It's a bright Monday morning in late February in Ms. Lopez's third grade class at Fremont School and Ed Tech TOSA George Lopez is entrusting students with some powerful learning tools.
But before he can engage them in cool ways to share a report on their favorite sport using Google Classroom, he has to solve tiny problem: getting the students all logged into their computers.
"I wasn't expecting to do that management piece," Lopez shared later, referring to the time spent at the start of his session instructing students on how to log into Google Classroom for the first time. As education technology continuously shapes the look and feel of 21st century classrooms, Lopez has learned to adapt along the way, with grace and ease similar to his friendly style in the classroom.
After everyone was logged in, Lopez introduced the Google Classroom interface and folders they would be working in. He also explained their functions.
"You know how the teacher hands out paper assignments to all of you?" Lopez asked. "I'm going to do that, but through here."
There were audible gasps as the students watched Lopez demonstrate how to access their new online storage folders.
Lopez is a Teacher on Special Assignment in the Alisal Union School District's Education Technology Department. When he's not busy with teacher training and helping draft professional development sessions for certificated staff, he's in the classroom instructing students on Google Classroom tools and digital citizenship.
Lopez said it's important to teach students not only how to use the tools required to turn in assignments, but also how to be responsible with the information they receive and have access to. During his presentation, he lets students know that if they share any inappropriate material or somehow damage with another student's project, the teacher will be able to find out who did what.
Lopez walked students through their assignment, creating a Google Slide report on their favorite sport. Students learned how to select an image of their favorite sport (a lot of students picked soccer), as well as type a caption and a sentence explaining why they liked their particular sport.
When they were done, students submitted their work to their teacher with the click of a button.
"Google Classroom is a powerful tool. It allows teachers to send out material and collect it from a remote place, as well as schedule assignments," said Lopez.
Other benefits include decreased lesson planning for substitute teachers when a teacher is absent (teachers can simply download videos and other materials for a substitute to review) and access from home when a student is absent.
Make sure you check out the slideshow from Ms. Garcia's classroom.