Blending Google Classroom

blendgoogleMy initial reactions to first using Google Classroom were mixed at best. The majority of my LMS experience has been centered around using Edmodo as a platform for any blended content that I would personally make. WIth the latest tweaks and updates to Classroom, a few issues have been since addressed. My main concern focused on the ability to turn off the student chat function. I still think the interface and document workflow is a tad counter intuitive for younger students (mostly 5th graders), but enough has been done to make it a powerful tool used in the right manner. I like the fact that students using Google Classroom can take them to the level of how we as adults use cloud computing. Edmodo was a bit to childish for my liking and perhaps even my 8th graders liking. Student engagement and interaction levels with Classroom give them the sense that they are working on document creation with a purpose. blendgoogle2 I have used Classroom extensively with my 5th grade science class as we started our first year with the Next Generation Science Standards. The document integration and creation capabilities of Classroom pair well with a curriculum that teachers need to curate such as the NGSS. As an avid user of Blendspace, I have found the best way to blend Classroom is to create my own documents for students to read. These documents parallel our class notes. I also keep a master Blendspace of our current unit, which in turn, I attach to any assignments they are working on for that given unit. Going even further, pairing Classroom with voice over or screencasts will definitely increase the capability of blending your classroom. While Google Classroom is not shaking up the world of ed tech, it is providing a clean and reliable blended learning platform (if you as a teacher subscribe to being a content creator and curator). I have enjoyed my time with Classroom as I integrate it with younger students. Classroom lends it self to an excellent workflow that students should get acclimated to at earlier ages in academia. If you are a teacher that liked Edmodo, check out Classroom. The change takes a few assignments for both teacher and student to become acclimated to, but it will benefit students in the end.