I’ve been struggling to find time to write in my blog at the minute. I’ve been busy juggling planning for lessons, Uni assignments, marking formative work we are doing in class, family time and preparing for an exam in one of my subjects arghh… I can’t wait for a break in the holidays!!
ICTs have been an integral part of my day-to-day work on this prac as my mentor (the school for the most part) is a Google school. Coincidently I chose to use Google Classroom for my Study Desk on my website in Assignment 3. I actually stubbled upon Google Classroom through ICT networking in EDC3100. In week 1, we were asked to engage in experimenting with new platforms in relation to Assignment 3 and I signed up with Feedly and Twitter. I followed some education related people and feeds and a few weeks later on of my Feedly, someone I started following “Free Technology for Teachers” Richard Byrne, posted something about Google Classroom (which I didn’t even know existed). I tried accessing it but I needed to be part of a school or institution to sign up so I couldn’t. A few weeks later, in another post, he commented that Google Classroom has just been made accessible to anyone for free and so I jumped on and checked it out. On Twitter, around the same time, I started following @alicekeeler who wrote a book 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom ,she posts different ideas for using Google Classroom and all Google’s associated Apps. Engaging in new platforms and building professional networks was a positive and practical experience for me: (1) I never would have known about Google Classroom; (2) I gained insight into innovative aways to use it!!
On Prac it’s been great to see how Google Classroom can be used in practice. I used it in my assignment as I wanted to have a novel analysis discussion take place online as well as in the classroom, in the hope that I could contribute to the discussion and help consolidate and build on students’ knowledge. The way that a Google school is set up is that all the staff and students have Gmail accounts, they use Google Drive and each teacher, if they choose, uses Google Classroom. It allows the teacher to post attachments, resources, assignment information in digital form as well as handing out a hard copy in class. If the teacher shares a formative piece of work for example, the teacher has access and can see each students documents, provide feedback and check whether or not they are doing what they are supposed to be doing during the lesson. Tracking students progress and monitoring where they are at is easy, accessible and organised. I can see many benefits of using a platform like this in the future and after using it on this prac for the last few weeks I feel confident working with Google Classroom or a similar digital platform in the future.
Below is an example of something I posted for students at the end of a lesson, the aim was to clarify where they should be up to by next lesson and also a point of reference for myself. It allows me to explain at the end of the lesson “If you are not sure what you are required to have completed by next lesson, please have a look on Classroom”
Thanks for reading.