There are several tools available that essentially allow teachers to create an online hub for their classroom. By setting up a digital classroom space, teachers can move towards a paperless approach by introducing collaborative platforms that provide a space for feedback and allow for more accessible learning. These tools differ in features and can offer different advantages.
Google has developed the option of having a virtual classroom by recognizing the benefits of connecting students and teachers’ Google Drives and email. By setting up a classroom on Google, teachers can automatically send out assignments to all students, easily track progress and completion of assignments, and can easily integrate assessment using Google Forms and Flubaroo. Below is a video demonstrating how to use the Flubaroo tool for assessment purposes:
If your school has moved towards utilizing Google Apps for Education, Google Classroom would be a beneficial option. Another add-on option with Google Classroom is called Doctopus and Goobric . Kylie Harder provides a detailed overview of Google Classroom on her blog.
Edmodo is a similar tool to Google Classroom but has a few different features. It can easily connect to Google Drive but doesn’t fully collaborate with Google Apps in the same way. Edmodo is a virtual classroom space where teachers can create classroom groups, and smaller groups within those if they so choose, where students can access lesson materials, assignments, participate in polls and built-in quizzes, and chat with their peers. Edmodo has been a popular tool and although it requires students to create an account, it does not need to be connected to a student’s Google Drive. Edmodo also allows you to award students with badges, such as the Perfect Attendance or Hard Worker badge. You can also customize and create your own, so you are not limited to the basic Edmodo creations.
Both of these tools offer great potential in creating a digital learning space for classroom students. However, how do you we know if creating these spaces are truly beneficial for the students and/or the teachers? A few other ECMP455 students have discussed the negative aspect of going paperless – some people just prefer hard-copy work in front of them. I definitely feel that I need a balance between going completely digital versus traditional paper copies. I still like having a paper copy of a calendar and an actually agenda. I tried using Edmodo during my internship experience and for the most part, it was successful. I would have tried using Google Classroom if I had been set up with an account with the school board. In my opinion, I think it is best balanced. Having a digital classroom can provide a space for students to share ideas with each other but it is still as equally important to have face-to-face interaction in the classroom for students to learn from each other. Any thoughts?