Put the class back into Google Classroom

by | March 28, 2017 | in Opinions | No Comments

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier: phones allow for instant communication, cars create easy transportation and at PHS the introduction of Chromebooks (and digitally based assignments) were supposed to bring similar benefits. But it hasn’t gone quite as smoothly as many had expected.
According to the 2014 National Speak Up education survey, 33 percent of American high schoolers had a school issued laptop, such as the Chromebooks we use here in Piedmont. With the introduction of laptops we were also introduced to Google Drive and Google Classroom, which are great tools for a learning environment, but not unless all teachers utilize them. Out of my six classes this year, only three classes use Google Classroom and onlyimg_3901 two of my teachers use the online resource. While some teachers rely on it to post homework and class assignments, others use the site sporadically. In education is consistency not key?
If all teachers actively use the tools available to us it will promote a more unified learning experience. As of right now if I wanted to check my homework online, I have to visit three different sites. Consolidating all that information would be more time-effective for students, many of whom are already balancing extracurriculars such as sports or community service.
Technology could potentially be revolutionizing the way school is organized.  Google Classroom has a function that allows for students to see the due dates of important projects as well as everyday homework for all their classes on one calendar.  While I see the importance of the PUSD issued planners and the benefits of writing out one’s assignments, the Google Classroom calendar could easily replace it or be a very suitable backup, if a teacher is going to be absent they can post lesson plans and students who miss class can catch up on work before returning to class.
Teachers have a right to their own teaching styles, and sometimes that doesn’t involve the new technology. Sometimes the existing teaching styles revolve around pre-existing websites and don’t wish to have new websites and district policies change their styles. But, at some point there must be an implemented standard in teaching style, and perhaps part of that could be centered around the technology and digital resources we already have at our disposal.