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Guest post by Melody McAllister
Tech Allows Us To Do Things Differently
The first time I met Alice Keeler was in San Antonio for ISTE17 and she signed 50 Things To Go Further With Google Classroom. Her inscription said, “To Melody, tech allows you to do things differently #iste17 Alice Keeler.” Tech doesn’t replace a teacher. Tech isn’t pedagogy in itself. But what it can do is help you build a more student-centered classroom and learning community. Use the Register Here button to sign up for Alice’s upcoming FREE Webinar on this subject!
Consistency Really IS Key
The most important thing we can do with our Google Classroom, or any LMS, is be consistent. Alice talked about this at her last OTIS webinar and is how she opens 50 Things To Go Further with Google Classroom. If your students know where to find instructions, or where to go when they are absent from class, you may never hear, “Hey Teach, what did I miss?” again.
Collaboration IS Cornerstone
Student-Centered classrooms have traits like authentic assignments and collaborative work. Google Classroom can hold links that are teacher and student generated. There is no limit to what can be included. Students can show off their learning in different formats. Whether individual or group work, students and teachers are learning from one another. Click on the button below for a template to start collaboration when classes resume in the fall!
In 50 Things To Go Futher, I also love the practice of ditching worksheets for playsheets! Instead of using a worksheet, going digital allows for more gamification of tasks, including fun graphics and sounds. Another great thing about Google Classroom is that you can create activities that are self-grading for immediate feedback. Students know in real time if they understand concepts or not.
Focus on Feedback
Student-Centered classroom educators want their students to focus on the process of learning and taking risks. They want their students to feel challenged without quitting. Grading in itself kills the mindset of going deeper, making iterations, and the onus is on the teacher not the student. Feedback, when used well, tells a student that we see their work, we see their sweat, and while it’s going in a certain direction, have they thought about _____ or ______? Instead of throwing away something that was recently turned back to them with red ink, they begin problem solving. In this YouTube, Alice explains with feedback, “students think, make edits, and think some more.”
Celebrate Student Ideas
Google Classroom is naturally a safe environment for students to share when teachers model the expectations in sharing and commenting. Alice Keeler even reminds us that when students do things against those expectations, we use those examples to explain the harm they can cause in real time. But what about 99% of the time when they do amazing things? Use tinyurl.com/tweetmyclass so students can tweet anonymously what they are learning! We all know when young people share, the world listens!!
Want to Keep Learning?
Don’t forget sign up for Alice’s next FREE Webinar with Otis For Educators to continue learning more about using Google Classroom to help become more student-centered!
About the Author
Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator, and author. She and her family relocated to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019. McAllister is 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year and author of the I’m Sorry Story. She is also the Logistics Manager for EduMatch Publishing and Alice Keeler, LLC. McAllister has spoken at ISTE and ASTE about equity issues in education, and writes about her journey in her blog, HeGaveMeAMelody.com. If you would like to schedule an author read with your class, please contact her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Melody’s BookChat every Wednesday at 8pm EST at YouTube.com/melodymcallister
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