Google combined their Google Drive, docs, sheets, slides, gmail, and calendar to create a classroom in 2014. The result was a free web service that schools can use to create, distribute, and grade assignments in a digital, paperless way. By being able to share files and assignments digitally, teachers are able to connect with students easily and from any location, and student engagement is increased through participating in a virtual classroom. Here are some ways to incorporate Google Classroom easily and effectively.
Using Google Classroom for Student Engagement
Google Classroom is fairly simple to get started with. Teachers create a class and invite students to join. Teachers can do this by email, through a school domain, or with a private class code. Once students are connected, teachers are able to post assignments, message back and forth with students, and leave announcements. Teachers can view their students’ work in real-time and offer feedback throughout the assignment. Teachers also have insight into student habits, such as those that access their assignments immediately or those who wait until the last minute. Student engagement is increased by being able to quickly have questions answered without having to wait until the next time they are sitting in class. Google Classroom gives students a different voice, one where more reserved students can speak up through an email instead of raising their hand in front of their peers.
Using Google Classroom for Assessments
Teachers can create quizzes on Google Classroom using forms. Teachers create quiz questions, decide how many points they are worth, and then have the option of turning on answer feedback. Each assignment has its own page, so grading is easy and feedback is quick. Students no longer have to wait a day or a week to see how they did and in turn, student engagement with the current content stays focused. Teachers can use the quiz feedback to immediately plan if reteaching is needed, or if the class is ready to move on. Google Classroom eliminates wasted time and shortens the grading time for teachers.
Using Google Classroom to Engage Parents
The ability to communicate with students outside of their class period is another benefit to using Google Classroom. Teachers can post messages that appear on the stream when students sign into the classroom. There are no longer excuses of not hearing teachers’ directions or announcements, as they are always accessible through the students account. Teachers are able to email students or parents through the people tab and also have the option of sending parents email summaries. These include missing or upcoming work and recent class activity. These summaries are generated automatically and are not able to be customized. Parents do have the option of selecting how often they receive these summaries, whether that is daily or weekly, and can unsubscribe at anytime.
Google Classroom is changing the way students engage in the classroom. Assignments are able to be paperless, feedback is more immediate, and communication is easier. Google Classroom is quickly becoming one of the most powerful tools in education and is empowering learners to have a voice in this increasingly digital world.