This year the new headteacher at my school introduced Google Education. The school email was switched to gmail (although the email address is the same as it always was). With Google Education we also gained an unlimited google drive, which can be a shared drive, and a forum to interact with our students which was not open to the public and easily managed by teachers. In this post I am going to discuss some of the positives and negatives we have experienced so far.
This is a re-blog post originally posted by Ruth Weightman and published with kind permission.
The original post can be found here.
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- The Shared Drive.
Like any shared drive the ability for all teachers to edit documents can be problematic (especially accidental delete incidents) however also provides a forum for sharing resources. We have moved into a more paperless administrative way of working using this shared drive for incident reports, booking sheets, saving and sharing lesson and examination resources, pastoral information, and a whole host of other documents we wish to share.
- The Google Classroom App
I have personally found the Google Classroom fantastic for being able to set my students work over the internet. It was easy to make my classrooms by assigning students. Once students are part of the classroom they see a ‘stream’ which is similar to a facebook wall or a twitter feed. I have been using it to set homework assignments and lesson activities, and announcements like ‘test in 2 weeks’ or ‘bring your calculators to lesson on Wednesday’.
Students can submit work here and leave comments. I am trying to develop an academic forum for them to share things like revision videos and websites. I also use it to see what time they are submitting homework and, because they cannot ‘lose’ the worksheet, they have less excuses to complete the work. They also have all subjects in one place – so no individual logins for different subjects VLE’s.
- Dependence on the internet.
As this system depends on the internet there are drawbacks for students who do not have internet access at home. Luckily my school has homework clubs in the library, which has computers and the internet, so students can do their online homework here. Also if the internet goes down at school and I am using google classroom to deliver a lesson my plans are obviously scuppered.
- Educational apps and links
There are many more educational apps you can use which link to the google classroom. I am currently using edpuzzle.com with 4 of my classes. Edpuzzle allows me to use videos from youtube to set work. The videos can be altered to include questions, comments and instructions. Students log on using their gmail details (so no new log on details) and complete tasks. If they open a new page or click anywhere the video stops – they have to watch it. I can then see how many times students watch parts of the videos and if they answer questions correctly. They get a % score which allows me to easily compare their performance and act accordingly. There are many more apps out there which I am exploring however none have grabbed me yet.
I am also beginning to use Quizlet which again links up to Google Classroom brilliantly with no extra login details. Here students can complete and make quizzes. I am using it for students revising and learning key scientific IGCSE vocabulary. They love competing against each other in the race and matchup games.
I am really enjoying using Google Education. I want to start using google forms and surveys with students and develop their interactions with each other. I have had to ban the frowny face and remind students to use ‘proper English’, but they seem very engaged with the new set up and more motivated to do home and lesson work using ICT.