Since its launch in 2014, Google Classroom has steadily gained popularity, and today, over 40 million educators and students use the program worldwide. As part of the G Suite for Education, Google Classroom was developed to help students and teachers manage coursework, materials, and assignments while serving as a streamlined platform to improve communication and collaboration.
A comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS), Google Classroom allows educators to paperlessly create, assign and grade assignments, and share information, materials, and resources with students.
Built-in features like automatically making individual copies and separate Google Drive folders for each student, not only save time for teachers but also allow students and teachers to easily track and monitor progress.
Benefits of Google Classroom
All students have different learning styles, and with Google Classroom, educators have more freedom and flexibility to choose the most suitable medium of instruction. Whether it is through YouTube videos, easily editable images, or texts that students can annotate, Google Classroom’s integration with a variety of education apps saves teachers time and allows for seamless information sharing.
Breaking Down Communication Barriers
The digital platform also breaks down barriers to communication, particularly for students who may be more timid or unwilling to participate in traditional classroom discussions. The educators at Lee County Schools find that students “come out of their shell when they do assignment[s] digitally”, and can showcase their true abilities and talents when they are not constrained by traditional boundaries.
Google Classrooms also promotes real-time collaboration and insightful discussions among students, a useful feature particularly for students in middle school and up, as they start acquiring career skills and engaging in independent learning.
Grading, one of the most time-consuming activities for teachers, is much easier with Google Classroom. With all student assignments collected in one place, teachers have a much easier time grading, and can even create self-grading tests with Google Forms. The platform also makes it a breeze to provide individual or group feedback, make announcements, and keep parents in the loop about progress in the classroom.
From a professional standpoint, Google offers a variety of training courses for educators to familiarize themselves with the functionality of Google Classroom and how best to integrate it into their lessons.
Educators also enjoy the ability to share resources, connect with other educators, and join communities virtually and locally, and the G-Chat functionality within Google Classroom allows for ease of communication and shared professional development. You can also start a thread on Google Classroom where the entire class is involved in an open forum where everyone can view and comment.
Using Read to Lead®️ with Google Classroom
Read to Lead is an instructional resource that can easily be integrated within Google Classroom and used to build complete lesson plans that supplement the core curriculum. Worksheets like the one shown below can easily be uploaded to Google Classroom, and students can work collaboratively on tasks via Google Docs.
Teachers can also easily create individual copies of worksheets for each student to complete on their own, which can be added to their virtual student portfolio. Google Classroom automatically creates a folder within Google Drive for each student that teachers can easily access to track student progress and improvement over time.
Google Classroom’s “Question” feature helps keep students engaged after the lesson by sparking discussions that continue beyond just the classroom. Students get the chance to interact with each other and develop crucial collaboration whether in the classroom or learning remotely.
Teachers can easily keep track of student progress and export grades from Read to Lead®️ into Google Classroom to assess holistically how students are coping with the material. This also allows them to focus on weaker students, or provide additional help to students who are struggling, and even share updates with parents and/or guardians using the “Invite Guardians” function in Google Classroom.
Google Classroom is a powerful tool that educators can use to facilitate student learning, encourage student participation and engagement, and much more. As we move towards an ever more digital workplace, introducing tools such as these into the classroom will definitely equip students with the experience needed to navigate future challenges.
Are you a visual learner? We’ve got a YouTube series on how to set up Read to Lead in Google Classroom!
Turning in an assignment
Joining a Google Classroom
Adding a Link to an Assignment
Adding Students to a Class
Creating a Class
Create an Assignment
Have you experienced the ease of using Google Classroom to create a collaborative and robust learning environment, or used Read to Lead lessons and resources with Google Classroom?
About Read to Lead
Read to Lead is an education technology nonprofit that uses game-based learning to empower middle school students to develop their literacy, life, and career skills.