Lesson 4: Google Classroom
Participants will explore the various features of Google Classroom and be able to effectively navigate and utilize the platform.
Introduction to Lesson Four
Digital media and technology in education "provides access to a vast array of information, including digital libraries, data for analysis, and other people who provide information, feedback and inspiration. They can enhance the learning of teachers and administrators, as well as that of students, and increase connections between schools and communities, including homes” (Bransford, et al., 2000, p. 207).
This lesson covers a multitude of information about Google Classroom. Throughout this lesson, you will learn about the various functions and capabilities of GC. Although there are other platforms that can be utilized in order to manage a paperless classroom, Google Classroom proves to be one of the best. "With Classroom, Google is entering an already competitive market ripe with effective learning management systems. Where it has the most leverage is in its seamless integration with its own apps. This allows extremely easy access for students and teachers to one another’s work, and reduces many of the steps previously necessary for sharing information. While other systems like Schoology or Edmodo effectively integrate Google apps into their systems, it requires extra steps, which mean extra clicks and extra complications" (Catapano).
All About Google Classroom
Activity: Click here to access a PowerPoint Slideshow and read through the step-by-step explanations of the features of Google Classroom. Take notes when needed. The purpose of this activity is to learn about the functions of Google Classroom with visuals and instructions.
The blue underlined words are links to external resources that are extremely helpful as well.
Google Applications for Education (GAFE)
Activity: Read & explore both resources to develop a better understanding of GAFE & Google Classroom. The purpose of this activity is to expand your knowledge about the various applications available for establishing and managing a paperless classroom.
Click here for an excellent resource all about GAFE (Google Applications For Education) and its features.
Click here for a variety of information about Google Classroom provided by Google.
Pros & Cons of Google Classroom
- Easy to use and accessible from all devices.
- Accessible from all computers, mobile phones, and tablets
- Create Google documents to manage assignments and announcements, post YouTube videos, add links, or attach files from Google Drive. Learners will find it equally easy to log in, as well as receive and turn in assignments.
- Effective communication and sharing
- Google Docs; these documents are saved online and shared with a limitless number of people, so when you create an announcement or assignment using a Google doc, your learners can access it immediately through their Google Drive, as long as you have shared it with them. Furthermore, Google Docs are easily organized and personalized in Google Drive folders; you just create a document, share it with as many learners as you want, and voila!
- Speeds up the assignment process
- Easily check who has submitted their assignment and who is still working on it, as well as offer your feedback immediately
- Effective feedback; gives you the opportunity to offer your online support to your learners right away
- No need for paper; by centralizing eLearning materials in one cloud-based location, you have the ability to go paperless and stop worrying about printing, handing out, or even losing your learners’ work!
- Clean and user-friendly interface
- Great commenting system.
- Learners can comment on specific locations within pictures for a variety of online courses. Furthermore, you can create URLs for interesting comments and using them for further online discussion.
- Educators can also join Google Classroom as learners, which means that you can create a Google Classroom for you and your colleagues and use it for faculty meetings, information sharing, or professional development
- Difficult account management
- Google Classroom doesn’t allow access from multiple domains (accounts). Furthermore, you cannot log in with your personal Gmail to enter it; you need to be logged in Google Apps for Education. As a result, if you have already a personal Google ID, it may be frustrating to juggle multiple Google accounts. For example, if you have a Google document or a photo in your Gmail and you want to share it in the Google Classroom, you will need to save it separately in your computer’s hard drive, log out, and then log in again with your Google Classroom account.
- Limited integration options
- Google Classroom hasn’t yet integrated with Google Calendar, or any calendar whatsoever, which may cause some problems with organizing material and assignment deadlines
- Activity feed doesn’t update automatically, so learners will need to refresh regularly in order not to miss important announcements.
- Difficult learner sharing
- Learners cannot share their work with their peers, unless they become “owners” of a document, and even then they will need to approve sharing options, which will create a chaos if they want to share a document with their, say, 50+ classmates
- Editing problems
- When you create an assignment and you distribute it to learners, learners become “owners” of the document and they are allowed to edit it. That means that they can delete any part of the assignment they want, which could cause problems, even if it happens accidentally.
- No automated quizzes and tests.
- One of the main reasons that Google Classroom cannot yet fully replace your Learning Management System is that it doesn’t provide automated quizzes and tests for your learners. In general, Google Classroom is more suitable for a blended learning experience than a fully online program.
- No way to have a live chat in Google Classroom
Please note: These cons or disadvantages of Google Classroom are current for May 2019. With this being said, Google Classroom is frequently updated so many if not all of these disadvantages may be resolved in the future.
Click here for the assessment for this lesson. If needed, visit the help area located on the Google Classroom for this mini-course for questions or comments.
Click here for the next lesson Lesson 5: Conclusion & Wrap-Up
Catapano, J. (n.d.). Technology in the Classroom: A Look at Google Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/technology-classroom-look-google-classroom
Hausammann, P. (2017). Beginning Google Classroom and The Paperless Classroom [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from https://www.fetc.org/materials/W013.pdf
Pappas, C. (2015). Google Classroom Review: Pros And Cons Of Using Google Classroom In eLearning. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/google-classroom-review-pros-and-cons-of-using-google-classroom-in-elearning.