This frustration has been [mostly] resolved through the addition of the new “topics” feature of Google Classroom.
Topics help group related classroom information. Announcements, questions, and assignments can all be tagged with a topic.
- Only the teacher can create a topic
- Only one topic is allowed per post
- Topics are automatically listed on the left side of the stream for both teachers and students.
- Topics CAN be renamed and deleted the teachers
The topic feature can be very helpful and powerful if used wisely. Here are some key ideas to consider:
- Limit your topics - the more you have, the less useful they are.
- A topic should be broad enough to encompass a significant number of classroom announcements, assignments, etc. If there is only a couple of posts, it’s probably not a topic.
- Plan your topics early.
- Create an announcement
- Add a title (doesn’t matter what it is, we won’t be posting it).
- Create your first topic.
- Save the announcement as a draft.
- Click the drafts bar in the stream and edit the annoucement that you just saved as a draft.
- Create another topic.
- Repeat steps 3-6 until all of your topics have been created. When complete, delete the draft announcement.
Not sure how to use topics in your classroom? Here are some ideas to consider
- Create a topic for each subject area that you teach during the day. This is especially helpful for elementary teachers.
- Create a topic for each unit in your course.
- Create a topic for major assignments that require multiple parts, steps, instructions, announcements, etc (e.g. a research project).
- Create generic topics: classwork, homework, announcements, resources