Posted by Christy Williams on September 1st, 2016
Advancements in technology have transformed the learning environment well beyond the initial one-room school houses into innovative centers of communication. Learners have access to resources that extend beyond textbooks and offer connection with the world.
Google Classroom is one technology designed to enhance the learning experience. Classroom is an education application suite offering productivity tools such as email, document and storage for students and teachers. The tools offer opportunities for collaboration in real time and the ability to work remotely, among many other features.
The top five benefits of Google Classroom are:
- Going Paperless: Google Classroom offers the benefit of going paperless. Documents can be created and shared among users without the need for paper copies. Links to reading material can also be included to eliminate the need for cumbersome text books. Likewise, videos, presentations and other attachments can be uploaded for access. Students have the ability to submit their work digitally allowing you as an instructor to remain organized with instant access.
- Access from Any Device: Google Classroom’s flexibility allows the application to be accessed from a myriad of devices. PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile devices can be used provided internet access is available. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) availability makes the learning process more readily available to students. While previous access to a computer or laptop was required for e-learning, students can now use their tablets and mobile phones which are commonly owned.
- Communication: As an instructor, you have the ability to share assignment instructions, post announcements and create discussions within Classroom. The stream feature also allows you to provide due date reminders, give less active students a way to participate in conversations, provide public feedback for students doing well and keep the overall communication active even when the class is not physically together. Students and teachers can also communicate privately.
- Feedback: Classroom allows you to provide timely feedback to your learners. Your feedback can also be ongoing while assignments are in progress. Building on previous answers and resubmission of work is also a feedback feature of using Google Classroom.
- Personalized Learning: Google classroom offers the ability to create multiple classrooms for multiple subjects, materials and learning needs. You can have general classrooms as well as targeted classrooms for specific learning goals. Students can access the classrooms that address their specific need to provide them a personalized learning environment.
Google Classroom is useful to classrooms of every level and type including adult learning. Setting up an account in Google Classroom is easy. Start by having a program administrator sign up for the Google for Education application and obtain an account. Once an account is set up, click “Add/Create Class,” enter the class name, create a brief description and finalize by clicking “Create.” Teachers and students will have separate access to the site resources. The setup can be repeated for multiple classes and subjects.
Participating in an educational program can be challenging for adult learners with other life responsibilities. Utilizing Google Classroom to manage your classroom can help mitigate many of these challenges. The paperless approach along with the organization capturing assignments and updates all in one place is one primary benefit for both you and your learners. The ability to communicate and access information using different devices also makes it possible for students to access the classroom and materials on a schedule that works best for them. Feedback and personalized learning opportunities will also help aid in student success.