Google has made some incredible strides to enhance the classroom experience for teachers and students alike, and the company’s Apps for Education is set to release the latest, greatest tool yet this fall: Google Classroom. For teachers new to Google Apps for Education, this may seem like just another attempt at a “paperless classroom”, but it looks like Google may have cracked the code here.
Preparing for its release this September, Google just finished two recent test studies in New York; a school district in South New York and a College Preparatory in Brooklyn. Teachers, IT staff and even the students at these schools had some fantastic take-aways from using Google Classroom, and it looks like this is going to be another big win for Google’s Apps for Education.
Increased Student Engagement. Both schools were adamant that this tool improved student engagement and collaboration both in class and even beyond the school room. A great example of students interacting with this tool comes from one of the 12th grade teachers in South New York. She explained that a student needing help on an assignment used Classroom to post a question. After several hours, another classmate answered the student’s question after apparently completing additional research to assist his classmate.
Treated much like an extension of the classroom itself, teachers found that students completed more work, had less questions regarding their grades and had fewer misunderstandings about assignments when using this tool. The teachers, when considering these benefits, were ecstatic about the collaboration possibilities inside and outside their school rooms.
Organization and Saved Time. Another benefit that came as a two part endorsement out of Google’s study was the additional organization in the classroom and the time saved in grading papers, giving feedback and scheduling assignments. Because Classroom has integrated Google Drive, Google Docs and Gmail (among others), photocopying worksheets gives way to seamlessly pre-organized folders for each student, class, subject or group. An email is sent when an assignment has been posted, updated, graded or clarified, and students can view their progress in real time.
Not only teachers, but students also felt more organized with this tool as they had access to their assignments directly from their computer or phone. Teachers could include instant feedback when giving grades, allowing more individualized student investment and communication. This means more time doing hands-on teaching in the classroom.
Getting a district on board with a new tool like Classroom will empower teachers and students by overcoming the bumps and hurdles that come with piles of paperwork and slow communication. To get your school online with Google Classroom, contact us, and our education team will not only supply deployment assistance, we’ll take on the entire training process with you.