Over the last year I have heard a lot of hype about Google Classrooms from reading about it briefly on Twitter to listening to my colleagues talk about it. I’ve heard outstanding reviews and I’ve heard some problematic issues with it as well. I decided it was time to look at Google Classrooms in more depth so I could develop my own opinion or at least have better background knowledge about the program.
If you have been following my blog, you will have noticed that I started following the Cool Cat Teacher blog (@coolcatteacher) and have found myself reading the posts frequently. Whether it is a quick skim or I dive full force into an article, I always take something away. Coincidentally enough, Vicki Davis reviewed Google Classrooms on her blog this week through a recorded interview with high school teacher, Alice Keeler. You can find the interview, 10 More Things You Can Do Easier In Google Classroom here.
What exactly is Google Classroom? It is an online platform that allows teachers to set up a classroom to give instruction, provide feedback and comments, plan and organize assignments, and communicate with their students. There are numerous benefits of using Google Classroom that can be found through a simple Google search. This article I found complimented Davis’ interview. The most common benefits of Google Classroom are listed below.
- Easy to use
- Form of paperless classroom
- Allows teachers to give quality feedback and comments
- Allows for worthy formative assessment
- Both students and teachers can communicate and ask questions with each other
- Students have the ability to upload assignments to Google Drive folders
- Timely and efficient for planning, feedback, and questions
- Compatible with Google Apps (Google Docs, Google +, etc.)
According to Keeler, Google Classroom allows her the ability to cut down on instructional time by providing directions for students to quickly and easily access. She notes that workflow is quicker, it’s beneficial for students who are absent or not paying attention, and allows her more time to work one on one with students.
Here are some disadvantages of Google Classroom:
- No audio/video option
- No calendar for assignment due dates or overview
- Grading application lacks
I wonder if another disadvantage would be privacy. During my internship, I was unable to use any Google applications in my classroom due to privacy reasons set up by the division. Students were not allowed to have school Gmail accounts and Google Docs were not permitted because of online privacy issues. Therefore, as an educator it is important to be aware of division policies before implementing any form of technology into the classroom.
If you want to learn more about Google Classroom check out the interview and read this article that helped me to write this post. Personally, if I get the opportunity, I would like to try Google Classroom in my future classroom for the simple fact that it allows for meaningful and quality feedback.