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Using Google classroom to supplement learning in the traditional classroom.

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Belinda Brown
30 March 2018

Title: Using Google classroom to supplement learning in the traditional classroom




I teach adult students who are on a resit one-year GCSE maths course. Most learners have been absent from education for some time.  All learners attend a three-hour classroom session each week. These learners have chosen to study maths to support their career aspirations and are determined and focused on achieving the qualification. It is a challenging objective with limited teaching and learning time in the traditional classroom. It is my belief that learning can be supported by giving access to resources used in the classroom for reflection and to give access to other suggested resources and to create an environment where students can discuss their queries.


To supplement their learning, I wanted to begin using Google classroom to extend their ‘library’ for resources and as a means of communication between the group and with me, their tutor. The students were to access Google classroom via the internet either using the college hardware, their own home computers of their smartphones. All learners had access to at least one form of technology. I had to create an environment they could have access to and where they could easily locate the materials they were looking for. It had to be easy to navigate as some students had limited IT experience.



  • I started by creating the classroom ‘offline’
  • I had to create and organise spaces within the classroom that was easily navigated and clearly signposted.
  • I uploaded material I had used in the classroom and other resources that were relevant.
  • I created a space for ‘announcements’ so students would know how to see important notices.
  • I had to invite students using the MI system or give them a ‘code’ to login.
  • I had a traditional classroom session to coach students in the use of the online classroom and to iron out any problems they encountered.

This was my first experience of using Google classroom and I encountered a few technical problems trying to get started. I overcame my problems by getting in touch with our IT support department. I created the environment I wanted but it was slow to form as I had to learn how to use it myself first.


The outcome was a success and is working very well. After a few weeks of using it I have been able to further improve the overall look and accessibility of the classroom as I have become more familiar with it. It has proven to be as useful as I expected with students using it as a message area as well as a means of accessing additional resources. I have more ideas to implement so it is still very much an ongoing project.


Don’t wait around for something to be given to you. If you have an idea that something will work or improve the learning environment then plan it, prepare it and run with it. My learners have been very grateful for the extra support this environment has given them.

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Karen Hornby
8:58am 2 April 2018 (Edited 8:59am 2 April 2018)

Hi Belinda,

This is an inspirational design narrative.  I think your students will really benefit from this additional support, especially if they are juggling the course around thier careers or family and have little class time.

I have never seen Google classroom, but will look it up now that I have read this,


Joanne Pearson
3:47pm 2 April 2018

Hi Belinda - A really interesting design narrative here. This approach is well tailored to the particular requirements of this student group I too am interested in Google classroom - thanks for sharing Joanne Pearson

David Hayden
6:30am 3 April 2018

I love the comment in your reflection -"dont wait around..." so very true - great to hear it was a success...


Jill Bamber
10:29am 4 April 2018

Like David, I too loved your 'plan it, prepare it, run with it' reflection. I haven't used Google classroom, but will give it a try now.


Selina Griffin
4:07pm 5 April 2018

What were the kinds of problems you encountered? Were they all technical/connectivity issues or were there other kinds of problems, such as not being able to find something.

I think what I am getting at, were they technical support issues relating to compatability or were they questions around the google classroom itself and its use?  If you had to do it again, are you confident you could solve these issues if they came up again?

Dirk Pilat
10:57am 7 April 2018

Great Stuff. Really enjoyed this and now going to have a look at google classrooms.



Belinda Brown
11:43am 7 April 2018

Hi Selina

thanks for your questions. I had some technical problems but these were ironed out by our technical department. If I do have a technical problem again I would reach to our IT support again to resolve the issue

Problems with classroom were fairly basic - I was teaching myself how to use it. Where I struggled with finding my own answer I accessed online help and one of our technical supporters who is familiar with the use of the Google Suite. I am quite a confident user with Google Classroom now, so much so I will be mentoring my colleagues as they begin to use it. However, I still have lots to learn (about the whole suite!) before I would consider myself a knowledgable user. The problems I encountered initially were due to inexperience, I believe.


B :-)

Vincent Mitchell
7:12pm 14 April 2018

Hi Belinda,

It's Vince. I am in your tutor group but a bit behind and I have not been posting much. This is a good piece of work and it is helping me understand what this Cloudworks thing is actually about!

I am quite interested in using Google Classroom at some point, though probably not in my day job. Can anyone set up a classroom or do you have to be alligned to an education institution?

Best wishes Vince


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