An Introduction to

Google Classroom

Oct. 25, 2016

In my opinion the best thing about Google Classroom is its simplicity and the power to do so much within that simple design.

The goal of this post is to introduce you to the basic features of Google Classroom.

There are 3 Parts to this Post:

  • Part 1: Creating a Class and Adding Students
  • Part 2: The General Layout of Google Classroom
  • Part 3: Adding Items.

To view a complete summary of this page in Slides format see the Google Classroom Introduction slideshow near the bottom of this post.

  • This is the same resource used at the EdTechTeam Victoria Summit in Nov. 2016

Part 1: Creating a Class and Adding Students

Creating a Class

  1. Go to Google Classroom
  2. Sign in using your GAFE account
  3. Go to the ‘+’ sign at the top right of the screen and select “Create Class”
  4. Give the class a name > section and subject area are optional
  5. Tada! - You have created your first class

Adding Students

To join your Google Classroom students will need to do the following:

  • Go to Google Classroom
  • Sign in using their GAFE account
  • Go to the ‘+’ sign at the top right of the screen and select “Join Class”
  • Type in the class code - this is shown on the Students tab in your view *see Part 2
    • You will need to post or project this code for them to see
  • Students are now enrolled in your class

Note: you can also add students manually by using the Invite Students button, searching their for their GAFE accounts, and sending them an email request.

PART 2: The Layout - TABS


The Stream is the main place you will post announcements, assignments, etc.

It runs the length-wise as a continuous page of information.


The student tab will display a list of all your students once they are enrolled in the class

*It is also the place where the class code is given (this is the code students use to join the class)


The about tab is a place for you to post course information

PART 3: Adding Items

When in the STREAM tab you will notice a ‘+’ circle in the lower right of your screen.

Clicking on this circle will provide you with a menu to post a variety of items on the STREAM.

Use this option when you don’t require students to submit anything into you.

Announcements let you give information items to the class.

You can attach files from your computer, files from Google Drive, Insert YouTube videos and/or links to other websites.

Common uses include examples, tutorial video links, or website links.

Use this option when you want students to hand something in to you

As with announcements you have the options of attaching files from your computer, files from Google Drive, inserting YouTube videos and/or links to other websites to you assignment posts.

What makes Assignments special are these two features:

  • It creates a place for students to hand in items to you.
  • It allows you to set options for how students receive documents (such as worksheets etc.)

Options include:

    1. Students can view file - students can view the document only
    2. Students can edit file - this will let students edit your ORIGINAL document
    3. Make a copy for each student - Google Classroom will automatically make a copy of the document for each student AND put their name on it! THIS IS MY FAVOURITE FEATURE OF GOOGLE CLASSROOM!

Note: Both Announcements and Assignments can be categorized by creating and assigning TOPICS. Topics are organized in their own area on the left side of the STREAM.

Allows you to post a short answer or multiple choice question to the entire class .

You also have the option of allowing students to respond to each other - great for facilitating discussions

The option allows you to repost an announcement, assignment, or question from any class you have in Google Classroom.

This is an invaluable time saver if you create a new Classroom each year!

Google Classroom Summary Presentation and Resource

Google Classroom Introduction

Final Throughts

Finally, I want to end with this personal thought on Google Classroom. It may surprise you, but the desire to use technology and GAFE has NOT been the driving factor behind the integration of Google Classroom into my daily teaching and lessons. The truth is, once I understood the basic in’s and out’s of the program countless ways to integrate it into my practice have presented themselves to me.

So my advice is this: Don’t try to find a way to fit Google Classroom into your current teaching practice, just keep the knowledge you have gained from reading this post in the back of your mind, and opportunities to use it will most certainly find you.