Teachers Change Up Instruction with Google Classroom

More teachers are finding new ways to use technology to help meet the needs of students.  Google Classroom is one of those methods.

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More teachers are finding new ways to use technology to help meet the needs of students. Google Classroom is one of those methods.

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As education continues to change, students and teachers are finding new ways to incorporate technology into their lessons. Teachers have recently discovered an online tool known as Google Classroom, which can be accessed through any device that has internet. This tool allows teachers to post assignments or announcements that students can view, comment on, and access anywhere where there is an internet connection.  

Google Classroom continues to be implemented by more teachers as they are discovering the pros and cons of the platform. Mr. James Ramsey, a science teacher at SCHS, has been using this tool for the past three years, and he has been pleased with the results.  “I find Google Classroom to be a good electronic learning management platform for middle and high school level students. It has features that are convenient for both student and teachers,” he said.  One feature he finds useful is the “turn in” tool, which notifies teachers when a student is finished with their work.  The platform also allows both students and teachers to attach items like Google Docs or Google Slides to lessons, which keeps all related material together.  

Some teachers have moved to Google Classroom because of its ability to help them reach learners of all kinds.  Erin McIver, an English teacher at Elkhorn Crossing School, has embraced Google Classroom, and so have her students in the Media Arts Village.  “My favorite features include the diversity of the learning management system. Any creative idea for instruction I have, Google Classroom has had a way to apply it to instruction. I love that I can use the same assignment and it still differentiates for individual students.”

McIver has found that using Google Classroom allows her to do more than just substitute a standard paper assignment for a digital assignment.  “It is a Learning Management System that houses other educational techniques. It makes it easier to get to other platforms like Flipgrid or Padlet,” she explained.  

Students don’t tend to share the same opinions with teachers often.  However, when it comes to Google Classroom they do. Senior Chloe Hope said, “It offers a platform for classes to join together and work more efficiently, as well as keeping students from misplacing work. I’ve been using it for the last two years, and I use it for most of my common classes like English and science.”  

Google Classroom is not only helpful for the organization of teachers, it also is very useful for students.  Organization is often a skill that many students struggle with, but Google Classroom provides some features that provide some extra support to students that need it in this area.  It not only allows students to turn assignments in, but allows students to view upcoming and previous assignments. This feature saves teachers and students the struggle of having to keep up with things like the class syllabus or other papers like timelines, or even textbook chapters that may need to be used throughout the school year.

McIver has also noticed another benefit that comes from students using Google Classroom: improved grades.  “I have less zeros because once students work on an assignment, it is always there: I can find the work that they have worked on.”  

While most students using Google Classroom enjoy using it, it does have a few disadvantages. “Sometimes the assignments aren’t always the easiest to find because everything’s not always in order,” stated senior Madison Carper. 

Despite this, more and more teachers are exploring the possibilities with Google Classroom and will be looking to adapt their practices to the changing times.   Students in the Media Arts Village also have done well with adapting to this new technology. McIver said, “I think my students don’t mind working on Google Classroom because they are media minded; they are very comfortable with a digital platform.”