|image from classroom.google.com|
"Is there a way to use Google Classroom for staff communications?"My answer: "yes, Yes, YES!!!"
Google Classroom is a GREAT tool to create a private school environment to share documents, ideas, and announcements with staff!
UPDATE: Google Classroom will be updating this summer. I'm told that if you create a Google Classroom environment prior to the rollout of the update you'll have to use the old version all year long. However, you can sign up to be a beta tester and gain early access to the new features. It takes about a week for approval, but it's worth it!
Ideas for using Classroom with staffHere are some ideas you might consider:
- Enrolling Staff: Set up a Google Classroom environment and either enter all of the names of your staff, or email them the class code to self-enroll
- Create separate Classroom "classes" for each grade level, team or department, then post items to multiple "classes" ...OR...
- Create a single Classroom "class" for the school, and post items to specific "students" if needed
- Add Assistants as Co-Teachers so they can post, too. This is a nice way to demonstrate shared leadership in larger schools.
- Remember that each time you create a Classroom environment you also create
- a shared Google Drive folder that holds all documents you post,
- a shared Google Calendar that appears for all of your "students"
- an email every time you post something to the Stream
- a backchannel that allows your "students" to post comments and reply to others who comment
- an easy way to email staff from the Students page
- Use the About page to post documents that teachers will need to refer to all year long (Think permission slips, handbooks, etc.)
- Use an Announcement to post weekly staff bulletins as a Google Doc - or even a YouTube video!
- Staff will then receive an email with a link each time you post
- You can schedule the announcement to appear at a regular time, and just update the Google Doc as needed throughout the week
- Use an Assignment to distribute materials that staff must address
- This is a great way to flip your staff meetings!
- You can instruct staff to "Turn In" an assignment by a due date you set as evidence of having viewed/read material prior to a meeting
- Use the Create Question feature to get quick feedback from staff
- Create different Topics for posts to allow for quick access to various posts, like...
- Weekly Bulletin
- Staff Meeting
- School Improvement Plan
- Climate & Culture
- ... etc... each school is different, so make to reflect your needs!
RESOURCESThe amazing Alice Keeler has an extensive list of Google Classroom ideas, and has written a book that I highly recommend: 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom.
Here's a great blog post entitled "Meet Your Staff Where They Are: Streamlining with Google Classroom" that looks at some other aspects of this idea.
Here's a great YouTube Video showing how a school principal in Kentucky implemented the concept. (screencast starts at about the 19 min 30 sec point)