreadsheet where each student needs to add their input to the collective – like shared vocab lists)
    3. Student copy (This copies the file and inputs it directly to each Student account while also linking it to the Grading portion of that assignment to keep things organized)
Distribution methods and Lesson Planning

Organize your Lesson Plans

Personally, I use Google Classroom to help me better organize my Lesson Plans and stay focused during the class. Whenever I create a new assignment, I write down notes about the topic, points to cover, or steps to take. Then, while presenting the lesson, I can refer back to my “Lesson Plan” in the Google Classroom Assignment.

Student / Teacher View

There is a difference between the Teacher View and the Student View, so if you want to explore them both, either:

  • login as a student in your class, or
  • add another account (on the SAME Google domain) to your class and explore as both Teacher and Student


Student accounts and Teacher accounts MUST reside within the SAME Google domain in order to work. (i.e. Gmail users can join Gmail user classes and .com users can join .com user classes, but Gmail users CANNOT join .com user classes)
  1. The Teacher View helps you to stay organized with:
    1. Organized assignments / a grading section
    2. Archived classes (from which you can now Reuse Assignments)
    3. Reorder classes (by clicking and dragging them around the screen, you can place them in the order you will teach them during the day)
  2. The Student View is obviously more limited. Students can:
    1. “Open” files – individual files will be contained IN the Assignment at the bottom, under other files and attachments, in a separate box
    2. Submit (“Turn In”) – students will need to “Unsubmit” work if they want to edit it further – once it’s submitted, it’s no longer editable
    3. Quiz multi-submit – students can submit Quizzes more than once if that option is enabled in the Form settings
    4. Edit together – Students can collaborate on shared Docs

Alternate Ideas

Once again, using Google Classroom comes with a Caveat

Student accounts and Teacher accounts MUST reside within the SAME Google domain in order to work. (i.e. Gmail users can join Gmail user classes and .com users can join .com user classes, but Gmail users CANNOT join .com user classes)

However, even if you feel unable to use Google Classroom with your students in your Classroom, you’ll still be able to use it yourself if you have a Gmail account. The following are some suggestions for using Classroom without students joining it.

  1. Personal Organization (Lesson Planning)
  2. Document Use
    1. Docs (Word)
    2. Sheets (Excel)
    3. Slides (PPT)
    4. Drawings (insert)
    5. Forms (tests/quizzes)
  3. Distribution
    1. Share Link
    2. Google Sites

Personal Organization

Using Classroom for your own personal organization of Lesson Plans is still a great idea. You can write out all your lessons, notes about the content, and any links you want to share with the class.

(This is actually how I give many of my presentations on Google – because no students are “joining” the class, but I still want to use Classroom.)

Sharing & Distribution

You’ll still be able to “Share” Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms by clicking the blue Share button in the upper-right corner of any page. You can use Google’s built-in URL shortener, or another one like https://is.gd/ which allows you to customize the link text. Then, write the shortlink on the board to give students access.

Here are some suggestions for how to use and Share each Google Doc type with students who aren’t in your class:

  • Docs: Share test reviews, directions for written assignments, or your syllabus
  • Sheets: Share vocabulary lists, calendars, or schedules
  • Slides: Share your lecture slides, or play PPT games
  • Drawings: Share teacher-created flowcharts and illustrations
  • Forms: You can still share surveys or quizzes and students will be able to do those on their mobile devices. (I’ve used this in large classes of 40 students to quickly “collect” and grade homework.)
  • Sites: And if you want to remove the middleman altogether (the shortened URL you write on the board), create a Google Site and update the assignments and links in there. Then students will only need to know ONE link throughout the semester where they can find all their assignments.


This is only the tip of the iceberg for the kinds of things Google can do for your classroom. Here are two more ways to become a Google Education pro.

  1. Watch FREE video training on ANY Google product
  2. Get Certified!