Google Classroom is where communication can become contribution.
Educators have a responsibility to provide a safe, happy, and empowering learning environment for the students in our care. We can implement high yield strategies, and engage our students in Inquiry Learning, and promote a Growth Mindset. We can foster an accepting and inclusive classroom where all the students feel safe to take risks in their learning.
But all that we do for our students is generally in place for one, or maybe two years. Unless you teach in a Waldorf Education school and follow a group of students through the grades, you will teach them for one year, and they will move on to another teacher.
There is, however, a constant in the educational lives of those students – their family. While we have them for a year, their family is in a position to support them from cradle to career.
This was a long-winded way of introducing the importance of establishing a strong Home-School connection for each of our students. If we are successful in engaging the Home environment into the learning that is happening in school, it can have a profound effect on the outcomes for the student.
While newsletters, phone calls, agendas, Remind, Class Dojo, and Bloomz are all great tools for regular communication, Google Apps for Education – more specifically Google Classroom – is a great way for that regular communication to evolve into regular contribution to learning.
Google Classroom allows you to post assignments and videos, in addition to classroom announcements. It is also a great way for parents and guardians to look closely at the work being done in the class as well as the work submitted by their student throughout the year. It is great to look at progress and is in essence a digital portfolio of each student for the year’s work.
A great way to engage families is to post optional family tasks and activities. They can be as simple as having them discuss a concept or idea you are planning on exploring in class, or even watching a YouTube video and discussing it. All that’s necessary is to get the classroom learning being discussed at home, and it could lead to great results.
The more we can establish connections between the school and the home, the better we are serving our students for now, and for the future.