Today is Teacher Appreciation Day and Google may have given us teachers a great gift, Google Classroom. This might be the best teacher appreciation gift I get today, even better than the buy 1 get 1 free deal at Chipotle. A free, easy to use LMS that incorporates Google Docs and should include some great features similar to Doctopus and gClassfolders can make managing the classroom that much easier for teachers.
There is no hiding the fact that I am a big fan of the tools that Google develops. There are so many that teachers can use in the classroom and for free. I have always favored using tools that my students could download onto any machine or device that they have without having to pay a large fee (looking at you Microsoft Office). Plus, the big ideas of collaboration, creation and critical thinking are embedded into so many of the tools that it makes teaching in the 21st century that much easier.
Classrooms today should be using the tools that allow our students to take more control over their learning and allow them to be able to do something with what they are learning. We do not need to control them as much as many people would like to think, it is our job to help them learn and create a learning environment that encourages this.
Making use of digital tools that allow you to collaborate and create should be a no brainer in all classrooms. Using these same tools to cause your students to think critically and do something instead of just memorize and regurgitate should be a basic part of the modern learning experience. I have already signed up to hopefully be able to test out this Google LMS and I hope to find that this makes it easier for so many other teachers to make effective use of Google Apps in the classroom.