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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Share to Classroom Gets Your Students on the Same Page - Best of 2015-16 School Year

All of this week I am on the road working with teachers in Texas, Kansas, and Arizona. Rather than scrambling to write blog posts at the end of each day, I'm taking this time to feature some of the most popular posts and new tools of the 2015-2016 school year.

One of the most frustrating experiences you can have in a classroom is trying to get twenty-seven kids to land on the same webpage at the same time. Nothing can kill the momentum of a lesson like having to spend five minutes saying, "click here" or "you mistyped the address" to a bunch of students while the rest of the class is ready to move forward. Over the years I've put shortened URLs on my whiteboard for kids to copy, posted links on my blog and told students to go there to click a link, and I've used QR codes to direct students to webpages. While all three methods have been helpful, none has been perfect. Now there is a new method that I'm excited to try.

Share to Classroom is a new Google Chrome extension designed to make easy for teachers to direct students to specific webpages. With the Share to Classroom extension installed you will be able to push webpages to your students' devices by simply opening the extension and specifying which of your Google Classroom classes you want to receive the page. Students do not need to do anything because the page will automatically load in their web browsers. You can also have students push pages to you. 

For Share to Classroom to work both the teacher and students need to have the extension installed. And, of course, both teachers and students will have be signed into their Google Accounts associated with Google Classroom.

GAFE domain administrators can install the extension for all users in their domains by following the directions outlined here.