Last week one of our consultants was raving about Google Classroom; how well another teacher was using it, and how well the students were responding to it. So, of course I looked into it, to see how I might incorporate it into my own classroom. I have been using Google Drive in my classroom for the last few years, through Regina Public School’s i.Go network. Google Drive is such an excellent tool. The page formatting is intuitive and simple to navigate. In the past few years I have worked with many students who struggle academically, but never once did anyone struggle with getting into Google Drive to create a presentation or document. Students who won’t lift a pencil to save their lives are using Drive to write and create some great writing. The ability to share, and work on the same document in tandem makes for streamlined group projects and the ability to easily keep track of assignments, and to comment when necessary is also great. So far I have simply asked students to share their document with me when they begin, so I can then organize it into a folder in my Google drive account.
Initially I looked at Google Classroom, and dismissed it as being more suited to high school students. After having spent more time reading about the app through this site, and after setting up my own Classroom, I am less hesitant to dismiss it. I will need to try this with my students firsthand, but it seems as though the app does rely on students to use their email accounts as well, something I have simply avoided altogether. It has taken us several weeks to become comfortable with using Google Drive, and I’m unsure whether I can expect the grade 5’s I have to use Classroom as a means to keep organized. First of all we’re not always on the computer, and with the 10 minutes it takes to get from turning on the pc, to actually starting to write/create, Classroom is just one more impediment.
I will likely change my mind though! Looking forward to giving it a go.