Being a student myself, I am often lost in these questions: What is my assignment? When is it due? I have a doubt; when will I be able to clarify it? Do I need to print this assignment, or submit it handwritten?
In a plethora of emails, chat messages and scattered memories, I find myself searching for the answers to these questions.
With technology bridging the communication gap, Google's take on education tools had to happen. What Google made is perhaps an amalgam of a variety of their own services, customised to the school and college ecosystem.
With that said, let me talk about Google Classroom. Classroom is a part of Google suit of education apps, or "Google for Education". It is the primary app that allows for a complete online classroom experience by enabling the teacher and all the students come together in a group. The teacher can then put up assignments, homework and notices, and monitor students’ work individually. The Classroom environment is a big step up for the students. Students can submit their assignments by uploading them to Google Drive, can clarify doubts by on the go by chatting with the teacher or the rest of the class, and take part in active discussions outside school.
All that is great, but how well will it work in the real world? I cannot provide the perfect answer because I haven’t used this service myself. But my take is that it works very wee, as long as it is implemented in it whole sense. If teachers really start using Classroom to the fullest, and students are allowed to submit assignments over the internet, this app will simplify the entire process of managing assignments. Giving feedback will be a charm too - instead of the teacher waiting for the next class to discuss an assignment, he/she can submit instant feedback to the student’s work. It is a simple solution to a simple problem.
What will be a challenge though is its very acceptance. Classroom means both students and teachers will be in front of their computers to do all their work - an activity that isn’t positively promoted. Moreover, replacing paper with an online tool is not very effective in developing countries like India, where emphasis is given on writing projects and filing them (Yeah, even though I do a lot of projects on the computer, I require to print it in order to submit it. I never understand why teachers can’t evaluate projects online). I do accept, though, that high schools and universities in India can take advantage of Classroom.
Classroom is a big step forward, and I believe it will eventually leave a mark. Unless implemented, no institution can notice its potential to simplify life of both teachers and students. And this amount of integration in every school across the world is still fiction.
Technology is definitely improving education, and it is time to harness it. Watch the video below about Google Classroom:
(This article has not been sponsored by Google.)