I attended the annual #iceindiana conference in Noblesville Friday. Its the annual gathering of teachers around the state interested in technology in the classroom. All the sessions are lead by teachers or former teachers who are now working in professional development and/or edtech in some other capacity. This is my second year attending. I always come away with something new to take back to my colleagues and to my classroom.
I sat through a 2 hour workshop on Google Classroom with John Sowash. He really needed 4 hours to go through what he discussed. First think I learned was… Google Classroom ISN’T a learning management system (LMS). It was developed as a portal to organize a teacher’s student files in drive. As you recall, last year, I did a weather project and nearly ripped my hair out, trying to keep up with all the files that simply landed on my drive page every time a student submitted an assignment. With Classroom, each assignment is automatically assigned a folder, and all the files go there. No more searching for the file your student INSISTS he turned in.
I get that now. It works, I love it.
Classroom has been live for about 15 months now (since August 2014), and the developers are working hard to make the app as user friendly as teachers want it to be. The question of whether it will be upgraded to a full LMS is still open for discussion. In our district, because we haven’t chosen a district wide LMS, it will be interesting to see what happens if Classroom DOES become a full LMS. If not, it is my hope that those LMS’ out there work a little harder to “talk” to the app, making curriculum development, lesson planning and deliver and all the other great things teachers can do easier.
More news on THAT when it comes out!
BTW… week 4 is moving along quietly… I think we’re in full honeymoon mode!
In case you’re interested in the plan behind Classroom, check out this video (its 30 minutes long, get a cup of tea first)