Day 7 of Google: Google Classroom – Creating to Accessing Student Work

On the seventh day of Google, we will take a look at Google Classroom.

To think that teachers once collected student work via a shared document embedded in an email every time they completed something OR by filling out a Google Form to submit work. Google Classroom has been great for being that one central place where students and teachers can easily find necessary documents. But, do you know the following…

Students ‘Turning In’ Work
You probably already know that there are two ways that you can create an assignment for students to complete through Google Classroom:

1. Provide a ‘template’ for student and choosing the ‘Make a Copy for Each Student’ – this method is great so that student get their own electronic copy of a task you want them to complete. This method will automatically name the file for them (with their name in the title). Google Classroom will also provide a ‘Turn In’ button on the top right corner of the Google Doc, Slide, etc for when the student is ready to turn in the assignment. Another great piece to this is that you as the teacher can view what the student is doing with their assignment prior to the due date. This can be very beneficial for situations where you want to provide feedback prior to a due date.

2. Provide the assignment for the students but do not provide a template. At times, this makes sense to not give a template as you want students to use their own creativity/thought process to demonstrate competency. What many students will do is go to Google Drive and create a new file from there. Then when the assignment is due, they will open up Google Classroom and add their Google Document to the assignment.

BUT…did you know that there is a more efficient way to make this work? If a student is turning in an assignment to you and the final product will be a Google product, have the students create the file right from the assignment. The advantage to this process is that you as the teacher will be able to see what the student is doing with their work throughout their thought process. Also, a ‘Turn In’ button will then show up in the document. In other words, a similar situation to the one listed in the first example.

Accessing Student Work
Did you know you can access all student work for a particular assignment from a folder in your Google Drive.

  • Open up the assignment you want to access student work
  • Click on the assignment folder icon
  • Google Drive will open up in a new tab – right in the folder of student work
For some staff, they actually prefer seeing the assignments in this view.

To Do List
Don’t forget that Google Classroom can also let you know what you have left on your To Do List in regards to reviewing work (if you are a teacher) and completing tasks (if you are a student). If you are a teacher for some classrooms and a student for others, you will have two To Do Lists.

To find your To Do List, select the ‘Hamburger’ Icon on the top left corner. Then scroll down until you find your To Do List. This can be helpful in letting you know what has to be reviewed from all of your classes in one screen. As make sure that your students are aware that this feature exists for them with the tasks that they have to complete.

And that is my Spiel…

Day 6 of Google: Google Drive – Location of Files

Google Drive ( is the hub of where all your documents live. You are able to create folders and have documents be located in those folders. You are also able to share these files very easily with other colleagues to streamline collaboration. 
Sure you might have been using this product for some time, but did you know the following:
File ‘Living’ in Multiple Folders
You do have the ability for files to live in multiple places in your Google Drive. However, note that by using this feature you are not ‘making a copy’ of a document. Instead you are allowing Google to place a file in two different spots. This will mean that if you make a change to the file from one folder, it will make the change in both places.
To place the file in two different locations, 
  • Select the file that you want to be located in two different places (only click once – don’t double click)
  • Hit the keys “Shift” and “z”
  • Pop up window will then ask you to determine what folder you want the file to also live in (note – you can create a folder right on the spot as well if you don’t have one already made to add it to)
  • Select the green “Add” button 
The Green add button is something completely different from what you are used to seeing. Normally we are used to seeing a blue move button. This is so that you clearly know that you are doing something different – you are adding the file to another location.

File Location While in a Document

Next to the tile of a file, you will notice that there is a folder icon. If I know that I have not moved this file into a particular folder ahead of time, I could click on the folder icon and actually move it to a particular folder (while inside of the document).  
Recently, Google made it even easier for you to locate where in Drive a particular file can be found. Whenever you select the tile of the document, Google will let you know where that file is located right next to the folder icon. This is new! You can still move the file if you want to. Just click the folder icon and determine where you want to move it. 
And that is my Spiel…

Day 5 of Google: Providing Feedback in Google Docs

On the fifth day of Google, we will explore around with feedback in Google Docs.

