After viewing and summarizing the recent Hangout about Classroom facilitated by members of the New York Edtech Team, I decided to reach out to Toni Ann Piscitelli, Paul Lepore and Heidi Bernasconi to see if they would be interested in serving as guests on our show. Fortunately, they agreed and we are very excited to have the opportunity to talk with them about their experience using Classroom.
We are particularly interested in finding out what students thought about the product and how it impacted their learning. As a GAFE school, and big supporter for the integration of Google apps in the classroom, we in Burlington are interested in determining whether or not Classroom will be a viable LMS option to present to faculty in the fall. Although the information we currently have about Classroom is limited, we are optimistic that it does (will) have the potential to help many students and teachers throughout the district. Similar to Google Drive, Classroom could potentially become a foundational tool for our teachers and students throughout our entire district.
If you are also a GAFE school and are interested in learning more about how or if Classroom could impact teaching and learning in your school community, we hope you’ll be able to join us live. As an alternative, you can watch an archive of episode 13 on the Help Desk YouTube channel. (the hangout video is shown below)
Don’t have time to watch? The bottom line, which Paul emphasized throughout the conversation, is that the product is designed around the slogan “less tech-ing and more teaching.” It sounds as though Classroom will be able to be used in all grade levels.
Here is a “top 10 list” of the key points from the conversation:
- Classroom serves as platform for a seamless digital workflow and communication system between students and teachers
- Classroom intertwines perfectly with Google Drive. All Drive functionality remains in tact
- Classroom is product you can click on go! There are no hidden features & there is virtually no learning curve
- Teachers and students do not need any previous experience using Google apps to use Classroom
- Classroom is a great product for teachers who like to flip their lessons and want to have online discussions
- The pinnacle of the product is to be able to distribute work and collect student work
- Teachers have flexibility and autonomy with Classroom. They will not feel “handcuffed” to the product.
- The product is device agnostic, works on tablets and smartphones, but it does require the Chrome browser
- Scripts such as Doctopus, G-Class folders and other “duct tape” methods will be a thing of the past once Classroom arrives
- From a Google apps administrator point of view, it is a breeze to set up and teachers need zero support from IT staff