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Education Collaborative Tool - The use of Google Classroom ?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by br2oksishere, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. br2oksishere

    br2oksishere New commenter

    Hello everybody !

    I'm a french student in my final year of engineering school in computer science in France. Currently, I am working on a project on collaborative tools in the school environment.

    The topic is about the Google Classroom tool, I don't know if you know or if you have already used it? ^^

    In France, this tool is not yet very popular, we use tools like Moodle. That is why I look to foreign countries to find out if this tool is being used and to get your feedback.
    If you are familiar with this tool and have used it, I would like to know the advantages and disadvantages you think about? What improvements would be good to have? What if you recommend this tool to someone or rather someone else?
     
  2. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Senior commenter

    IMHO Google Suite For Education (GSFE) is the best educational ICT system that there is, please don't think of it as just Google Classroom.

    Google classroom is the glue that holds a lot of the other tools together in an educational environment but it is the collaborative nature of the other tools that give GSFE its power. Collaboration amongst students AND staff can be superb if the system is set up and used correctly.

    Correct usage can decrease the teacher's workload considerably.

    If I go for another job I would have to think very carefully about the position if they did not use GSFE.

    I would recommend that you join a few of the Google+ groups for further info, "GEG UK" or "Google for Education" would be a good start
     
    br2oksishere likes this.
  3. JaneBennet

    JaneBennet New commenter

    But don't you have any ethical concerns about it? My primary school actively promotes independent, critical thought, careful research, sensitivity to bias and internet privacy... and also insists on the use of the Google Suite.

    And, in using the Google Suite, teachers MUST promote it (how can insisting on its regular use possibly not have the effect of promoting Google to some, if not all, students?) and students MUST share personal information with it (a comprehensive academic history of grades and essays including a wealth of personal information and perspectives).

    And the beneficiary of this? A profit-making search engine shaped by market forces and potentially subject to political influence, which has been accused of a variety of significant data breaches through the years.

    Perhaps Google can be trusted now, but in 5 years? 10? 50? Some data will still be there, in some form, and some students will be more reliant on and trusting of it than they otherwise would have been...

    I, for one, find this very scary.
     
  4. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    We use it in my secondary school - particularly in the sixth form (that's age 16-18). Advantages mean that work doesn't get lost or left at home. Teachers can easily send out information to students which also doesn't get lost, and they can easily give feedback on assignments. Students can also work from anywhere.

    I hadn't thought too much about how trustworthy Google is as a host as pointed out by JaneBennet. Could be food for thought....
     
  5. adam156

    adam156 New commenter

    Like JaneBennet says, the pros of making the classroom more efficient have to be weighed against the obvious privacy and security risk. In college and at university level where all parties know about internet security (or are at least old enough to consent!) it shouldn't be a problem, but it's a lot riskier when primary/secondary school students from a security/safeguarding perspective.
     
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Occasional commenter

    I would add that GDPR rules mean that you need assurance that your data is held in the UK, i.e. a country which has data privacy laws.
     
  7. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

  8. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Senior commenter

    This is not true, Google cannot tell you where the data is stored (even they do not really know) and they have been approved and confirmed as compliant.
     
  9. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Senior commenter

    Google have stated and made it a policy that any GSFE accounts are not used in this way.

    You may choose not to believe them but personally I do, why? Once they have give that assurance if they were found to have brokeno the promise the consequences would be huge, public would be outages and this would lead to legislation etc it would be a very expensive mistake.

    Google want students to become used to using their suite of products rather than Microsofts, so that when they leave education they continue to use their product in their professional life that is their endgame with GSFE.
     
    border_walker likes this.
  10. JaneBennet

    JaneBennet New commenter

    Interesting debate.

    I don't think I actively disbelieve them. I just feel I can't personally make any meaningful judgement on whether to trust them or not - and I'm very conscious that today's promise is tomorrow's fish'n'chip wrapping!

    Depressingly, though, when I think of the reasons you give for trusting them - public humiliation, financial loss, legislative change - I think of Brexit promises of NHS millions, Zuckerberg in the dock, politicians' duck-houses and academy-fiddling superheads (admittedly, very tired after a heavy day & feeling cynical!)

    Outrage dies down. Money keeps being wasted. And dramatic reform / a sea-change in outlook...?

    Glacial.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  11. moscowbore

    moscowbore Occasional commenter

    My current organisation has written confirmation from Google that all of our student data is held in the UK. I have seen it. Without that confirmation we would have ditched google.
     
  12. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    How did you all get started using it? Is there an online simulation for administrators somewhere you can play with?
     
  13. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Senior commenter

    It is free and pretty easy to setup if you are a legitimate school so no need to simulate. Setup and start playing with it.
     
    border_walker likes this.

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