Educators know that raising student achievements has much to do with getting them truly invested in learning. They also know that student engagement is significantly aided by personalized learning. But when teaching a heterogeneous class of 25 students at best, this proves to be a major challenge. Google Classroom makes it easier for teachers to provide individualized class work that takes differentiated learning styles into account.
Launched in August 2015, Google Classroom, is a free teaching platform used by more than 20 million educators and students worldwide. For teachers, it acts as a user-friendly dashboard that helps them keep track of their students’ progress, offer tailored assignments and learning resources, and provide personal and group feedback. For students, Google Classroom is an opportunity to share ideas, collaborate on projects and communicate freely and safely with their peers and teachers. It is a part of the broader Google Apps for Education suite which is changing the face of education and bringing teaching, learning and the general school experience into the 21st century.
Recent Google Classroom updates open up even more opportunities for students to personalize their educational experience and engage in a two-way learning paradigm. Educators are now able to offer assignments specifically to an individual student or group of students, based on previous choices the students have made about how they want to access information or conduct their class work. The new technology also enables teachers to reach students who are struggling with the material.
By creating teaching materials that fit each individual’s pace of learning, teachers can diminish boredom and frustration, two key factors in student failure. If a student needs more help, he or she can receive it discreetly. The teacher can provide an easy remedial project, the student quickly regains footing with the class and there is no embarrassment or fear in asking for help. The same goes for students who are ahead of the class, they can easily receive more advanced materials without disrupting the learning rhythm of the rest of the class. Students can also work together by sharing screens and documents whether they are in the same physical space or not. Interactive and collaborative learning are know to increase learning engagement and improve the quality of learning.
It’s very simple. Students receive in-school email accounts and with them gain access to the Google Classroom system through which they get various assignments from their teacher using the Google suite apps. Student work and responses to assignments are posted online, thereby providing an open environment for teachers to monitor, assess and provide feedback. One of the Google Classroom perks that is proving to be very valuable to teachers is the ability to observe their students’ work patterns and gain insight on their learning habits. Parents can also follow their children’s Google Classroom activity, stay regularly informed about their progress and understand how they can best help at home.
In Google Classroom, there is no command to turn off digital devices. Instead, the very technology that today’s kids love has become the tool to create equal opportunity for educational success.