Google Classroom Thoughts

Discussion in 'General Education' started by OneBerry, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2015

    Hello, all. I need to choose a new learning management system for this year. The one I used the past two years (and was finally getting the hang of) is not going to be an option this year. My three choices are Moodle, Google Classroom, or a combination of Google Classroom with a Google site.

    Moodle seems to have more options for customization, maybe overwhelmingly so. I know I can handle that if I put the time in, and a couple of other teachers at my school use and like it. HOWEVER, my district is moving towards all things Google and I have a feeling many or even most of my coworkers will use Google Classroom this year. If the kids are going to be seeing Google Classroom in their other classes, it may be much easier to go with the flow and use it for that reason. I've tried it out, but it seems to be lacking features I'm used to, like folders for students to access documents. Am I just missing things? I recently learned how to make a Google Form work like a quiz, so that's a step in the right direction.

    I would like to hear from anyone who uses GC, and if I could see your GC, that would be even better. Or, is there anyone who tried it and found that it didn't work out? The clock of summer is ticking and I need to figure out what I'm doing.

    I appreciate all input. :)
     
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  3. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2015

    I started using Google Classroom this year. I teach high school social studies and it is nice to be able to keep all my notes there. I was able to completely get rid of binders. Once students are entered into the classroom a folder is created in the Google Drive. Anything that is assigned will automatically go in there and anything that is posted can be manually added to the folder. I like how I can grade assignments and send it back to the students for instant feedback. I have used Google Forms for tests. If you are only making it multiple choice, Google Sheets has an add on that makes grading so easy.

    I have not completely eliminated paper in my classroom, but am pretty close to it.

    Google is always adding features to the Classroom and have a way for teachers to suggest features they want to see.

    If there is anything else about Google Classroom you would like to know, please let me know. I would have tried to post mine, but I deleted my classes from the last school year.
     
  4. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2015

    Thank you for your reply. Assuming you teach multiple sections of the same class (maybe you don't), how do you manage that? Do all of your students access the same classroom or do you have several? Do you find it necessary to have a website in addition to the classroom?
     
  5. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2015

    I have a classroom for each period. Even though I may have multiple sections of a class I find that some classes move faster than others so I don't see it as an issue. There is an option to add a post to multiple classes. I do not have a classroom website. However, if you want parents to have access, you will need a classroom website since parents can not access the classroom.
     
  6. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2015

    Hmm, thanks again. This gives me food for thought. As of right now I am leaning toward Moodle for 4 of my classes (all the same course), Google Classroom for 1, and no online course for the last. :dizzy: Hoping to hear some others' input, as well.
     
  7. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2015

    I have used moodle...it was easy to customize but sometimes gave me issues. (User error I'm sure) I prefer Google classroom. I like using the drive and Google apps. Google apps save automatically..it's also accessible anywhere you have the Internet. I like how it basically eliminates the "I left my homework at home" excuses we hear all the time. As someone mentioned you can create individual classrooms and student folders. I also like that I no longer have to carry things back and forth to work. I just need to get on my computer. It's my feeling Google classroom and drive are easier to learn and use.

    Presently, I have students open a folder and they keep all notes and assignments in there. They then email me the folder and I go through and check/grade and send assignments back. Hope this helps
     
  8. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2015

    I'm going to be using Google Classroom as well as a Google site this year. We, too, are moving more in the direction of all things Google, so I'm looking forward to reading more on this thread.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 18, 2015

    Google Classroom fanboy here.

    If your school uses Google Apps for Education, Google Classroom is definitely the way to go. Especially because they just made a number of exciting updates to the app!

    The phone apps (iphone and android) will now send students push notifications when you make an announcement or create a new assignment (previously they would have to check their school email).

    The app has now also released its API to third party developers, so you can expect a lot of cool add-ons and things to work with Google Classroom in the future.

    Google classroom has limited ability to customize things, but I find that when it comes to assigning things to students, or providing them information, the simplest interface is usually the best.

    If your students have Google Apps, when you assign work to them, it all comes back to you under their name, in the specific class that they signed up for, and even in a Google folder specific to that assignment.

