Monday, December 1, 2014

PIE Teachers Piloting Google Classroom

In August Google officially launched “Classroom”, an innovative teaching and learning management tool. Google Classroom is a seamless add-on to the Google Apps for Education platform; a tool that allows teachers to efficiently share resources and improve workflow for assignments and collaborative projects. Positive news and reviews about Classroom generated faculty interest in exploring the new tool. At PIE, we currently have six grade three, four and five teachers, as well as, some specialists piloting Google Classroom. 

Andrew Davis, one of our grade five teachers reflects on his experience using Google Classroom with his students………
This year I have had the opportunity to introduce Google Classroom in my classroom and it has been incredibly successful. I have been using Google Drive for the past four years and with the addition of Google Classroom, Drive has become even easier to integrate and much more user friendly for my students. 

The ease of creating an assignment or project for my class has made my prep much less stressful. The ability to add resources to an assignment for the students to use eliminates their research time and allows them to begin working right away. Also, the steps of having to share a document with the students, them having to make a copy, rename it and then share it with me is no longer necessary. Google Classroom has the option of creating a copy of the document for each student that is automatically shared with you once they open it. This allows you to view their progress as they work on an assignment and eliminates having to track down the work from those students that tend to forget to share their work with you.

Once the students have completed an assignment they simply hit the submit button and it is ready for the teacher to review. Teachers can then easily return it to the students if they need to make any changes or they can write comments for the student to view. Google Classroom makes it quite easy to organize your students work and to store it safely for future needs…………..

It’s obvious that Andrew is very excited about Google Classroom but what about our student? Below are a few student responses gathered from a Google Form (survey) that I sent to our upper elementary students.

What do you like best about Google Classroom?

…..That all of us can be on the classroom at once and talk about the assignment. I also like that all of us know what we need to do and when to finish that assignment.  

…..I like how the teacher who keeps it organised and it tell you what you are doing today and you can share things to the teacher and the teacher can share things to us.

…..we use it in Bahasa class so its much easier to see what to do next instead of asking the teacher several times.

…..The best thing about it is that you get to know what assignments we have and that really helps! :-)

…..when the teacher sends you your work you don't have to go to through JISNet (email), with Google Classroom you can get to your work very fast.

What improvements would you like to see in the next updated version of Google Classroom?

…..I wish we could make separate rooms-groups for team work.

….I think it is pretty good right now, maybe a button on the homepage to say you are done with a project right away! 

…..Being able to go make changes to your work after you submit it.

Andrew Davies (PIE G5 Teacher)
Russell Downs (PIE TIS @russdowns)

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