As a technology coach, I often struggle to find the best way to share resources with my teachers. Unfortunately, I’m not in the building every day to meet with every teacher. I want to provide meaningful PD regularly, but time is always an issue – for me and them.
This year I took a different approach and created a Google Classroom for all my teachers. On the first day I met with departments, I showed them how to access Google Classroom, which many had never seen, and helped them to get registered into my PD classroom. I chose this method for a few reasons.
1. It creates a warehouse for me to store tools for my teachers and I treat the “Announcements” like a blog post.
But I only share the essential points in these Announcements. I tend to post handouts that are “How To’s” for teachers so that when they have time to access the information, they are able to learn about new resources. Some are Google related, but others are Web 2.0 tools that I like and find valuable in the classroom.
I share in the Announcement sections WHY teachers should want to explore these tools and the attached handouts or videos show HOW to set them up. I have a specific shared folder setup in my Google Drive that houses all of the handouts, presentations, and resources, but Google Classroom is the central location where I post that information.
I have linked my shared Google Drive folder to the Classroom so that teachers can always go back to access any of those items, even if they get lost in The Stream in Classroom.
2. Using Google Classroom for PD lets me model different ways to set up their Classrooms for students.
I want them to see it’s not just a place to post Assignments. I can demonstrate posting resources as Announcements, as well as posing Questions for them to answer. I can share resource videos and links to outside web content. I use Google Classroom to drive them to the instruction that I want them to get.
Also, I have my Classroom set up so that all students can post and comment, which allows my teachers to leave feedback about resources they’ve explored and start discussions with each other. I want them to see that Classroom provides a place for them to house their lessons with students, both for each class session, as well as for those students that were absent.
3. Google Classroom sends notifications.
As mentioned, some of these teachers are not sure where to even start. Whenever I post things, Classroom will send each teacher a notification that there is something new for them to view. This peaks their interest about the topic and drives them to Classroom to check out the resources.
Unfortunately, Classroom sends notifications as emails, which teachers (or students) can just delete or turn off. I can’t help that, but I do have people that use it as their check-in or who will stop by and ask me about the resource. After I post something new, I tend to follow up over the next few days to see if they’ve accessed the resources and if they need additional help.
Try implementing Classroom with your staff. Google has a quick about page that will help you get started. While I know many of the staff members I work with haven’t been into the Classroom since their first visit, I do know that many others are in all the time. My goal is to keep it current and relevant.
Stay tuned for Part 2 – Creating Mini PD Packages in Google Classroom – What to include in an Announcement.
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