    This means you can download all the assignments and print them at once, or just preview them all in the folder and use your arrow keys to easily navigate between documents to grade them.

    You can assign links or videos very easily as well. (Though I think some improvement can be made on the way it does links).

    I'm particularly excited about the notification thing because that means Google Classroom can replace apps like Remind101 and other things like that, and still work with everything else. So instead of having to set up multiple apps, just having the kids download and install Google Classroom on their phones would be all they need to do.
     
  10. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Jul 18, 2015

    I'm wondering if Google Classroom can also be used as early as 4th grade? Many of my students don't have their own iPhones, or such... but I really like the idea of having students turn in work and it automatically goes into one folder.

    I'll have to search YouTube for more tutorials on how elementary teachers utilize it.
     
  11. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 19, 2015

    Google classroom & site fan here .... I use them with my 5th and 6th graders since they each have their own Chromebook in school and either a cell phone or computer at home. LOVE IT compared to Moodle. Classroom runs similar to Facebook (which a lot of students - even though they are young - know how to use) and it allows me to easily organize their work/submissions. I think my school is trying to make it so that I can use it with my 3rd and 4th graders too eventually - I think I could do it with 4th, but I would want 3rd grade to still work on handwriting skills.

    What is good about Moodle is that it has similar (but more basic) features compared to Google classroom. I ran into html coding issues with Moodle that I don't have with Google classroom (although sites can have similar issues).

    But overall, I'm happy to be sticking with Google.
     
  12. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Jul 19, 2015

    Thank you for your input on elementary. When you say it's similar to Facebook, are students allowed to interact with each other (even if it's publicly)? Or is it basically just teacher-driven and students can reply to announcements, assignments, etc?
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 19, 2015

    You can control how students interact, and with what. I recommend turning off students' ability to post on the stream (otherwise they spam it) and only allow them to comment on announcements and assignments. You can make commenting an assignment as well (and just tell them to mark it as done, if they did it).
     
  14. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Jul 19, 2015

    Wow! I like the customization potential.

    Thank you for your help. :)
     
  15. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2015

    Well, due to everyone's comments I am now leaning toward Google Classroom. Do you all use Google Forms? What grading (or other) extensions do you find useful? I have had Flubaroo recommended to me, although I haven't really used it yet.
     
  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jul 20, 2015

    Do kids need a Google account to use Google Classroom? I registered for Classroom but wasn't sure how students sign up. I was considering using Edmodo.
     
  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    That is one thing that is important to note. It will not work with just Google accounts. Your school needs to use Google Apps for Education, and each student needs a Google Apps account.

    This is something that your school's tech guy or your district will need to set up. Google Apps for Education is free, but it takes maintenance. It essentially gives every student an email address under your domain. For instance studentname @ yourschoolwebsite.com.
     
  18. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    I use Flubaroo to grade my Google Forms. The only thing I can't use it to grade is open ended questions.
     
  19. jw12

    jw12 Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2015

    I don't know which LMS you were using, but at my school we use Schoology. Free, simple, web-based or app-based, integrates with Google Drive, and has the ability to provide online assessments. I, too, thought about Google Classroom, but our high school's tech staff said that it wasn't as good as Schoology.
     
  20. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 21, 2015

    I did allow my students to post comments and it was never abused. I made it very clear to them that it was to be used in a professional manner and shared good comments and bad comments to make sure I was clear. I never had any issues. I also get an email sent to me when a student posts a comment, so I can quickly delete it if I need to.

    Most of the time students used it to post a question about the assignment and other students would provide some guidance. It was never about sharing answers - more like clarifying a direction or a question about the due date.
     
  21. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jul 27, 2015

    Google Classroom for sure. Our district went all Google two years ago. I love Classroom because it is so easy to track who has turned things in, the kids took to it quickly. I still have much to improve on, but it is fairly easy to work with. One teacher puts all his presentations in classroom so kids can go back to review or find information, and it helps kids to catch up if they have been absent.
     

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