How Do I Grok It?

A Teacher Guide to Grok

Are you a teacher that's recently signed up to Grok? A massive Grok welcome to you!

You're probably wondering where to start. Never fear! Here is our ultimate Guide to Grokking like a pro.

GROK STEPS TO TEACHER SUCCESS

  1. Teacher verification
  2. Check out our courses
  3. Check out our resources
  4. Register students
  5. Assign courses
  6. View student progress

1. Verify yourself

Teacher verification is the very first thing you should do as a new Grok teacher!

Verification gives you access to sign up students and manage student accounts at your school. You’ll also receive FREE access to all of our materials, including problem solutions and teacher notes!

It's best if you add your full (legal) name and school email address to your account. This makes it easier for us to verify you. Follow the links below to find out more about Teacher Verification and how to request it. Once you've requested verification, it should only take a short time to process - keep an eye on your emails in case we need any extra information from you.

Becoming a verified teacher will allow you to register students, as well as access student data and manage accounts for all students enrolled at your institution - plus all the benefits of free teacher access.

We take the privacy of students very seriously. After you request verification, we'll contact your institution and confirm that you're a teacher there, and that you should have access to student data. For details on what data verified teachers can see, please see our Privacy Policy.

You'll receive an email once your verification has been processed.

School Teachers

If your school has SSO (Single Sign-On) then you will automatically be granted verification when you sign up. Otherwise, school teachers can request a verified teacher account by following these instructions.

Pre-service and Casual Teachers

If you need the full verified teacher benefits, simply follow the instructions for school teachers. We'll confirm with your school that you should have access to student data.

If you just need free teacher access, see How do I get a free teacher account?

Tertiary Teachers

Tertiary educators can't become verified teachers, but we provide many other benefits for universities and other higher education providers. For more details see our universities page.

For more details on what verified teachers have access to, see What is teacher verification?

1. Create a teacher account

Start at the create account page and then complete the registration form.

2. Add your school or institution to your account

You can do this from your account settings.

3. Request verification at your institution

In your account settings, click "Request verification" for your school or institution. Note that only users who are registered as a Teacher at their institution can request verification. If you are a Tertiary Educator needing verified teacher access please contact support@groklearning.com for further help.

What happens next?

We take the privacy of students very seriously. After you request verification, we'll contact your institution and confirm that you're a teacher there.

You'll receive an email once your verification has been processed.

What can I do as a verified teacher?

Verified teachers can sign up students, and manage student accounts at your school. You’ll also receive free access to all of our materials, including problem solutions and teacher notes!

For more details on what teachers have access to, see How do I get a free teacher account?

2. Check out our courses

Teacher verification is the very first thing you should do as a new Grok teacher!

Before you dive headfirst into teaching Grok, you'll want to familiarise yourself with our courses. You'll not only see the range of content we offer, you'll also try out our Learning Interface before your students do, so you can master it and show them how it's done.

All our courses are shown on your Launchpad. This is where you start every time you log into Grok. When you click on a course, you'll see the course outline, and a red button to enter the course. Now you're in the Learning Interface!

Our Learning Interface has been designed to be intuitive for students of all ages, but here are some quick tips to help you get the most out of it:

  • Most Grok courses have slides, containing notes and examples, and problems, where you need to write some code.
  • As a verified Grok teacher, on each problem you'll have access to a Teachers Notes tab, which contains suggestion of how to help your students if they need help with this problem.
  • The Solutions tab is usually only available after you've correctly solved a problem (this goes for your students too!).
  • Don't forget to Run your code before you Mark it! The Mark button is only available if you run your code after making changes, to encourage students to test their code themselves first.
  • When you mark, our auto-marker will give you feedback about your program. Read this feedback carefully, as it gives you hints about what to do next!

As for which courses to try out, here are our top 3 picks for new Grok teachers (plus a bonus for Aussie teachers). Or you can use the filters on the Launchpad to find a course that suits you!

Course

Monster Maker

Description

Create your own colourful critters with code! Use drag-and-drop blocks to write a program, learn about sequence and ordering, and create fun monster characters.

Why we like it

If you or your students are completely new to programming, this is the course for you. You don't even need to write code, just drag and drop code blocks to make a code recipe ("algorithm") which tells the computer what to do. Plus the monsters are super cute (even if we do say so ourselves)!

This course is designed for students with no prior experience with text programming, and is perfect for beginners of all ages. Python for Beginners is aligned with the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies for students in Grades 7 and above.

Python is our favourite general purpose programming language for students, because you can cover almost all areas of Digital Technologies with it, and it's easy to learn! This course covers the basics of writing code in Python.

