4 Mistakes to Avoid When Integrating Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a powerful tool for educators and students which is quickly becoming a highly used resource. Classroom is user-friendly and offers many options for productivity, organization, and engagement. There are a few precautions to take, however, before integrating Classroom into lessons. It is imperative for teachers to remember that technology should not drive instruction. Google Classroom, just like most other technology, is a tool with which to deliver a lesson. The lesson itself should be well-planned by the teacher and focused on the needs of students. The objective of lessons delivered should not be to use Classroom, but to learn meaningful content which may be enhanced through the use of the technology. There are a few other key mistakes teachers should avoid when integrating Classroom into lessons.
Each Class Needs a Classroom
Avoid placing all students into one Classroom, even if it’s for the same subject. Each class section taught should have a separate Classroom, and each Classroom should have a distinct name. Naming conventions vary by user; however, more specific names can help with organization and make finding assignments easier. Many users choose to use the subject name, class period, and school year as Classroom names which makes archiving classes more organized as well.
Keep Notifications On
Don’t completely turn off Classroom notifications. Instead, tweak them to suit your needs. If email notifications are getting out of hand, create rules within GMail to help filter notifications and keep them organized. There are two main ways to create filters in GMail. The first method is to access “Filters and Blocked Addresses” in the Settings menu and choose “Create a New Filter” to access the filtering options. Another way is to choose an email that’s already been received from Classroom by clicking the checkbox to the left of the email. Click the More menu (three dots) above the email, and select “Filter Messages Like These.”
Filtering Method 1 – Filtering Options
Filtering Method 2 – Filter Directly From Message
Monitor Student Comments
Student comments are a great way for students to communicate and help one another with assignments; however, this feature can quickly become an issue if the teacher doesn’t monitor what students are posting. If a student posts inappropriate comments, all students in the classroom will see the post. Student comments can also be turned off completely if the assignment doesn’t rely on student discussion.
Always have a Plan B
Imagine you’ve created the perfect lesson in Google Classroom. You’ve differentiated instruction, included formative assessment, created interactive activities, and even added in a few questions to increase discourse among students. Now imagine the school’s Wi-Fi stops working. Do you have a Plan B? Losing valuable instructional time should not happen because the lesson was planned around technology. Instead, plan the lesson first and then decide which technology tools would enhance the lesson or increase student understanding of content.