Schoolwide Google Classroom to Promote School Events and Interaction

I had big plans last year: My school would create a Google Classroom for the entire staff. Admin would notify us about upcoming events. We would share resources. We would have conversations that were organized under a topic in Classroom rather than lost in email thread.

Yes, our Dean posted some resources in Classroom, at least for a while. But she found emailing the lesson was much more effective. Yes, we did poll teachers about the School yearbook cover. But, basically, whole staff Google Classroom failed.


Teachers understandably turned off email notifications. Their 6 single subject classes were turning in volumes of work.

Teachers visited Google Classroom's main page but had no prompts to open the staff classroom.
Teachers still love old-fashion email.

Despite this failure, my principal approached me about creating a Google Classroom for students. Students would create digital portfolios, track their data, and, most importantly, reflect on their progress in a grade level Google Classroom.

I love this idea! But would it fail too?  The Google Classrooms for Staff and Students idea needed to evolve to make it successful.

That evolution occurred after a fellow #teamBCSD EdTech Yoda approached me with an idea to improve class-to-parent communication. Even after discussing Google Classroom's fall update where parents and guardians will be kept in the loop with email digests, I was still intrigued with her idea: Use the Google Calendar that is automatically created in Google Classroom.

Now I have a new, evolved plan:

In Google Classroom, create separate Google Classrooms for Staff and grade levels. Post Assignments or Questions with due dates, NOT Announcements. This will automatically add the "event" to the Class Google Calendar.

You can even schedule "events" with Assignments & Questions. Questions can be used to Poll students and  encourage student feedback. Add the assignment (event) to multiple classes at the same time.

Commenting will be limited. Directions and resources will be placed in the ABOUT tab.

But that is not the beauty! The true beauty is that the assignment and questions are automatically added to the Class Google Calendar. Simply edit the title and clarify the date and time. Then invite teachers and students as guests so that reminders notifications are automatically sent to their email or phone! Add program time attachments!

Lastly, make the Calendar public and post for parents and community members.

The best part is when teachers and students open the Google Classroom main page, upcoming events show up. As the event date approaches, invited guests receive email notifications. When parents have questions, the information is located in one place.

My big plans for last year were not a complete failure. Instead, they are getting better.

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An in-depth explanation of each feature can be found in the following presentation:

Tweet: Schoolwide #GoogleClassroom to Promote School Events and Interaction #GoogleCalendar


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