Adventures in Google Classroomland: The Beginning

This is the first post in what will organically grow into some sort of blogging monster, on my first year as a GClassroom user.  Enjoy the ride. I survived the first day with no visible bruises.  

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I decided back during the summer to use Classroom as my LMS this year after years of using Moodle and Edmodo and piloting My Big Campus.  Since the district is now officially all GAFE, all the time, I might as well see what I can do with this so I can share it, in my capacity as Tech Liaison in my building, with my peers.  I’m not the only one trying this… we’re going to form a club, create an initiation rite, and have a secret handshake.

Friday, I set Chromebooks out in front of my 2nd period class and asked them to use their Google account information to log in.  They just received their account info about 2 weeks ago and one of my team members then took a day to make sure everyone could get in and we got all the account info straight, so after 10 minutes of “I don’t remember my email address” and “Mr. Silvas didn’t tell me what to do”, and me muttering about 8th graders who insist on not following instructions, we all finally settled on the Google Classroom landing page.

“Ok, class, see the plus sign in the upper right hand corner? Click on it please and add the code I have on the screen.”

Magically, as I sat and stared at my student list on my screen, 2nd period joined my Classroom.  So far, so good.  Giggles and oooo and ahhhs began to rise up from the depths of the room as they poked around the “tour” and finally noticed I had a question on the stream page.

“Holla if you see me!” it read.  The question was simple enough, “So, what are you going to do this weekend? I relaxed a bit more as they answered the question in the comment section, some of them inappropriately (of course), to which I simply commented on how we would be using this forum to work on our digital citizenship skills.  Several students agreed that SOME OF US needed to stop acting like 2 year olds. (love it)

phone apps
ok, not a great picture, but you get the idea.

We then took a few moments to go back to the apps “waffle” and poked around with each of the apps, many being happily shocked that they had email accounts and could “talk to me” on Hangout (that was fun, good grief!).  Everyone with phones spent a few minutes downloading Docs, Slides, Drive and Classroom and I showed them my phone and how I’d put all my GAFE icons on one window, easy peasy.

This happened the rest of the day with my other 4 classes.  I got reports back from other teachers as those who had phones were showing them what they’d learned about what they could do with their accounts.  We’re off to a good start.  Can’t wait to harass them with some “homework”….

Next week: The first assignment, oh my.