Good Digital Parenting
Blog | Sept. 9, 2014

Transforming Classrooms with Technology

Chairman of the FOSI Board, Public Policy Manager, Google

Gone are the days where students were limited to a few hours in computer labs equipped with dial-up Internet to draft the occasional paper and survive (or not) the Oregon Trail. Group projects no longer require rides from parents, but can be done in Google Docs or Slides in real-time, even from across town. Thankfully, teachers don’t have to lug mountains of paper home for early morning grading or stand by the copier instead of their students.

At Google, we believe that technology can level the playing field, inspire students’ curiosity and boost productivity. It can also be a helpful tool for teachers to connect and better communicate with their students, enabling them to give 1:1 feedback and support in real-time. 

That’s why we work to create tools like Google Apps for Education with Classroom to empower teachers and keep students learning anytime, anywhere. We hope that they are helping to create a learning environment where educators and students can safely discover, collaborate and find inspiration beyond their school walls. 

We’re a company made up of lifelong learners and more than a few former teachers, so we’re always thinking about what more we can do. The Google Apps for Education team noticed last year how much time teachers spent organizing, distributing, grading and giving feedback on assignment. They wanted to make the process easier so that teachers could spend more time teaching, and less time tech-ing. The result was Classroom, which we launched last month. It was built with direct input from hundreds of teachers and students; their feedback helped us create something that was easy for them to use. Now available in 42 languages, Classroom is helping to lower the administrative burden for teachers so they have more time to spend doing what they love – teaching.

Of course, technology and safety must go hand in hand in the classroom and at home. Protecting the privacy and security of our users – including students – is a top priority and is an essential component of maintaining the trust of our users. The Apps for Education suite, including Classroom, contains no ads, never uses student and teacher content or student data for advertising purposes, and is free for schools. The data schools and students put into our systems is theirs, and we believe it should stay that way.

Appropriate use of technology in the classroom can open a world of information for students to explore and interact with, enabling them to become creators and more active and engaged students. We hope it will also better prepare them for 21st century skills. That’s a good thing.

Find more information about Google for Education, visit our website.