Google Classroom for Parents
Google Classroom is an easy to use online tool that allows teachers to send information to students in their classes. Sometimes, this will be simple class messages (“Don’t forget to come to the revision session tomorrow lunchtime”), but more often it will be instructions and resources for homework.
Your son has a Google Classroom “class” for all of the subjects on their timetable. By logging in to the Google Classroom website in a web browser , they can see all of the “announcements” (messages) and “assignments” (homework) that their teachers have sent them. There is also a handy “To do” list (and a longer term calendar) that collects all of their upcoming homework deadlines in one place. They can also set up notifications and reminder emails, to help them to never miss a deadline. Why not ask your son to show you Google Classroom from their account, so you can better understand what they experience when they use it?
As a parent, you do not have the same level of access to Google Classroom. However, the school can associate your email address(es) with your son’s Google Classroom account as a “guardian”. This means that you will be sent a summary email (daily or weekly, as you choose) which includes all of the announcements and assignments by class. This is very useful, in particular, in helping students with their homework and guiding them in managing their time and meeting deadlines. More info about Google guardians can be found here.
Guardian email summaries include:
- Missing work—Work that’s late at the time the email was sent
- Upcoming work—Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or work that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails)
- Class activity—Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my son have so much overdue homework?!
When you receive your summary emails from Google Classroom, listed first are any homework pieces that Google Classroom thinks are overdue (ie not done). This list can be quite long and, as a parent, it can be quite alarming to see. However, it doesn’t mean that your son hasn’t done their homework!
Some teachers recording homework on Google Classroom are not collecting it (electronically) via Google Classroom. Google Classroom is therefore unaware of whether the homework has been submitted or not. We are trying to encourage students to click the “Mark as done” button that appears on the homework task in their Google Classroom once they have completed it. Some students are getting very good at remembering to do this, but some are still forgetting. If you are seeing a long list of “missing” homework in your email summaries, please first ask your son if they are remembering to do their Google Classroom housekeeping before worrying that they have not done their work.
Do I need a Gmail address to be invited?
No! You can use your current email address to receive an invitation. However we would recommend creating a Google account in order to have the option to choose how often you would like to receive summaries.
You don’t need Gmail to create the account—you can create a Google Account with your current email address. A Google Account allows you to set the frequency of your emails, update your locale, and view all students connected to your account.
To create your Google Account, click here and just follow the onscreen instructions. When you receive the invitation from your student’s teacher(s), you will then be able to configure your summaries as you wish.
Why can't I see any attachments?
Lots of announcements and assignments posted by teachers will include attachments or web links. Unfortunately, these are not shared with parents in their summary emails. You will need to access Classroom via your son’s account to see these.