“You can’t stay in teaching and keep going to the old ways,” said Sister Rosemarie DeLoro, a teacher in Fontbonne Hall Academy in Brooklyn, New York. She’s been teaching for over 60 years, and Chromebooks were her first introduction to using computers in the classroom. Today’s technology has transformed the face of education, with more and more schools moving learning solutions and communication into the cloud and opting to provide their students with laptops or tablets to facilitate learning. When Google announced their Google Classroom offering back in May on Teacher Appreciation Day, over 100,000 educators all over the world signed up for a preview.
The recently released Google Classroom is now officially available to anyone with Google Apps for Education, and consists of a collection of tools such as Gmail, Drive, and Docs for seamless collaboration capabilities. The idea of Classroom is “more teaching, less tech-ing,” meaning that its simple efficiencies give teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn.
Google Classroom enables teachers to assign and collect classwork paperlessly, as well as providing many time-saving administrative functions. From Classroom, teachers are able to automatically make a copy of a document for each student. And to keep everyone better organized, classroom also creates folders in Google Drive per student for each assignment. Due dates can all be tracked through an “Assignments” page and each project can be accessed with just one click.
In response to feedback on the Classroom preview which requested a simple place to post announcements and class information, Google provided an “About” page for each course. Within each assignment document, teachers can easily post comments or ask questions in real time, whether the student is sitting in class or working on homework after school. Furthermore, as a result of feedback gathered during the preview period, Google has also provided teachers with the ability to view and provide feedback on students’ assignments even if they have not yet been submitted; that way, the teacher can provide real-time help and direction throughout the course of project.
Safe and Simple
Google Classroom also means no more stacks of papers to correct or folders full of tests to grade! No more excuses for lost assignments or battles with the copy machine. In addition to enabling classrooms to go completely paperless, Classroom is easy to set up; teachers can go in and add students directly from the portal or share a code with the whole class in order to sign up. In just a few minutes, the classroom has all the basic tools for successful completion of a course. Similar to Google Apps for Education, Classroom is completely ad-free. Student data is never used for advertising purposes, and information storage is completely free.
Google Classroom, along with Google Apps for Education, also integrates seamlessly with Chromebooks, an increasingly popular device in the education sector. In the second quarter of 2014 alone, schools purchased over 1 million Chromebooks for use in the classroom. Chromebooks are often a top choice for schools due to their cost-saving benefits, synergy with Google Apps for Education, and tested ease of use in the classroom.
Visit our website to read the stories of other schools and districts that have made the move, or email us at [email protected] to learn more about Google Apps for Education, Chromebooks, or Classroom.