How I Use It
I use Google Classroom as a way to post assignments, contact students and parents, and integrate technology into everyday learning. I am able to easily organize the classes and subject areas that I teach by creating different pages for those classes. Other Google apps pair well with Google Classroom, and I can upload documents onto my pages for students to view. Students can access Google Classroom from school or home. If students are absent from class or we happen to miss school one day, I can post their missing assignments on the appropriate pages for students to view and complete. I like how I can also create individual copies of assignments for each one of my students; I can differentiate and modify assignments to accommodate a variety of learners. For Math and Science, I usually post information about upcoming tests and lessons that students are working on to keep parents informed. In Math, my students have access to an intervention program called Dreambox; I posted and linked the login information for the program onto Google Classroom for which students and parents can refer. Google Classroom is also linked to my Google Drive, so I can place documents into a specific folder to be edited or shared with others who are linked to my Google Classroom. Sometimes I will teach lessons through the use of Google Slides, and once a lesson has been taught, I can add the file to the class folder via Google Drive so students can review it later on in order to prepare for upcoming assessments. Some of my students are still not linked to my Google Classroom pages, so this can pose as a problem for them completing posted assignments and viewing important information pertaining to our classes. Since I work with third graders, it is mostly parents who log onto Google Classroom and communicate with me, rather than the students doing so. Students at the middle school level can work more independently on Google Classroom than those in the younger grades.
I enjoy using Google Classroom to integrate technology into learning. Referring to the SAMR model, I believe that Google Classroom falls under the Modification section because essentially the classroom is being transformed from traditional to modern. Assignments can be completed online and collaboration can be achieved by students using Google Classroom. I like that I can share assignments and other resources with my students and their parents. It is also a great way to organize files and assignments for the various subjects and classes that I teach. If I want to share a document with my students, I can easily do so with one click via Google Classroom instead of sending individual emails to my students or their parents. It also makes differentiation a breeze because I can share specific documents or files with all students, a few students, or one student depending on their academic needs. If a student’s assignment needs to be modified, I can do so in Google Docs to then share it with the individual student on Google Classroom. Students can collaborate with each other on Google Classroom; if I post an announcement or an assignment, students can comment on the posting and have discussions with each other on the given topic. I like how parents can be informed as to what is going on in each subject area. They can also view pictures that I upload to see what students are doing in class. Overall, I think that Google Classroom is a great tool to use with twenty-first century learners as it integrates technology with content.