Google Classroom is Worth the Switch

Google Classroom, home sweet home.  After spending a few years in a serious relationship with Blackboard, then speed dating with Edmodo and Wikispaces, I have finally met a platform that I plan to stay with long-term.

Although there is still room for improvement in Classroom (could we integrate a plagiarism checker? or multiple feeds for different purposes?), I love that they are open to feedback and working to make the experience better for users.  For example, they just added a feature which allows me to schedule posts ahead of time instead of saving them in draft mode or posting them immediately.

I was initially skeptical about switching to yet another platform.  However, my students were getting confused about where to go, lacking a central location for our classroom work, and it was time to make the switch like many of the other teachers in my building.  

I love Classroom because it makes the drafting, feedback, revision, grading loop so much more fluid.  I can create an assignment, upload the assignment sheet and rubric for students, instruct the computer gremlins to “make a copy for each student” and *voila* students click on the assignment, make a copy and I have instant access to their work-in-progress.  Nothing is better than being able to pop into every student’s document during a work day and check on his or her progress, provide specific feedback on a skill, or respond to a comment left by that student.  Even if students don’t “turn in” their work, you still see their work, and that is ah-mazing.

Oh yeah, and every assignment you create in Classroom is automatically assigned a folder within your “Classroom” folder in Google Drive.  This makes organization of student work simple.

Also, I love that students can work with Google Slides, Google Draw, and upload videos or images – it is not just a platform that accepts documents.  I can have students create TED talks and upload their talks.  I can have students, as a ticket in the door, draw a mind map in Google Draw, submit, and then share student work with the class.  I can post flipped classroom videos and have students respond via a Google Form to show their learning.

And what I can’t do…well, that’s sure to change as Google Classroom changes and grows.

 

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