By no means am I a tech expert, but I am comfortable blending learning in all of my high school English classes. In fact, I have used this blog and Twitter to document my experiences and share student feedback through three years of teaching a paperless writing course for high school seniors. At last week’s professional development teacher academy, I presented two sessions entitled, Enhancing the Writing Process With GAFE. In each session, I shared strategies to improve writing, communicating feedback, differentiating instruction, and accurately assessing student work utilizing the Google apps.
Even though I was pleased with my progressive approach (heading into my nineteenth year of teaching) and the success of my writers, human nature forced me to ask:
- How can I make my workload as a teacher less stressful?
- When does the most learning take place?
- How can I be more efficient with class workflow & provide more effective feedback to students?
In typical, all-knowing Google fashion, my questions were answered. I was one of the chosen.
I was invited to explore the new Google Classroom over the summer. In my trial run, I had no problems navigating my way through the options. I even set up a mock class with several tech-curious colleagues (as my students). They received announcements (individual or whole class) and assignments–which Classroom allowed me to set so each student got his own copy. No more begging students to share a document, make a copy of the original document, or accidentally edit the master copy. I could monitor the progress of completed assignments and see how many remained incomplete after the deadline. All work was then filed neatly into a folder in my Drive.
Simple and impressive. Google continues to lead the way in education. At last, the brilliant minds at Google have found a way to streamline workflow connecting all of their apps. There is always new technology popping up, but nothing is more exciting than the potential of Google Classroom for the 2014-2015 school year.