Starting with  Google Apps and Google Classroom for Remote Learning Q&A. And some tips

This is a work in progress. I’ll be adding more answers when I come upon an issue. If you have a question and you don’t see the answer, please leave a comment.

I remember the time when I was contemplating if I should bother with Google Classroom. It was a couple of years ago, I wasn’t sure I want to make the parents deal with yet another thing, I wasn’t sure I’m so fond of the idea that my kids would spend even more time on devices but I have an innate curiosity about technology and I decided I’ll just see how it works.
And I LOVED it and I’ve been using it ever since.

Unfortunately, today this is not even a choice for a lot of teachers. 🙁 I get questions about Resources for Google Apps every day, from basic support ones to people who have no idea where to start.

I’m writing this post to compile the answers to the most frequently asked questions. It is basically FQA in a way but I also add some tips from my own experience.

* The order of the question is not the sequence of events when you start using Google Classroom, they are in order of most frequently asked.

Students can’t move the piece. When they tap on the picture they are taken to the next slide!

This may happen on a mobile device. Your phone or tablet will open the resource though Google Drive but in order to use it as an interactive activity, you need to open it through Google Slides. If you haven’t downloaded it specifically, you most likely don’t have it on your device.

SOLUTION: Download the Google Slides App from the app store. The fact that you can open the resource does not mean you have it installed. Please go to the store and check. It’s free.

When children move the pieces around they move on the other kids’ work as well?

The way Google App activities work is not like other online activities. These are basically files on Google Drive that we use as teaching resources.
This means that if you just share a link to a resource with all your kids, they get to work on the SAME file. Which is an awesome feature for teamwork or group projects but not what you need for individual practice?

SOLUTION: The best one is to use Google Classroom. Not only it is the easiest to assign the files to the kids and just choose ‘Make a copy for each student’ but also you have all the assignments organized. If for some reason you are not using Google Classroom (and if you plan to assign more than one file with your kids and teach more than 2 kids :), I suggest just go for it now better than later) you can always make the copies yourself and share with the kids. This is a good option if you have just a couple of kids but for a whole class, it would be a lot of work.

How Do I share Google Slides in Google Classroom

  • Click ‘ + Create’ button and choose ‘Assignment’
  • Type in the title and if additional instructions besides the file are needed

How to set up Google Classroom

I was contemplating creating a video on this but there are so many awesome videos on the same topic out there already, that I decided just to share one of the best I found.

You can find more on youtube if you think you need a bit more info.

What can I share through Google Classroom?

You can share almost any kind of assignment.
The resources I use the most are Google Slides and Google Forms, as well as links to other activities and videos. I work mostly with young kids and any more complicated tasks such as research or answering multiple questions in a text file format are not possible without parent involvement.

I’m sure once you set up several sample assignments and go through the features, you will come up with ideas of your own. Then there are a lot of ready-to-use resources on and a lot of videos with ideas on youtube.

I have a personal Google account and a teaching Google account. How not to mix them up.

Some people have used their personal Google account for TpT. Then they have to share TpT resources thought their teacher’s account. How to do it.

First of all, although Google gives you the option to use several accounts and switch between them, I find it easier to completely separate mine.
How to do it – well, I use two browsers. I use Google Chrome by default for most of my stuff and then I use Mozilla for only my additional Google account, In this way, I never mix up anything. You don’t need this step but I just find it useful.

How to use the resource in another account.
If you have the link for it in a .pdf file, just open it when signed on the respective account.
If you get the file directly through TpT, just share it with yourself, meaning your other account, and then work with it for your teaching.

You can use one Google Slide activity for several assignments

*The next idea may not be applicable to everybody’s resources. I haven’t seen terms including this but I think some people may have an issue with it, so it’s a good idea to ask before doing it.

You can split a resource into several parts. Let’s say you have a resource you want to assign for homework with 30 slides. Now for my kids, this will be too much. I just assign as many pages a time, as I think they can manage.

HOW TO: Make a copy of the resource. MAKE SURE you always keep a MASTER COPY untouched for you may accidentally delete slides and have no way of getting them back. I have a folder with all resources from where I make copies by topic and lesson and then assign.
Make a copy for day 1 – and delete all the slides you don’t need. Simple as that!

You can combine activities from several files into one.

*This again may not be applicable to everybody’s resources. I haven’t seen terms including this but I think some people may have an issue with it, so it’s a good idea to ask before doing it.

This is similar to the above idea but takes it to the next level. Let’s say you want to assign several different activities from several files but you want them to be neatly ordered in ONE FILE for you to assign and for the kids to complete.

Decide what slides you will use from each file.
Star with the first.
Delete the slides you don’t need.
Then from the ‘File’ menu choose ‘Import Slides’. Choose the resource and the pages you want to add. I include the instruction slides before every activity as well.
Assign the activity.
It’s a great idea to use the date in the title so it will be easier to keep track.

Starting with Google Apps and Google Classroom for Remote Learning Q&A. And some tips