Best Practices Of Google Classroom eLearning Professionals Should Know
Create a class with just a few clicks? This is what Google Classroom allows you to do. This blended learning platform has just started to create its own generation by inviting literally millions of learners to create a Gmail account and familiarize themselves with the Google ecosystem. As everything else in this world, it comes with its pros and cons, but no one can doubt its biggest strength: Simplicity. Using Google Classroom is as easy as it gets; setting it up, communicating with others, saving time, organizing things. You can easily do all these, immediately after you get the suite of tools called Google Apps for Education. Google Classroom’s services and its inherent collaborative benefits have already replaced a number of teaching tools, but how can you make the most out of it? In this article, I will share 10 Google Classroom best practices, so that you will be able to take full advantage of this powerful online learning tool and understand why it is pioneer in online education.
- Go paperless.
How about saving some trees, time, and money? Google Classroom eliminates the need for hard copies, as you can create online documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and so on, and distribute them to your learners digitally. You can also have instant access to the work of your audience, edit it, and return it as soon as you finish. In addition, you can create online assignments that include not only Google Docs attachments, but also web links, and YouTube videos!
- Collect students’ homework easily.
Speaking of saving time, the process of collecting homework can be completed in literally no time, as your learners can submit their work digitally. Even if they have completed their work on paper, they can simply take a snapshot of it and submit the picture in Google Classroom.
- Offer immediate feedback.
Instant access to learners’ work allows online facilitators to clarify common misconceptions by providing feedback whenever the audience needs it, that is, after they have submitted their online assignments, or while they are still working on them. Furthermore, ongoing interaction of Google Classroom allows for building on previous answers, after feedback, and resubmitting work. Finally, Google stream is a great way to offer positive feedback publicly so everyone can see it, to reward learners who made an extra effort and motivate the rest of the group.
- Create a personalized learning environment.
Do you know that in Google Classroom you can create different classes for different subjects, materials, learning levels, and learning needs? This means that you can promote personalized learning by offering a variety of choices, online assignments, and resources to your audience to address different learning preferences. Making your learners feel that their needs are recognized and taken care of is a great way to engage them, isn't it?
- Access Google Classroom from any device.
Google Classroom is obviously the ideal environment for a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) setting, as well as for mobile learning, simply because you can access it from a web browser on any device, PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or phablet. Especially the BYOD method can be very convenient for all learners, as it allows them to have access to online content from the familiar environment of their own devices and get immediate feedback from their online facilitator.
- Use the Google Classroom for real world applications.
Google Classroom allows learners to easily submit real world material, for instance pictures or videos they take with their mobile devices, and create online presentations that include real life examples that spark interesting online conversations. This way, learners can bring their real experiences to the class and learn how to implement what they are learning to their real lives.
- Kick off great discussions.
Starting an online discussion is a piece of cake in Google Classroom; all you need to do is post a topic or a provocative question to the stream in order to initiate an online forum where community conversation among online learners is encouraged and promoted, problems are discussed and solved, and ideas are shared and expanded.
- Share announcements.
Google Drive in Google Classroom allows you not only to distribute handouts online, but also to share announcements. Your learners will be able to find your announcements by accessing the stream, and see reminders of upcoming online tests or assignment due dates.
- Provide a variety of support materials.
By being able to attach any kind of multimedia to Google Drive, such as videos, audio files, PDF documents, and so on, you can support your audience’s learning and understanding of what is being taught using a variety of resources. You can also encourage your learners to create their own videos and attach them in Google Classroom to demonstrate their creative comprehension skills.
- Give shy online course participants a voice.
Remember those people who may never raise their hand in class, but usually excel in every written assignment? The Google Classroom stream may not be as scary as the physical class environment for introvert learners given that you find creative ways to encourage every member of your class to express themselves by asking questions and commenting on what is being discussed. Consider even creating game-based learning experiences within the Classroom to promote trust and openness, and encourage teamwork and collaboration.
Now that you know the 10 best practices of Google Classroom, you may be interested in learning how you can use another Google service, Google Hangouts, for the benefit of synchronous learning. Read the article 6 Tips To Use Google Hangouts For Synchronous Learning and find out how by using Google Hangouts you can develop, implement, and enhance your synchronous learning strategies.