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Google Classroom in the Library

Dear Dr. Laura

Forgive me for bragging, but I just passed my Google Educator Level 1 Certification exam! It was intense! I came in just under the 3-hour time limit. Phew! So, now I want to tackle using Google Classroom in my elementary library? Do you have any ideas to share?

A G-Certified! Librarian

Hi and congratulations on your new certification. That’s one I’ve knocked out too. So, I understand your pride! I actually did my 3-year renewal last month and was very relieved the renewal was a much simpler process. YAY!

So, let’s start brainstorming. I assume you are working hard to be a teacher-librarian who partners with the teachers. So, you could think about Google Classroom a couple of ways.

You might want to set up classes on your own for each of your classes. That way you can push out content to your classes just like the classroom teachers do. Possibly you have made all of your OPAC and database trainings in video format. You can store those videos in your Google Drive and quickly link to them in any of your Google Classrooms. You can share research project resources, a Google Form, and any other resource you have access to.

Or you might want to ask the teacher to add you as a co-teacher so you can help on their research projects. Or, if the teachers haven’t caught on how to use Google Classroom, you might want to add them as a co-teacher once you have things running. Either way Google Classroom is an awesome way to collaborate with other educators. It shows you want to be an instructional partner, which I think is a highly valuable way to be seen.

Some librarians use Google Classroom for their book clubs. Students can be added to a book club across grade levels and across classrooms. There are no restrictions on who you can add. The book club can be totally virtual or hybrid. Maybe you set up some questions or activities for students to do before you meet in person. Students can post answers to your questions and even respond to one another, practicing digital citizenship.

If you use centers/station rotations/blended learning in your library, you could have Google Classroom set up to share one or more of the stations. Maybe the students are watching Storyline Online through a link you shared in Google Classroom. Possibly you’ve shared a link to a digital breakout as a center.

Another idea is to actually create a Google Classroom where the teachers are the students in your class. This would be a quick and easy way for you to share news and announcements with your colleagues! It’s in a secure environment, so you could share any kind of information that is only for your colleagues. Whenever you post something new, the teachers will get an email alert that something new is waiting for them.

So many options! I think once you get started with some of these basic ideas, you will soon start thinking of more creative ways to use Google Classroom. If you begin creating your lessons in Google Drive, you will have access to all of your awesome resources in a flash! Create them once and keep tweaking them for improvement. You can easily link your masterpieces to any Google Classroom time after time.

Thanks for reaching out and congratulations!

Dr. Laura

PS. If you work in a Microsoft district, listen to this podcast where Julie Hembree talks about getting organized with Google Teams.

Checkout this podcast! The Librarian Influencer of the Week is Vilia Garcia from Harlingen CISD in Harlingen, Texas. She just wrapped up her 10th year as a school librarian with experience in middle school and a comprehensive high school. Over time, she has started seeing her classroom is everyone on campus, not just the students.

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