I am in the midst of offering professional development around technology related to our new curriculum adoption-Benchmark Universe. I am co-presenting with another instructional coach for our class. Google Classroom has allowed us to collaborate on developing assignments, and posting messages to the teachers who are joining in with us.
As teachers join our class, they simply need the class code, type it in and click join our class. It's that simple. By joining our class, they are then able to read over handouts, articles, or responses from other teachers in our class. The best part is, all of this allows us to go paperless!
With the Google Classroom App, creating or joining a class is so easy-just click the + symbol and then click "Join class" or "Create class".
You are then able to add assignments, add links, articles and other collaboration tools. For example, in our last session, we wanted teachers to be able to collaborate and reflect on an article we shared with them. I linked a google doc with the assignment and asked teachers to identify their "a-ha" moment from the article. They also had to cite evidence of where this was found in the article. Here is a picture of how that looked:
As a way of managing where teachers would enter their response, I decided to also add numbers to the boxes in the first column of table I inserted on the Google Doc. The teachers then added their response in the row that corresponded with the number on their Chromebooks. This worked out well as everyone was entering their response into the assigned box and it was accountable yet anonymous.
As an additional layer of awesomeness, even though I was out of town for our first session, I was able to log in from the off-site location and see how teachers were responding to the questions we posed as well as read their reflections at the end of our first session. I felt as though I had an eye and an ear on how our session went as well as the connections teachers made.
If you are Google Apps for Educators District, I hope you'll consider taking the leap and trying Google Classroom. It's an excellent tool to allow for collaboration during professional development! Have you tried it already? What do you think?