A fast-paced introduction to programming with the BBC micro:bit. Learn how to program a micro:bit with our full micro:bit simulator. No experience (or wires!) required.

Using micro:bits is a great way to try out a different kind of programming but using the same Python language, so you're solidifying your knowledge. Plus it's always fun to play with something physical!

💡Cyber Security Challenges

To access a Cyber Security Challenge, students must be in grade 5 to 12 at an Australian school. The Cyber Security Challenges are subsidised and they're all free for your students to access.

The Cyber Security Challenges are hosted on Grok with all our other courses - check them out here.

Sequence of Learning

The sequence of learning is an aid that helps you find the appropriate level courses for the students you teach. We have a handy guide to help you get started with your class. This guide has a recommended sequence of learning by year stage, with a variety of options so you can tailor your program to your class.

For example, a good starting point for years 3 and 4 is our course Monster Maker, years 5 and 6 is Blockly Turtle, years 7 and 8 is Python Networking with micro:bit, and years 9 to 10 is our NCSS Challenge.

3. Check out our resources

Grok isn't just about our online courses - we also have a wide range of other resources. We have:

  • Unplugged activities for use in the classroom or at home,
  • Teaching Resources - including recordings of PD webinars, classroom posters, and guides to getting started in Digital Technologies

You can see all our resources here, where you can filter by year group, activity, and style.

Unpacking the Curriculum

For Australian teachers, we have an in-depth guide to help you delve into the expectations of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, and what it could look like in the classroom. Explore the guide here.


For more information check out our Resources.

4. Register your students

Now that you've seen the Learning Interface and had a go at some of our courses, it's time to get your students onboard!

Registration is an easy process. Each student will need their own account, which is associated with their email address (just like yours). This means that students can use Grok inside the classroom and out, continuing their learning and keeping track of their own progress, wherever they go and for as long as they like.

If you have your class list handy, you can register your students for free accounts from your Teacher Dashboard, or by following our instructions in the links below. We have arrangements with certain education departments across Australia, so check our FAQs below first to see if you need to register your students- you might be surprised to find that they already have accounts!

Depending on what courses you want your students to use, you might need to purchase paid access. An invoice will be generated for your school to pay once the paid access is purchased. Some schools choose to fund this out of existing budget, and some choose to include Grok on their booklist for parents. It's up to you!

💡Register free accounts

Free accounts are designed to give your students a taste of Grok! Your students will have full access to the Grok short activities, and sample access to the Grok courses, but no access to the Grok competitions. Our short activities are perfect for an hour of code, a code club activity, or for testing our platform in your classroom.


💡Upgrade with paid access

Anyone who has paid for Grok gets access to all our courses, competitions and short activities, plus all future content. You can see all our pricing information here. Whole school paid access lasts for up to 12 months.

5. Assign students to courses

You can assign students to courses via your Teacher Dashboard. This is where you'll spend a lot of your time on Grok, as it's where you can administer your students, so let's dive in! You can get to your dashboard by clicking on "Teacher Dashboard" at the top of the page when you're logged in to Grok.

On your Teacher Dashboard, you'll see a list of all students at your school. If you find that there's too many students, you can put them into groups! Most teachers make class groups or project groups, but you can organise your students however you like. The link below explains how to set up groups on your Dashboard.

From the Dashboard, you can assign students to a particular Grok course, which means it will show up in their enrolment list.

On the Launchpad, students will see their assigned and recently accessed courses by default, along with any current or upcoming competitions. This makes it easy for your students to find what they should be working on. All other courses are hidden by default and can be viewed or hidden using the Show More / Less button.

We also put the latest assigned course right up the top under "Here's what you're working on", so students will see it straight away.

You can set up class groups via the Teacher Dashboard.

Adding students to a group

Choose "View all students" from the teacher dashboard.

Select the students you wish to group, and then add them to an existing group or create a new group via the Add to group drop down.

Removing students from a group

To remove students from a group, use the same process but instead select the Remove from group drop down.

What can I use groups for?

You can use groups to represent your classes, or project groups, or anything else - whatever makes it easiest for you! Students can also belong to more than one group.

Can I add students to groups in bulk?

You can assign students to groups during the registration process.

If you wish to add many existing students to a group, as long as the email addresses match the existing accounts, re-registering your students will enrol them in the groups you specify.

How do I change the settings for a Group?

In the Teacher Dashboard, all Groups in your school that are visible to you are listed.

