I am quite unimpressed with myself with the title of the post. I feel I could have done better but ah, such is life.
The Learning Management System (LMS) I want to examine is Google Classroom. Not only did I use it in my internship in my Grade Eight classroom, but I am also quite familiar with Google’s online repertoire of document creators and the like on Google Drive. When I worked at the Yorkton Film Festival (no big deal, only the longest running film festival in North America, yes, that is a shameless plug for the greatness of my hometown) a lot of my work was done over Google Drive because the sheets and documents were easily shared to multiple people who could see my edits live.
But anyway, I will try to stay on topic and give a brief overview of what I like and dislike about Google Classroom, and if I would use it in my own someday.
I honestly have a lot I like about Google Classroom, if you didn’t know already. I will try and do this in bullet points, to make it organized.
- I like that I can mark my students’ assignments right there so they can look at their marks online, see my comments and also choose to fix work if they so desire.
- It was helpful because I could look at work that was handed in, or work that wasn’t handed in, and let students know if they were on the right track or not.
- I can also change the amount each assignment is out of, which I didn’t know at first. It was an interesting time trying to explain to students that they didn’t get 3/100, I just couldn’t figure out how to get it out of four. Which is not entirely accurate to the 4-level marking system, but it was the best I could get it.
- I can edit their document and have it so that the students can choose if they keep my suggestions or not.
- I can also view a submission to an assignment before it’s due or if they didn’t hand it in to see how much work they have finished. I had many instances of students being less than productive (Fridays) and I could see actual evidence of how much work was done by a student during a work period.
- It’s also nice because the documents can be open on more than one computer, and we had ChromeBooks in our room, so it was always connected to their accounts. This meant that students could be in a group and be working in a document together.
- I like that I can see exactly when students hand something in, I can see if it was late or on-time. I can see, if they are late, if they did some work or just completely dropped the ball.
- The thing that was also really helpful to me, was that Google saves the past revision of a document. I had one instance of a student who handed in an assignment and, when I opened it, let’s just say it was not what I was expecting and leave it at that. But I could look at the previous revisions and see that the student had indeed gotten the entire assignment done, quite well, and I found it strange that they would choose to undo all the work they did and hand in the work I got instead. So, I had a talk with the student and we determined that someone had used the account after and had made that revision. It was good to know about the previous saves or else I would have had no way of seeing the work that was done previously.
- You can allow students to comment on posts, or you can silence them. Which is good because then they can ask questions, but you can also make so that they cannot comment when they are being Grade Eights.
- Our school sometimes had spotty internet, and, with the nature of Google Classroom, I couldn’t get students to do any work on their assignments if there was no internet, because the Chrome Books wouldn’t work, they couldn’t save their work, and for the most part, we didn’t even have any alternate document software. So, that was annoying. But it wasn’t that frequent.
- Obviously, one of the problems with Google Classroom is that it is not definite you will end up in a school with access to it. So you may not even have the option of working with it.
- One thing I’ve found, and I don’t know how prominent it is, it’s just my opinion, is that Google technologies don’t have as good of a grammar and spell check as Microsoft does. I find that often it won’t highlight misspelled words and it’s not great with grammar. Which can be frustrating when I’m trying to mark assignments from students.
- The other thing that’s a technology thing with docs is that I don’t like the way they work with putting images in to the document, it doesn’t seem to move in a way you want.
- Those last two are kind of dislikes of Google Drive in general, but they did affect the work that was turned in to me, and I think it is important that while students can attach outside links, our computers were mostly only equipped with Google technologies so it was hard to find something else. So the difficulties of Google Docs and Slides were apparent.
I think I would, in the end use this in my classroom if my school had access to it. Obviously, as you can tell from my lists of pros and cons, I didn’t have much trouble with it. I’m sure there are other tools that might work better, or people might prefer, but I feel pretty comfortable using it, and I never had any major issues with it.
That was my blog, stay tuned later in the week for the beginning of my baking adventures. I did not add an exclamation mark there, because I feel it was not that exciting or monumentous an announcement. Just so we are all on the same page. I also can’t tell if that’s spelled right, so if you want to correct me in the comments, I accept it. I am too lazy to check right now and the spell check doesn’t recognize it so yeah.