I will start off by saying I absolutely LOVE Google Classroom. Before Google Classroom, I was a huge fan of Edmodo and Schoology, but moving to classroom last year was one of the best improvements I’ve seen in instructional technology, especially now that I’m using more digital resources with my curriculum.
Everything is streamlined into one place, and my only hang up with this was that sometimes students didn’t scroll down far enough to find what they needed. This was especially true when I would get post happy on a weekend. Edmodo used to have a filter feature that I loved that they later did away with. Luckily, Google Classroom already has something similar in place. Enter: Topics!
Now I can organize all of my unit resources into one tag, and students can find that information really easily, saving them time, and me multiple emails.
When uploading any content or assignment, make sure to assign it a topic. You can pick from a list you’ve already created or create a new Topic. I like to create my Topics ahead of time that way it’s easier to go in and choose, and to prevent myself from over organizing. I tend to stick to larger unit topics, unless it’s a special type of assignment. For our study on Allegory of the Cave, we had way more information posted than I anticipated, so I made a Topic just for Plato.
What is great about this super quick tip is that students can find information quickly, and it filters out distractions of other things that may be in the feed. I’ve noticed my students will give up if they can’t find something within seconds, claiming they just couldn’t find it.
It absolutely amazes me how far we’ve come from creating multiple wikispace pages to filtering out information at the touch of a button. If you use Google Classroom and you aren’t already using Topics, give it a try today!