I am always on the lookout for ways to make learning more efficient and effective for both the teacher and the student. I’ve long been a fan of Google and their products…almost as much a fan of Google as I’ve been of Apple which is saying a lot! Last year several teachers on my upper school team at North Cobb Christian School piloted Google Classroom and we found a ton of benefits from it. This coming year, my entire team will be using it exclusively. We won’t only be using it for all of our classes, but I’ll use it for Student Government, several folks will be using this for clubs and honor societies, and all of us will be using it for our wildly popular Spring Term. You really can’t beat the Classroom interface for ease of communication and the ability to easily share assignments, great resources, and other material while also offering effective feedback in a way that encourages open dialogue between the teacher and the learner. Classroom also offers a number of tools that really allow the classroom experience to shift pedagogically from the “sage on the stage” mentality to a more student-centered environment that causes students to have to take more responsibility for their learning while the teacher is freed up to nurture the curiosity of their students while cultivating the content through the development of skills.
I enjoyed reading 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom by Alice Keller and Libbi Miller. Honestly…I read it in about an hour at the beach. I know…my sister is also mortified at my beach reading habits…a book about Google Classroom!! Seriously though…it was helpful and I look forward to passing it along to my teammates that might enjoy the overview this book provides.
People who are new to Google Classroom would really benefit from this book as it helps set the foundation for what this platform is really all about. I’m also grateful that the book turned me on to an awesome resource…Alice Keller’s website where she lists tons of resources about Google Classroom. I would basically label her site as a jackpot of Google Classroom information and she adds to it on a pretty regular basis.
The strength in Google Classroom truly comes from sharing things that you’ve tried….whether they failed or succeeded. I’ve seen this product continue to become more and more intuitive to what teachers and students really need. The last thing I really need to make it a total homerun for my team is for RenWeb and Google Classroom to start dating each other. If those two products would work together…you’d hear a shout of joy coming from Kennesaw, Georgia!
If you aren’t using Google Classroom, you should take it for a test drive. Better yet…have your students take it for a test drive and let you know all the ways that they think you could be implementing it!