Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google Classroom: Where does it fit with SAMR?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting at the TIES 2015 Conference on the topic of "Stop Looking At Squirrels," where I spoke about the need to avoid the "squirrels," or bright-shiny tools that may look cool, but don't really align with best practice regarding digital age learning. The slide deck is here:



During the presentation, I asked the question: "Is Google Classroom a squirrel?" 
Don't get me wrong, I think Google Classroom is a great tool for organizing Drive files and managing sharing! Google opening it's API for others to access and share data between systems is a BIG deal! AND...as of today, you can't track students by standard within Classroom, you can't organize units of content without a lot of savvy with Docs and Drive, and there is no parent access. 

Note: After sitting in Andrew Stillman's presentation today on Growing Wings on Google Classroom, it may not be long before these shortcomings are no longer there! Stillman noted that for the most part, you can "get by" with Classroom for most projects, and on big group or differentiated projects you could break out Doctopus to push out the assignment. As long as you are clear with them how they will access the assignment, you should be ok.

As I was talking I asked participants yesterday this question:
Where in SAMR can you get with Google Classroom?
As stated in the past, I don't see the SAMR model like a ladder, I much prefer Carl Hooker's SAMR pool analogy



Jen Hegna pointed out that it depends. Most teachers probably only use it to push out and injest assignments from students that are at the knowledge level in Bloom's Taxonomy and the Substitution level of SAMR. 

The last few years, I've done an assignment for our Hopdina Cohort, where participants are asked to create an simile for "Technology Integration is like..."



This could easily get to the augmentation level if pushed out through Classroom, where all students had access to edit the same file and each student created a slide. But I wonder if these types of experiences are few and far between. 

I'd be curious to hear what you think! Is Google Classroom a "squirrel?" Is Google Classroom going to be a tool that allows students to redefine their learning? Comments are welcome!


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