As more and more schools are switching to 1:1 settings or reducing paper allowances, it’s a very useful tool to be able to digitally “hand out” assignments and collect them, all without copying a single page! Check out these steps to get started!
Step 1: Find your resource to assign
Before we get into actually assigning anything, you need to make sure you know what you want them to do or just have your assignment in mind. If you don’t have anything handy to practice with, check out this freebie research poster project as we go through these steps!
Step 2: Get your pages
In many resources or .pdfs, there are more pages in the document than you would like your students to have access to. For example, all of my Spanish Holidays Interactive Map activities come with the graphic organizer and comprehension questions, but they also include an answer key for you (or your sub)! If you’re going to load that into Google Classroom, you really don’t want your students to have access to the answers.
There are several ways to split a .pdf document to separate the pages you want, but my favorite is simply Print to .PDF. Here’s how it works:
Open the PDF and click “Print”. In the space where you see your choice of printer, change from the default printer to “Save as PDF”. Select which pages you’d like to save.
I have a short video of me doing this on a Windows computer below, in case you’d like to see it!
Still not sure? Try YouTube searching “How to print to pdf on a (type of computer you have)” for a visual!
You may want to change the title of the document. For example, if the document was “LaTomatinaDigitalActivities”, you might want to rename it to “LaTomatinaDigitalActivitiesSTUDENTpages”, just to help you keep them straight.
Pay attention to where it’s saving, so it’s easy for you to find! You can save to Desktop, to Downloads, or just remember what you named it so you can search your files for it!
Step 3: Assign in Google Classroom or a SECURED Learning Management System
Now that you have your student pages, it’s time to assign it! It’s very important to remember when you’re loading a digital resource for your students that if you do not own the copyright to the resource you need to make sure you have permission to load it to the website. Ask the publisher, author, or creator to make sure it’s okay!
For my resources, I am okay with teachers loading it into a secured learning management system. This means that students need a password or code to be added to the class or page (like Google Classroom). Adding it to your school’s website is not acceptable, because that means it is open to the public. As always, if you have questions about a resource, reach out to the author and ask them before posting! Most authors have contact information within their resource, so look there if you’re not sure how to get ahold of them.
New to Google Classroom? Check out this video tutorial for how to assign something!
Step 4: Students Complete the Assignment
Okay! Now that you have your pages and have assigned the work, it’s the students’ turn to get down to it. There are several apps and options for how students can digitally “write” on a .pdf but the two standouts are Kami and Notability.
I found Kami to be incredibly user friendly. Students “grab” the document from Classroom, then add it to Kami. They add text boxes and type as needed to complete the assignment. Then, they save it and add it to their Classroom assignment and turn it in!
Step 5: Grading!
Once your students have completed the assignment and turned it in on your secured Learning Management System (like Google Classroom), it’s up to you to grade it! Use an included answer key, a rubric you’ve developed, or whatever is in line with your goals for that particular assignment.
Ta dah – all set!
I hope that was helpful as you are working on ways to move to a paperless classroom or as you transition to distance learning. Remember, YouTube is also a great resource if there’s something you don’t understand or need help with!