Mr Aitken, our Computing Science teacher, tells us about a groundbreaking way of teaching which he has employed in his classes this year:
Last year, Google Classroom was released as a tool to help schools and pupils assign and complete work completely online, from any type of device: mobile, PC, tablet or laptop. Students are given a Google Apps for Education account (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org) that they use to access all the free Google Services such as Classroom, Gmail, Google Drive (which has unlimited storage). The teacher creates assignments and uploads course content to the Google Classroom which is then assigned to pupils in specific classes. The students can then complete and submit their homework electronically, using all the course materials as reference, which is also available within Google Classroom.
As all assignment information is recorded, including grades and late submissions, this allows teachers to give parents a much more detailed account of how their child is performing in that class.
After testing this out last year with my Higher class I found that it:
- Increased the on-time homework return level
- Gave the students much more flexibility and motivation in how and when they completed their work, and
- Allows the teacher to give instant feedback and be available 24/7 (within reason!)
- Allowed students to collaborate on work and discuss together, even if they weren’t in the same room
This year the Computing Science department decided to roll this out to all levels from S3-S6 and students are already seeing the benefits of the system. After doing a quick straw poll with the students to see how they accessed and completed their homework, the results were as follows:
Android Mobile: 16%
Laptop : 20%
The screenshot below shows the screen that holds all the course content, from the presentations used in class to the workbooks used for practical software development.
If you would like to know more about Google Classroom please see the video below: