Google Chrome sweeps Haslett Schools

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By Erin Gray
The Meridian Times

Google Classroom is becoming a popular learning tool for Haslett Public Schools with growing numbers of teachers and administration using it as a classroom management system.

Faculty members, teachers and students presented Google Classroom at the Oct. 12 Haslett district school board meeting.

“This is an English teacher’s dream in terms of collaboration with the teacher and student, and getting feedback on (the student’s) written work in a timely fashion,” said Erin Parr, Haslett High School English teacher.

On Google Classroom, students can submit essays or homework assignments to a folder and the teacher can immediately give feedback online.

“I am able to leave comments and the student can come back and leave comments as well,” said Parr. “It was a good way to have my collaboration as well as his.”

Parr said Google Classroom is efficient because any students with a smartphones can immediately see when feedback is posted on their assignments.

“If the student has a smartphones to pull up on the bus, on the way to a soccer game, he can see that Miss Parr left a comment on my paper and remember to get back to it later that night,” Parr said.

When Haslett schools were using Microsoft Office 2007, updates would cost thousands of dollars for each computer. Switching to Google Chromebooks and Google Classroom will save the school thousands of dollars, according to Margy Barile, technology and media specialist at Haslett High School.

“We switched to Google products, you still pay a little bit for the management piece and the locked entity of the Haslett public schools but it is so much less,” Barile said.

Google Drive allows users to work on the same documents at the same time. It also allows immediate back and forth comments to be left, in this case, from student to teacher.

“I like to think of it as the 7-Eleven of the classroom, or the convenience shop,” said Parr. “It’s that one-stop shop where I can go upload presentations for the students to then watch at home, or I can post an assignment and see when they are turning it in and if they have a question.”

Haslett High School senior, Winston Mallory, said he prefers using Google Classroom over using paper to turn in his assignments.

“It is a lot easier than paper and trying to keep track of all that,” Mallory said. “I can tell you I’ve lost more papers than I can care to share with you guys.”

Mallory said it is easier and faster for him to upload his work and be able to get instant feedback, and also more efficiently work with groups on projects.

“My brother actually uses (Google Classroom) at Michigan State University in his graduate class now, so it makes me a little more comfortable knowing that I’m about to be thrown in this huge world of college but at least there is something I’ll be able to grasp that I learned in high school.”

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