Students today have grown up in a world that they’ve always had wifi, don’t know of the struggle to plan an internet session when nobody would use the home phone (attached to the wall?!?!) and had to read an actual map to drive across the country. This also means they won’t learn the same way, or have the same attention span when we hand pencils and paper and have them sit in rows. The biggest game changer for a teacher can be being transparent and having a website for students to reference. This is meeting them where they are and understanding that this is the way they learn, so I might as well be from the teachers voice/mind, rather than the internet.
February 13th – Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a relatively new product – released to the public in August/September of 2014, it was an easy way to setup a forum for students to get resources, have online class discussions and connect to your google drive for classroom materials. Before this I always created, and trained teachers in, Google Sites (which is a later post) that was a nice easy way for students to get information from the teacher. As the popularity of Google Classroom has grown, more and more 3rd party services are incorporating it (like yesterdays EdPuzzle) and the service itself is getting better. When it was first released, you couldn’t sort by first and last name and couldn’t have two teachers in the same classroom – but all that has been improved over the past year and the product is humming. While there are still some gaps, the Google people want this to work for the teachers so they are very quick to respond to suggestions. The product itself is rather robust and Alice Keeler(@alicekeeler) is a Google Classroom expert so I would seek her out her website for tips and tricks (I’ll be creating post a bit later).