Spring Valley teachers introduce Google classroom

This school year, The Clark County School District (CCSD) implemented a new, district-wide program called Google Classroom, meant to enhance student learning and teacher-peer communication. Google classroom is a new, free software which allows students and teachers to interact not only in school, but outside as well. This connectivity allows students to always have access to their assignments, and what is happening in their classrooms. Although Classroom is new to students this year its implementation has been in the works since last year.

Since November 2015, CCSD has added Google Classroom to every school in the district. The goal of classroom was to integrate students and teachers into a more connected network so there is no confusion about assignments or material. Classroom can be used for everything from sending an announcement to posting a lecture.

“Sometimes what you need is another lecture. Maybe it doesn’t click for you when this teacher explains it, but what if another teacher teaches it in a way that you understand better?” said Site Based Technician Mr. Julian Jackson. “Then using Google classroom, teachers will be able to make their courses more connected so that not only can you get help from other courses they give you, but you can also talk to other students to figure it out.”

Connectivity is one of the biggest upsides to Classroom, as it allows students to speak with their teachers and classmates when doing assignments at home.

“It doesn’t need to just be used for assignments” said Jackson. “I think there are a lot of features that students don’t know about. There are live chats available, and you can use it anywhere. It comes with unlimited storage, not just for pictures but for anything you have on there.”

Students in general haven’t noticed or used everything it has to offer, and that has swayed the image of classroom so far. With everything available inside Google Classroom, Jackson suggested that Classroom can be helpful in many areas of life, both in and out of school.

“I feel like it’s the same amount of workload, but it gives students more freedom to do that work,” said Junior Hiruy Amanuel.

However, with the program being relatively new and free, some faults are guaranteed to occur.

“The biggest issue by far is time. Since it’s a new system, it took a while to get students signed up and comfortable with how to use the program.

The majority of teachers have been using Google Classroom to its fullest.

Among them is AVID teacher Ms. Alexis Walters.

“I think Google Classroom gives students a lot of advocacy,” Walters said. “It definitely lets students take control of their learning and helps them a lot when they’re absent.”

Walters said she uses Google Classroom to upload assignments and to keep in touch with students as they are working.

But Google Classroom isn’t the only new thing appearing at Spring Valley this year.

Administrators are expecting even more Chromebook arrivals for checkout, bringing that number up to 350 by the end of the year. In the future, technology will become more prominent at Spring Valley said Jackson.

Currently, Spring Valley teachers are already utilizing technology to the best of their ability with programs such as Remind, Edmodo, Kahoot and others that allow students and teachers to communicate and learn outside of the classroom. But communication, may only be the beginning of how technology can positively impact student learning, according to Jackson.

“You know how you dissect frogs in biology. Well that isn’t 100 percent accurate to a human body, so it’s not as good. You obviously can’t dissect a human, but with future technology you could use virtual reality (VR) to dissect a human virtually to get a better experience,” said Jackson.

This is only one of the many things available with future tech though, making students more adept in it’s use.

In a nearby future, this will be added. What is most important about Google classroom isn’t the features it provides. It is a peek into the future of technology and how it will impact not only our school, but student’s lives.