I love seeing you in our live online classes. I love chatting to you, answering your questions and hearing you share your ideas and thoughts. But I also know that there is a limit to how much time you should spend in a live online class. For your learning to be as effective as possible you also need to be completing English language tasks outside your online lesson time.
And this is where I use Google Classroom.
Reasons why I like Google Classroom
It's easy to use.
It gives students the freedom to work in their own time, at their own pace.
Students can find all their course assignments in one place.
It offers a safe online working environment for students and teachers.
It helps students talk to their teacher and classmates.
Students can work together on projects.
It works well on a laptop, tablet or phone
It is used worldwide and there is lots of advice available online.
Google Classroom - my quick introduction
It is a Learning Management System
Teachers and schools have lots of technical names for these systems and platforms. You might read about VLEs - Virtual Learning Environments or LMSs - Learning Management Systems. What we really mean is platforms and tools that create the virtual classroom.
As your teacher, I need to be able to communicate with you and send you messages, I need to set you extended learning tasks and sometimes I might even need to remind you to complete these tasks.
And perhaps even more importantly when you are following a online course, you need to be able to contact your teacher and ask for help, suggestions or clarification. You need to see your progress and you need to have mistakes corrected and feedback given. And when you are part of an online class, you also need a way of keeping in touch with your classmates, especially if you are working on a project together.
Google Classroom Stream
When you open up your Google Classroom you land on the Stream page. The Google Classroom Stream is a bit like Facebook or Twitter - it's where all the news and messages get posted. The teacher can post material, a Zoom lesson link invitation or maybe even a funny YouTube video and students can comment and reply.
Google Classroom Classwork
This is the heart of our online English classrooms. Every class, whether it is online or not, needs somewhere to set homework and share lesson materials. In Classwork the teacher can share materials and create assignments, quizzes and questions. This is really important for two reasons; firstly to make sure that you are making progress in your learning journey and secondly to help you become a better independent learner.
Google Classroom People
This one's very easy - it is the people (teachers and students) in each online class.
Google Classroom Marks
And Google Classroom Marks is where the class can see completed assignments and work still to do, along with grades (if the teacher wants to share that information publicly).
An essential part of choosing an English programme
Learning English, or any language, is all about communication. It's about working with your teacher and your international classmates to improve your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in English. Technology platforms mean that participating in live online lessons has never been easier and this experience can be even more enriching and effective by surrounding these live sessions with Google Classroom as your virtual classroom experience.
There are lots of factors to consider when you are deciding which type of online English language course will suit your needs best. I hope you find this helpful and maybe you'll soon be posting and commenting on one of the many Google Classroom streams that I manage. Sounds good 👍