Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Google Classroom Make Google Drive Work For Students

Google Classroom is almost  one-year-old already and it has already made an impact on many classrooms. It is still maturing and being improved, but you may find that it will help you do great things with Google Drive and your students.

We have created a training document that can step a teacher through getting Google Classroom setup to use with students.  You might find it very helpful in getting started on your own: .

Probably the biggest feather in Classroom's hat is that it helps organize documents shared with students.  By sharing documents within assignments, Classroom will place the new document in a folder in the student's folder (created by Classroom) and include the student's name in the document filename.  This standardization will help the teacher to file locations for all students in the class.

Classroom is able to change ownership of student work.  When students Turn In assignments to the teacher, the teacher becomes the owner and can grade/comment on the work. Students can get the paper back to continue editing it, but it again changes the ownership and will be reflected in the Turn In date recorded by Classroom.

There are almost too many ways to share conversations between teacher and student.  Classroom discussions can be shared in the main class stream. Students can comment on the assignment directly to the teacher before turning it in when it is turned in and after it is turned in. 

One of the last updates opened the door to having multiple teachers in one classroom and allows for saving assignments as drafts.  Saving drafts is incredibly valuable since you can pre-create several assignments and publish them when you are ready.

There is much more to Google Classroom.  Check out the training document linked to above or contact Instructional Technology for personalized on-campus training.

Do you have experience with Google Classroom? What worked well for you? What did you have to problem-solve? Share your experience or questions below in the comments.

Safe Video Viewing In The Classroom?

Video used well in the classroom can both engage students and help the teacher express ideas in different ways. Showing the perfect instructional video with Party In Padre ads on the page, however, can be distracting and ruin the points being made.  There are some great tools that work well with YouTube that teachers can take advantage of. is a resource that allows you to not only block the ads, but present the video on the page all by itself.

Choose the color of the border around your video, give the video a new name and even choose beginning and ending points for your safe video.  (We suggest that you don't use SafeShare's download option, but instead use KeepVid to download your YouTube video. provides you with a URL that can be shared with students which presents the video with all of the settings you chose. is a different site that lets you download the video to your computer.  The best rule for using video with students is to plan for a busy network and use video from your computer rather than a web-streamed source.  KeepVid gives you options for downloading the video to your computer.

KeepVid provides a box to paste your YouTube link into before clicking the Download button. The result is a list of downloadable files.

The (Video Only) options are just that, videos that include no sound.  Those are actually fantastic resources for some class projects.  For example, have the students drop the video file into WeVideo and provide their own soundtrack that teaches the viewer a lesson!

We have provided an Anchor of Support that steps you through both of these online tools. Check out these Anchors: ( and (

How would you use these in your classroom? Do you use a different tool for sharing YouTube videos with students?  Leave a comment below to share!