I am not a very technologically-oriented person by nature. To give you an idea, my partner had to talk me into getting a cell phone a couple of years ago as I couldn’t imagine life without my land line. However, this year, a couple of teachers from another school presented the idea of using Google Classroom to enhance their music program. I really wanted to try it out, so I assembled a group of five students who helped me get Google Classroom going in my music room. The whole process was so invigorating and exciting. I found myself excited to come in every morning and see what videos the students had sent me the night before. It really pumped me up throughout this past month.
To start using Google Classroom from a planning time teacher’s perspective is very easy if your board is connected to Google programs. I created a class for each one of the classrooms that I teach by going to the plus sign at the top of the page.
Next, I clicked on each class and began to add students.
To add students to the classroom, simply go to the student section and either invite them by typing in their names or by giving them the class code to join.
Once all of your classes are set up, add assignments to the classroom by clicking on the small plus sign in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
I am using Google Classroom in my program for two purposes right now. It is being used to allow students to take videos of their learning at home, and for students to be able to access the music that we are using in extracurricular activities.
For the first purpose, students take videos at home and upload the video to their Google Drive. They then click on the assignment that I have created and upload the file. Finally, they hit submit to send their video to me. I open up the video and I can listen to the student playing their music.
It has been a great tool for my students who are still working towards playing in front of other people. It also has been fantastic for students to receive feedback between classes.
For my choir and recorder clubs, it has been a tool for them to access the music that we are singing at home.
I find the program very user-friendly and I appreciate the tracking of student progress. It is a little electronic portfolio for each and every student I teach.