Google Classroom and Flipped Learning
Rupinder Sidhu (Hampton Park – Punjabi)
Technology plays a significant role in modern day teaching. With developments in technology and new software teaching can become more insightful and engaging. There is an old saying: change is the law of nature. One thing that I and colleagues have done is to introduce Google Classroom (GC) into our teaching. Here is some information as a quick recap to learn more about Google Classroom.
Officially, “Google Classroom is a web service developed by Google for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way”. The word paperless is true to its meaning; through Google Classroom we can reduce photocopying by a substantial amount. But I must confess that GC is more effective in higher grades where students have their own devices with GC running as an Application or online version.
No need to Photocopy:
We mainly photocopy so that students could be provided with the worksheets. But here we can click the picture or scan it through CAM Scanner or any other scanner and share with the all students in the class . For instance, as a starter I used to photocopy sheets of idioms and proverbs for brainstorming in the first 15 minutes of class. But now as all students are on my list in Google Classroom and all students can access the material on Google Classroom during class time and at home as well. I can upload the worksheets for them either before the start of the class or instantaneously The teacher’s device connected through the School Wi Fi can display the document (worksheet, page of the book, cutting of newspaper, magazine) on the TV or Projector in the classroom and students can read on their on devices and extract the required information. In the same way, homework can be assigned to students providing flexibility to the teacher to make any last minute amendments by using the editing feature of Google Classroom.
Online Books for Students:
Google Classroom is a wonderful medium to provide online resources to students. In the Punjabi language there are numerous online websites like :
Books can be downloaded from these websites or links can be sent to students through Google Classroom. With scarcity of time students sometime are not very inclined to read the whole book so the teacher can guide them to relevant content or chapter through Google Classroom by using the class announcement feature.
Flipped Learning and Google Classroom:
Flipped learning is an approach where students are provided materials and notes before the class and when they come to attend the class they are already aware of the Content and can use the class time to brainstorm and interact with the teacher and peers and have an In-depth knowledge of the content. Google classroom has allowed me to introduce the flipped learning approach in my VCE class and I was able to send the material to students beforehand and asked the students to go through the assigned topic. It was narrowed down by asking students to highlight the key words, extract the target information and by filling the blanks at the end of the topic.
In another instance it could be done in the form of a quiz where students read the assignment provided in the Google Classroom to prepare a quiz for another student.
I am an avid reader of Punjabi newspapers and magazines and books and like to watch documentaries. Without GC it was always a cumbersome effort to introduce the related content. Now if you come across anything associated with the curriculum (like vocabulary, text types, clips of documentaries and interviews) exemplar written pieces can be shared with students in a hassle-free way. GC is a versatile tool which has calendars where all your goals, reminders and events for the week, month or term could be displayed which make the planning much easier.
Helpful for multilevel classes– GC is a dynamic platform to manage mixed classes. Separate assignments can be uploaded as per the level of students and students can be differentiated as per their performance level based on the descriptors.
To sum up: I would say that once you get familiar with it, your teaching will become more organised, reformed and, of course, paperless. My suggestions to all my colleagues: please explore it, apply it and I can guarantee you that you will enjoy teaching and the preparation for learning in many new ways!