The very quick answer that allows you to fill in your own reasons I: COVID! Over the last two years I have been subjected to a trial by fire approach to learning how to teach and learn online. My teachers, mentors, and me… all fumbling patiently (mostly) through a digital world we never really thought we would have to master. Trying all sorts of programs, platforms, applications, etc… Engaging each with an initial intention of mastering the tool and using it to teach, but the reality was much different! Many platforms are incompatible and require us to use tertiary programs to share documents and information.

For my part, I have been resisting the very, very comprehensive and user-friendly Google Classroom suite, because at first glance it’s an overwhelming monster. I was simply intimidated to take any comprehensive training and just figured a basic usage as needed. Boy was I foolish about that! During this past holiday break I had some time to take advantage of LinkedIn Learning and when I got news that I would be teaching online again this Winter, I decided to dive in and learn the best tool possible… I really turns out to be Google Classroom! So I started (and am dedicated time daily to it) with the introductory course. What an eye-opener!!! Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, Forms, etc… all easily interconnected and adaptable to use with various (ubiquitous Microsoft, Android, iOS) programs. I’m still feeling intimidated by the learning curve ahead, but I believe the process will be increasingly easy, if this first lesson was any indication. Now I’m translating all my work for the upcoming semester onto Google programs. Partly because I’m sick of the issues I had the last two years getting work to mentors and students who weren’t on iOs. I’m not going into that rant, as I am choosing to adapt to the present reality that Google is here to stay! The second and most important reason for learning how to use this correctly is that my university and all the schools in my school board have fully switched to Google Classroom as the primary LMS (learning management system) and communication tool. So, I’m embracing it as a leaning opportunity!

Course Description: Technology is changing the way we teach, and Google’s leading the charge. Google Classroom is the latest offering from Google Apps for Education. It gives educators access to a free tool that’s already seamlessly integrated with Google Drive, and is designed to simplify elearning, including paperless assignments and grading. In this course, staff author Oliver Schinkten explores how to create and administer a brand-new course in Google Classroom. He covers adding students, sharing content, communicating with students, creating assignments, and integrating with other Google Apps. Plus, get a look at Google Classroom from the student perspective: Oliver simulates what it’s like to join a class, take an assignment, and communicate with a teacher.

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