14th December 15
Primary and Secondary students, as well as teachers, have been discovering the benefits of using the Google Education Environment including all the fascinating and useful Google Apps and especially the Google Classroom App which has been specifically developed for schools.
This new way of working offers many advantages to our students. One of the main benefits is that submitting work to the teacher can now be done with one simple click so students no longer have to remember to bring their pen drive to class. In addition, teachers can set work in the Google Classroom and all their students have a clear record of the assignment and the date it needs to be submitted and therefore helping the students to organise their work.
Inside the virtual classroom teachers can make announcements to the class and pose questions to their students stimulating interest in their learning. And the communication is not only one way. Students themselves can contribute by asking their own questions, or posting relevant comments about the topic or an assignment.
All students can also save work in their own Google Drive (a file storage service) which as it is in ‘the cloud’ can be accessed from any computer, tablet or smart-phone. Students can even collaborate on the same document simultaneously from the comfort of their own homes.
Although the paperless classroom may not be a reality in the very near future, applications like Google Classroom certainly take us a step further and as the world we live in is moving in this direction, the benefits of preparing our students for working in this way cannot be denied.
In Secondary we are also starting to test the chromebooks that have recently arrived to the School. Chromebooks are simple computers specifically designed to access the internet and all the available web based apps such as Classroom, Drive, Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc, that we are already using in our Google Classroom environment. Chromebooks are really fast to boot, it only takes a few seconds to start working on any project; they are very small and have 8 to 10 hours of working battery, so they are ideal to work inside any classroom. The initial tests that we are doing at the moment are giving us a very good response both from the students and the teachers, so we may be implementing a 1 on 1 project in the school earlier than most of us could imagine just a few months ago.