Next to each group name, you can click on Edit (circled in red in the screenshot above) to bring up a pop-up window where you can change the following group settings:

  • Name of the group
  • Whether it's a shared or private group. Shared groups are visible to all other verified teachers at your school.
  • Delete the group

To help your students find the right course, you can assign it to them via the Teacher Dashboard.

  1. On your Teacher Dashboard, go into the Student view (click on a group of students, or "All students")
  2. Select students using the checkboxes
  3. Click "Assign" and then choose the course to assign

There are a few ways for this to happen:

  • The course requires paid access, and your school does not have this
  • The course is fee-free for Australian students in grades 5-8, but the student is not in the appropriate grade, or your institution is not an Australian school
  • The course is no longer open to new enrolments (e.g. a competition that has finished)
  • The student already has an enrolment for the course, but with a different institution

Paid Access

Some courses are only available for students at institutions with current paid access. You will not be able to assign these courses to students who are marked "Free courses only".

For Australian institutions, the Cyber Security Challenges only have subsidised access for students in grades 5-12 making them fee-free. If the student is not in the appropriate grade and does not have a current subscription, you will not be able to assign the course to the student.

Multiple Institutions

Students can only enrol (or be assigned) a course with one institution at a time.

For privacy reasons, if a student has already started (or been enrolled in) a course with another institution, then this will not appear to have been assigned in your dashboard for that student.

If you try to assign them the course, the student will receive a notification the next time they log in, asking them if they will allow you to view their course progress.

If the student confirms access for your institution, the course will then appear in your dashboard as having been assigned to that student.

What to do next

If you know the student has an appropriate subscription and grade level for the course, and that the course is available for enrolments, please ask the student to log in to Grok, after you have tried to assign them the course.

Did the student see the notification and approve your request? If you think the student might have accidentally clicked past this notification, you can try assigning the course again, and then helping them when they next log in.

If you still can't see the enrolment for the student in your dashboard after they have confirmed access for your institution, please contact our support channel and let us know which student is affected, and which course you were trying to assign.


💡Student access to courses and competitions

Keep in mind that students can only access courses that their account allows. For example, to access a Cyber Security Challenge, students must be in grade 5 to 12, or have paid access. To participate in the NCSS Challenge or Web.Comp, students need paid access.

6. View student progress on your dashboard

Now you've got your students assigned to courses and happily absorbed in this new world of coding. Gold star for you 🌟!

The last and final step to complete Grok mastery is monitoring your students' progress in their courses. Again, you can do this from the Teacher Dashboard. To see a live updating log of your students' current and recent activity, find your grade or class group on the main page of the Teacher Dashboard and click "View Live".

You can also see an overview of student progress in all assigned courses. From the main page of the Teacher Dashboard, click on a grade or group name or select "All Students", and then click "Assigned progress". You will see all the courses you have assigned to each student, and their progress as a series of coloured bars. You can filter by grade and group in this view, or use the search box to find a particular student. You can even click on the progress bars to see exactly what that student is working on!

If you want to see student progress in just one course, you can! Choose a course from the "Course Progress" drop down menu. You can also download student marks for a specific course, by selecting students using the checkboxes and then clicking "Marks". You might use the exported results for assigning grades, writing reports, or discussing student progress with other teachers. For courses or competitions that offer certificates, you can download those too.


Now it's up to you....teach away!

This is the part where you shine! We've given you all the resources and tools you need to teach Digital Technologies like a pro. How you deliver that in your classroom is ultimately up to you. You can assign your students a course to work through at their own pace, go through worked examples in class, register students for competitions to challenge them against students around the world, and much more.

Be sure to also send your students our Student Grokit Guide for everything they need to know about how to use Grok!

Connect with us and other teachers:

We have many teachers doing awesome work using Grok. You can connect with them via our Facebook group - Teaching Tech with Grok. Join this group to chat with other teachers and Grok staff, and stay up to date on the latest news - we often also give members of the group sneak peaks into new announcements or give aways we are running.

Follow our blog for more ideas on how to get the most out of Grok. If you have any topics you would like to see us cover, or if you would like to write for the blog, let us know!

Periodically we will send you a email newsletter or other updates. This includes upcoming competitions, new courses, FAQs, blog posts, and much more. Make sure your communication preferences are up-to-date so you receive this email.

Before you go...

At any time if you have questions or suggestions, you can email our fabulous team at support@groklearning.com and we'll get back to you asap with an answer! We want our wonderful teachers to get the most out of Grok Academy, so don't be shy in letting us know how we're doing.

You can also follow what we're up to on Twitter (@grokacademy), Facebook or LinkedIn.

Happy Grokking!

Any questions? We'd love to hear from you.

Send us a message