I recently decided to look into Google Classroom...we have a big test coming up (our state is a SMARTER Balance state) and students will need to be prepared to type their responses.
We tried it for the first time this week and it went well! (FYI, I am recommending this because I had such an easy time with it-not because Google is giving me anything-they don't know I exist...unless they Google themselves and this pops up :)
The first thing I had to do was to set up my classroom. You do need to have a Google Education account, so you may need to talk to someone of authority :)
There are two ways you can add students-by having them input a code, or inviting them through email. (The kids will need an email address too-our district set one up for every student)
I chose to invite my kids via email-I figured it would be easier and they would just have to click on a link. (Which means I scrolled through allllll the students in the district to get their email addresses-but as it was alphabetized by first name, I was able to scroll through very quickly!)
Once all that is organized (and Google gives you a nice tour), you can set up different assignments and things for the students to do-you can even do announcements.
Google has different ways you can set up assignments-I choose to add mine through Drive.
I typed up a prompt and saved it in my Drive-and kept it simple for our first time!
I went into the assignment tab and added it.
Once we had finally gotten everyone signed into the right place, all they had to do was double click the assignment and it opened up for them to type.
Students can click on it when they're done, and it'll ask for a confirmation.
They can cancel if they remember if they want to add, or they can go whole hog and click ok.
On my site, it shows in real time who turned it in and who hasn't.
The only thing I don't like (and I've left feedback, so it may change), is that even though you can assign a grade to the right, you can't add your own rubric or create your own scale. (If you use it and leave feedback too, this will probably be even more likely to change!)
But, if you use traditional scales, they already have those ready for you.
I really liked using this, and I feel the possibilities are endless! Using Drive, you could create quizzes for students to do (and have them graded through forms!), as well as a multitude of other things.
I hope you find success with this!
Smiles and Sunshine,