Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Post: Create a Classroom Repository: Share Lessons, Assignments and Questions Between Teachers



What is a Classroom Repository?

I love Google Classroom for so many reasons. How students and teachers and have discussions, share resources, give and receive feedback well beyond the walls and timeframe of the classroom and across all device platforms. One complaint I have received for a long time was that Classroom didn't have a way to load a class module or template of already created posts, assignments, questions like Moodle, Blackboard or some of the other learning platforms.

I was co-teaching in some science classrooms and they were voicing the issue on having to recreate assignments between peers. Sure, you could share attachments in Drive, but how could you share fully crafted assignments? Having every teacher be a co-teacher of each other's classrooms was not the answer for many reasons. Then I thought of it....

I created a classroom called Archive Physical Sci Repository for Lessons (ok, the first was a little long) and another called Archive Biology Repository. I set up and posted one announcement, that explained what the Repository classroom was for (sharing created assignments, questions or announcements between teachers of the same subject, grade or area) and directions on how to use it to add or pull content. Only teachers in that subject, grade or area (depending on what it was for) would be made co-teachers so the magical 20 teacher limit wouldn't be an issue. 

Adding and Pulling Lessons from the Repository


To use a lesson from the Repository is simple, you do the same as using a lesson from an older Archived Classroom. Just go to the class that the lesson needs to go to, click the "RE-USE Post" button, choose the Repository class for that subject and pull in the assignment. 


To post assignments created back into the Repository requires just a few more detailed steps, clicking "Re-Use Post", pull from their classroom, check off the "Create new attachments" box but then SAVE AS DRAFT. This isn't really a classroom so there isn't a reason to Assign or Post but more because if an assignment is posted/assigned, some edit options are no longer available for attachments. If you leave it as a draft, the person going to re-use it in their class can decide how they want to share the attachment, topic, and so forth.
Other Tips and Uses

 I had made the classes under a Google Admin account or Resource account so it would be the owner of the Repository classrooms instead of my individual account. Remember also that only 20 teachers can be added as co-teachers which is why we broke ours down by subject area instead of just by department.

This ends up being a great way to share already crafted content between teachers, new staff, club leaders, or to create templates to share in other ways. With this step, classroom just got even better as a tool for educators.

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