Google Classroom has changed the way we think about technology.
It has been great to have all our children back and hear all our classrooms alive with learning once again. The children have been incredible; they have come back ready to learn with smiles on their faces.
Preparations using Google
Technology will continue to play a vital role in what we do at school and even more so with the restrictions that are in place. In preparation for welcoming the children back to their new classrooms, we used Google Tour Creator to give them a quick look at how the school would be set out and settle any last-minute nerves.
Teaching was certainly different during lockdown but Google Classroom was a vital tool during ‘Home Learning’ as it served as our platform to assign work, monitor their progress during tasks, communicate with them on a daily basis and respond/ mark the work that they handed in. This didn’t come without some initial teething problems for a couple of days but after that everyone found the systems easy to use and refined what they were doing each week.
Daily videos were uploaded for all phases and EYFS staff were able to deliver their daily phonics sessions through Google Classroom. Key Stage 2 successfully used Google Hangouts as another tool to communicate with the children in their classes on a daily basis and allowed a monitored forum for them to chat with each other – something that we found really helped them stay in touch during lockdown!
We have embraced this further on our return to school and will continue to use this platform to assign weekly homework, including GPS, maths and spellings.
If you haven’t already, it is time to get Google Forms in your life! Our staff will predominantly be using this to create homework tasks and the auto mark function will be used to give children instant feedback to their work. The children love it when we set work using Google Forms as they get their results instantly and can research the correct answer if necessary. For staff, Google Forms, which is a live document, instantly collates the results from the children’s work and produces spreadsheets and graphs that highlight strengths and weaknesses in the data as well as being able to check each child’s work individually. It is a real timesaver and has really changed the way we are thinking about homework. Plus, no more lost homework books!
Spending less planning time together as a team could have been tricky but the collaborative elements of Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides have enabled us to continue to work together during PPA. The conversation tool within these documents is really helpful and another tool that keeps everyone in the loop and working together. We have also been able to use Google Keep to set up individual and joint worklists to make sure everyone is on the same page and work hasn’t been replicated – who doesn’t love ticking jobs and tasks off a list?
Teacher and IT Lead
Hallgate Primary School
Published: August 29