Google Classroom: Remind Your Students With an Alarm Clock

Google Classroom’s popularity rose dramatically in 2020. As more students flocked to distance learning, teachers grappled with how to keep everyone on task. Thus, teachers have often asked, “Can you remind students with an alarm clock?”

Google Classroom has not equipped teachers with an alarm clock reminder for students. Google Classroom does allow teachers to send notifications, including when unsubmitted work is due within 24-hours. There are also classroom alarms and countdown clocks teachers can use while teaching.

Students can turn off their notifications to Google Classroom, which can be frustrating for teachers. In the end, the responsibility rests on the students to be diligent about their work. But there are alarm clocks, timers, and countdown apps available, including through Google, that can be utilized while teaching.

Creative Ideas to Use as An Alarm Clock in your Google Classroom?

Classroom timers are a valuable tool for teachers to manage the class. One teacher enjoys using the theme tune to Mission Impossible to signal students they can pack up. Alarm clocks and timers can also help students judge how much time is left for a quiz or a task done over Google Meet.

Using a timer or stopwatch doesn’t have to be complicated or require fancy apps. It’s as easy and loading up Google’s timer or stopwatch and sharing the screen with the students.

Step 1: Go to Google’s home page.

Step 2: Type “Timer.”

Step 3: After hitting “Enter,” a timer will pop up. You have two options, “Timer” and “Stopwatch.”

The timer will pop up with 5 minutes on the clock.

If you want to customize the timer, click the actual clock, and it will clear, allowing you to set it to your preference.

To use the stopwatch, simply click the top right where it says, “Stopwatch.”

5 Timer Apps for the Classroom

  1. Best Sand Timer brings a different visual vibe to the countdown clock. It allows users to customize it up to 60-minute increments and has a selection of notification sounds. It is currently listed as a free app.
  2. provides an easy way to run multiple timers that can be run simultaneously or in a sequence. The tool will allow you to add tunes from YouTube videos or your own music. Once a timer is made, it can be stored as a weblink so you can easily use it again.
  3. Parrot Timer is pitched as a “cute kitchen timer” but will amuse and charm younger students as the parrots start to dance when time is up.
  4. PiTimer provides a pleasing visual timer. The colors of the background and timer are customizable. The app is currently listed as free.
  5. Task Timer is helpful with timed goals. Data from the application can be exported to a spreadsheet or be used to make pie charts.

Can Teachers Enable Reminders and Notifications for Students in Google Classroom?

Teachers can set up reminders through Google Calendar and Google Classroom to assist students in managing their tasks and assignments.

How to Set A Reminder with Google Calendar Reminders

Google provides teachers with two calendars: Classroom calendar and Google calendar. The latter is a personal calendar, so anything a teacher adds will not show up on the Classroom calendar. The items on the Classroom calendar will show up for the teacher on Google calendar.

Teachers that wish to set personal reminders may do so using the Google calendar.

Step 1: Go to your Google calendar.

Step 2: On the left is “My Calendars,” scroll down to Reminders and make sure it is clicked.

Step 3: Above will be the Google plus symbol with “Create.” Click it.

Step 4: A box will pop up, and you can set “Event,” “Task,” or “Reminder.” Click Reminder, and your options will appear in the box.

Step 5: Once you have added the reminder title and selected the date, time, and frequency, hit save.

How to use the notification feature in Google Classroom?

Notifications from Teacher to Student

Google Classroom sends out student notifications to students. The students will only get these notifications in their email if they have their settings turned on. The notifications are sent to students:

  • The teacher sends an invite to a class.
  • The teacher has posted a new announcement, question, or assignment.
  • The teacher has graded or returned student work.
  • If the teacher or another student has commented on the student’s post, or the student is mentioned.
  • The teacher has sent the student a private note.
  • The system will also send students an automatic message when there is unsubmitted work due within 24-hours.

Again, the student will only receive notifications in their email if the student has the setting on. A teacher can’t turn on or set a student’s personal notification settings.

Personalizing Google Classroom Notifications to Your Inbox

Google Classroom notifications can be useful. However, too many will drown a teacher’s inbox.

Step 1: Go to the menu bar, which is indicated by three lines.
Step 2: Click “Settings.”
Step 3: Find where it says “Notifications” by scrolling down.

This will take you to the following screen.

Now decide which notifications you want directly sent to your inbox.

Google also provides YouTube videos on managing notifications and how to use Gmail filters to organize your notifications.

How to Receive Notifications on Your Phone?

Step 1: Download the Google Classroom mobile app: Google Play or App Store.

Step 2: Open the app.

Step 3: Like there is in the computer version, there is a menu bar with three lines.

Step 4: Find “Settings” and click.

Step 5: Find “Device notifications” by scrolling.

You can set which notifications you wish to receive. They will arrive as a “push” and pop-up at the top of your screen. You also have the option of enabling sound and vibration.

You can also click here to watch a YouTube video that will walk you through using the notifications on your phone.

Teachers often like to have the notifications on for when students send a message. Students who get stuck won’t keep working until they hear back from their teacher. Thus, the notifications act as a raised hand in a classroom setting.

However, teachers have lives outside of teaching and may not want their mobile app going off during downtime. To fix this, simply turn the notifications off. Using Google calendar’s reminder features, a teacher can then have a daily reminder scheduled to turn the notifications back on at the start of each workday.

What are 6 Top Online Tools to Keep Students on Schedule?

Students’ organizational needs are as varied as the ways they learn. Here are six recommended apps to help them stay organized.

  1. Calendly is a tool that can help simplify schedules both for groups and individuals. Calendy can be connected to work with other digital calendars such as Google Calendar, iCal, and Office 365. While Calendly has a free version, paid versions come with added features such as round-robin scheduling.
  2. iStudiez is a highly rated app designed specifically for student needs. Class schedules are entered with the option to store the teacher’s name, contact info, and office hours. Color coding and icons make it a visually appealing way to keep track of projects, tasks, and other aspects of busy student life.
  3. Microsoft To-Do is the new “Wunderlist.” The “To Do” features allows users to sort their tasks into basic headings with additional substacks. Many enjoy how items not checked as completed from the previous day will be brought forward into the “Yesterday” box, making them easier to find. This app is free with a Microsoft account. You can use it on Android, iOS, and desktop.
  4. myHomework Student Planner is a visually clean and easy-to-use app. It sends reminders for due dates and also allows tasks to be ranked by priority. There is a free version of myHomework. The paid gets rid of adverts and comes with features such as sharing assignments and attaching files.
  5. Todoist combines project planning and to-do lists into one program. The free version provides plenty of features, so most students do not feel the need to pay for an upgrade. It can also send pop-up or email reminders for due dates and allow tasks to be prioritized. It works on Android, iOS, and desktop.
  6. Trello is a planner app that can be used for individual and group tasks. It allows students to organize both classes and assignments. Everything is saved to a cloud so that all devices can be kept in sync. It works on Android, iOS, and desktop. The app is free with paid upgrade options.


Teachers and students have various online calendars, timers, planning, and to-do list tools available to them to help them stay organized regardless of whether they are in in-person education or remote learning. The trick is to find what works best for your needs. 

Glen Brown

I am a Technical Trainer and Manager with over 20 years experience in IT, Education and Business. I have multiple qualifications on each topic including post graduate qualifications. I have a passion for sharing knowledge and using technology to do this. If you would like to know more about me please see the about page of the website.

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