One of the hardest parts with teachers transitioning to online work can be providing feedback electronically. I can see the point. It is really easy to write over text, underline, cross out, etc using paper and pencil. Edtechteam is trying to help teachers with the transition with a Chrome extension called CheckMark.

This extension has pre-determined, common remarks that teachers would be apt to include in a comment to a student. Rather than having the teacher taking the time to type the comment out, with the click of a button, a teacher is able to provide that same feedback without all of the extra clicks/keyboard hits necessary to make it happen.

How it Works:

  • Get the chrome extension HERE
  • Open up a Google Document you want to provide feedback
  • Select the extension (it will turn green) indicating you want to use its features while in the document
  • When you want to provide feedback, double click on a word, phrase, or statement. Then determine which comment you want to use.
Once you continue to use the extension, you will notice that numbers will show up in each comment. Based on the number of comments for a particular skill that you have added/marked, that number will adjust. In other words, if you used the comment, “S” for Check Spelling three times throughout the paper, the number will show up in the comment as a three. This can be helpful in letting you know what skill the student needs assistance with.
Right now, the extension comes with pre-determined comments. You will need to familiarize yourself with them prior to using to help make you be more efficient with your feedback. The company has said that you cannot add your own comment shortcut yet.
And that is my Spiel… 

Day 4 of Google: Google Calendar

On the fourth day of Google, we will look at Google Calendar.

Google Calendar (web version) has recently received an upgrade to mimic the mobile version of Google Calendar. Don’t have the new Google Calendar? Select the blue icon on top right that says Use New Calendar. I am a big fan of the refreshed look.

One change, is that you are able to gain more real-estate on the screen. By selecting the hamburger icon on the top left corner, you can determine whether or not you want the small month calendar and list of calendars you follow to appear or disappear.

Keyboard Shortcuts
In the change, I stumbled upon shortcuts that pertain to Google Calendar. I don’t believe that these shortcuts are now, just never thought to look them up to use.

For instance, with the click of a number between 1-4 you are able to switch between different views of the calendar on your screen. You can also use d for day view, w for week view and m for month view.

Other Keyboard shortcuts of potential interest

Mobile Version of Calendar

For those of you who have Google Calendar on your mobile device, you have the ability to set a Goal. Google Calendar will then schedule sessions for you to reach that particular goal. You have the ability to say you want to exercise, build a skill, be with family & friends, have time to your self, or organize your life.

Let’s say I want to have Google Calendar help me build a skill. I tell Calendar what I plan on doing, indicate how often I want it to be done (once a week, every day, etc), indicate for how long I want to do it for, and indicate when the best time would be. Calendar will then look at my calendar to find a time slot to add that particular skill into my day. If I don’t like what it came up with, I can make the change.

And that is my Spiel…

Day 3 of Google: Exploring with Google Trends

On the third day of Google, we will explore Google Trends…

Google Trends ( is relatively new to me and I have not explored all of its capabilities yet, however I do see the value with this tool. I feel as though Google Trends could be applied to different curriculum.

Once you get to the website, you will notice that Google provides featured items as well as stories that are trending on that particular day. As I write this blog post (Thursday, Dec 7, 2017), I am seeing Alabama Senate seat info, Holiday shopping, Grammy Awards, and National Pear Harbor Remembrance Day.

When we first explored with Google Trends, the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving, we were diving deep into Thanksgiving. This is what we discovered, Thanksgiving 2017. It was cool to see things like:

  • top searched pies by state
  • top searched Thanksgiving recipes
  • top searched Thanksgiving questioning
  • searches for Friendsgiving (on the rise)
You can either look at what is trending or you can search your for specific content. 
I can see some interesting conversations coming out of searching trends. NOTE: Data changes from one day to the next due to what is trending – thus you might see different results from the last time you looked at a particular topic.
And that is my Spiel…