Go Google or No Google?

hero_logoJessica Parillo ’18
EE Senior Opinions Editor

In this day and age, technology has become an important part of our everyday lives. Admit it– we’ve all become glued to our smartphones, we’re constantly checking social media, and we’ve spent countless hours binge-watching shows through websites that stream movies instantly. It’s hard to deny the impact modern devices have on our daily routines. The question is, how big a role should technology play in schools and education?

   New policy for the 2015 school year here at Trumbull High encourages teachers to incorporate Google Classroom into their teaching methods. Previously, students had been working with programs such as Google Drive or Edmodo to communicate with other classmates and virtually complete assignments. However, many have found Google Classroom to be much more efficient and comprehensible.

    “Google Classroom is a great place for students to go to get all their information,” says Technology Integration Specialist Mrs. Pacelli. “All their resources are in one place.”           

    Additionally, the program allows teachers to post assignments or links which are then accessible to students on mobile devices. Work can be turned in and virtually graded, and teachers can provide personal feedback. All of a student’s work is displayed in one organized account.

    Another draw to this program is how easy it is to use. The Freshman Foundations classes in the school help students explore and learn the program. Many teachers are also new to Google Classroom, and those who are reluctant to use it typically do not feel entirely comfortable with using a new system. However, workshops are available for teachers to learn their way around it as well.

    The program has received much positive feedback from students and teachers alike.

    “It helps students feel more connected with their peers and teachers,” says sophomore Ishan Negi. “It’s super easy to use and reduces the effort required in organizing academic tasks.”

     However, there are some who are less enthusiastic about its use, or have specific problems with how the program works.

    “The main detriment of Google Classroom is that some teachers are constantly editing posts or posting during the day,” says sophomore Daejah Woolery. “Despite that, the benefits of easy access outweigh everything else.”

    Students who have the Classroom as an app on their mobile device can often be bombarded with alerts and notifications every time a teacher updates the webpage.

    There have also been some issues with posting links or files, but many of these technical issues come from teachers or students who are unsure how to use some aspects of the program.

    Network connections have sometimes gone out, but this could just be an example of overreliance on the program.

    Teachers are happy to find that many problems discovered within the Classroom have been addressed by Google.

    “A lot of the things we wished you could do, Google has fixed over time. They are very responsive to students and teachers,” says Mrs. Pacelli.

    Included in these changes were the addition of a calendar and the ability for multiple teachers to access one account.

    These tools have helped to make Google Classroom fairly popular within the school. A survey conducted by Mrs. Pacelli showed that students use the program in an average of ⅔ classes.

    “Being that the program has only been around for about a year, it’s remarkable how many students use it on a regular basis,” says Mr. Pelligra. “I think Google Classroom is a perfect example of what technology can provide to students.”

     As of this year, Google Classroom boasts over 40 million teacher and student users across the globe, and Trumbull High, being a Google Apps for Education district, contributes to this number.

    The overall goal for implication of the Classroom is to help make THS an interactive learning community. It is to be used as a place for students to communicate with their peers and teachers for educational benefit.

    The advantages outweigh the negatives, and with THS’s Bring Your Own Device policy, it can be expected that this is something that won’t be going anywhere soon.

 

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