Have you Googled today? Are one of the millions of users who use the world’s number one search engine. Do you make up one of the 63,000 searches per second that total over two trillion searches on a yearly basis?
Face it: What would you do without Google? The company with an estimated worth of over$739 billion dollars is a staple of our lives. Over the past five years, the company has made life a little simpler for students in the classroom. Google’s creation and implementation of Google Classroom has also made my life as an educator easier in six simple steps. Here’s how:
1. The ability to access all students work in a click of a button. One aspect I love about Google Classroom is students can access all information about an assignment with one click. When a student opens an assignment, all available resources for that assignment are made available. For example, when an essay assignment is introduced, I send each student a copy of the essay template for drafting, and it places it into the student’s folder for our class. Simple and easy.
2. The ease of grading and returning all assignments. After an assignment is completed and turned in, I can grade the assignment and return it to the students with a click of a button. Also, I’ve done my part to save the planet because I haven’t used any paper — therefore, saving a small forest.
3. The ability to link and build assignments with links and resources in which all students can easily access. When an assignment is created, I can link videos, slide presentations, and additional documents making it efficient and helpful for students who may be absent from class.
4. The Google Classroom app is very easy to use. Every student has a phone; many students cannot stand to be away from their phone for five minutes or less. The Google Classroom app can be a new edition to the student’s technological best friend. Open the app, see what’s due, and work the assignment. If the spirit moves them, they can work on the assignment on their phone. Thank you, Google Documents!
5. The ability to have multiple teachers as part of one class. It a challenge for teachers to know what is happening in other classes. Google Classroom helps to solve these issues. Our wonderful learning support staff is a member of all my Google Classrooms, allowing them to view all assignments, see upcoming due dates, and aid students in their work. The added teachers can open and check the progress of students and give them additional help if needed.
Now it’s time for my confession: I love Google Classroom. I love that I can easily access my students work from anywhere and from any computer. Recently, I was reviewing student work on my phone while sitting in a Pittsburgh, hospital waiting room. If I have an emergency (I have kids so “emergencies” are a part of my life; many deal with broken Barbie dolls) and must be away from the classroom, I can simply post an assignment (many of which I have pre-built within Google Classroom) from my home. Here is the best part of all — it’s free! What is free nowadays? I have to buy six coffees at Sheetz to qualify for a free cup of coffee. I’ll continue to a part of the Google bandwagon and use the gift they have given all educators. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to Google how to fix a broken Barbie doll leg.