Have you heard your child talk about Google Classroom? It's a free web service for schools that makes it easy for learners and instructors to connect—inside and outside of schools. Rockwood has been using Google Classroom for three years and more teachers are implementing this communication tool each year. Currently, 2,707 classes are actively using Google Classroom.
Alison Hancock, instructional technology specialist, shared, "Teachers like the one-stop-shop aspect of it. It's a great place to push out resources to students. Especially for younger students who can click on the link instead of having to type in a website address. Students can research, write and organize their work on Classroom and it keeps everything together in one place."
Here are some of the advantages of Google Classroom:
- Provides resources to students - such as websites, documents and notes.
- Allows teachers to give immediate feedback to students as they are working on assignments or tests.
- Helps students see what classroom work they may have missed so they can catch up.
- Monitors student understanding of a topic so teachers may differentiate instruction.
- Makes it possible to "flip" the classroom so kids can learn concepts at home with videos and resources.
- Connects teachers and students - inside and outside the classroom.
- Ensures all students have the same online resources at their fingertips.
Google Classroom offers a program called Guardian Summaries. This program allows parents to receive a weekly or daily summary of assignments and classroom activities. If parents are interested in using this feature, they should contact their child's teacher.
Google Classroom's main function is student and teacher collaboration and communication. It organizes student work and classroom resources in one convenient, online dashboard. Instructional technology specialist Maria Tenny said, "Google Classroom puts a friendly interface on Google Drive."
A Teacher's Perspective
Green Pines Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Nikki Klein uses Google Classroom quite a bit. This is her third year working with it. She said everyone on her grade- level team uses it. "I use it for collaborative projects," she noted. "I can assign topics to small groups and they work together."
She uses Google Slides to document science and social studies notebooks in digital form. Now, she can place those slides on Google Classroom where all her students can view them. With the new Chromebooks that are part of the district's 1-to-1 program, she says Google Classroom is the best way to provide resources to students.