Google Classroom in a UK school: My First Thoughts

Google Classroom promised to be the perfect antidote for work flow issues when you have a whole school like ours using 1:1 iPads. After a few false dawns the Beta version was released just before the summer and now is fully operational but still being developed. An app is promised soon which I think will allow greater integration with the iPad.
As expected Google although a bit late to the party (Showbie and Edmodo got there first in my opinion) I think they have developed a interface that looks good and i think most importantly links directly and automatically with your own and your students Google Drive account.
All our students have Gmail addresses and you can invite you students via email or via a class code (like Showbie)
Work flow is great, it’s easy to post announcements before, during and after a lesson and this helps enormously with differentiation at all levels. I have particularly enjoyed starting a topic to gain an insight to prior knowledge band any misconceptions that have to be challenged.
being google of course you have to live with the americanisation of language such as ‘Turning in’ for the more anglican ‘Handing in’, when the students deliver their work to you.
Setting assignments is easy and these can be downloaded directly from your google drive or elsewhere, just be careful to test on an iPad as I fell foul of this and had to have a rapid rethink when a video wouldn’t play.
I am using Google Classroom for Classes in a broad ability range and I have to say the students have quickly adapted to the new web based system and love the link to their Google Drive, as it’s all automatic. A ‘Classroom’ Folder with all the work set and links added for revision later is posted onto Google Drive. They post their work in their folder and ‘Turn it in’ to me when the deadline is reached.

I will post again when I have got to grips with the marking and feedback of student’s work.

Part 2 to come soon

Andy @MrACalvert

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