S’Cool Tools Reviewed by Educators: Google Classroom

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TOO COOL (PERFECT FOR SCHOOL): This week, we’re comparing how two teachers use one of the most popular edtech tools around: Google Classroom. We write about classroom tools all the time, but we recognize the best edtech experts work outside the newsroom. Educators interact with technology every day, and we’ve asked a few in our community to share how they use their tools, what they like and what they don’t. These reviewers have no financial interest in promoting these tools, nor do their opinions necessarily reflect those of EdSurge. If you're an educator who would like to share your experiences with a product that you use, click here to complete a case study.

Free!Google Classroom—I started using Google Classroom to improve my system for organizing turned-in assignments and sharing handouts and resources.

I had moved my formative and summative assessments to Google Forms and Sheets and decided to implement GC as the means through which to share these assessments with students. It is extremely convenient to have student work turned in via the cloud and automatically organized in my Google Drive, but I have trouble assigning and receiving multimedia assignments.

With Google Classroom, I can’t post assignments ahead of time to a class page because they are automatically visible to students. This forces me to post assignments on a daily schedule instead of organizing the unit in GC beforehand. This is especially critical for using GC to assign formative/summative assessments. You can’t post until the minute before class or students can get a head start in their study hall.

Tara (@TIGilboa), Spanish teacher, Colorado

Free!—Google Classroom—I started using Google Classroom to organize my classroom, facilitate communication between parents and students, track data and store my resources. The most exciting aspect of using Google classroom is the constant and responsive improvements. I find the tool really helpful during report card season because all the assignments, feedback and comments are stored in one digital space that I can access from multiple devices. I can also search back on old parent and student communications to make sure I am addressing the needs to my students in my report card comments.

Renee (@missus_jay), Learning Specialist, New York

UPDATE: As of May 3, Google Classroom has updated its features to include scheduling assignments ahead of time.

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