I have always had a passion for education. Teaching others, watching them grow, and mentoring them through their unique process. In high school, I realized that I had more of a gift for helping other athletes succeed than I did for fostering my own motivation to compete well. At the end of the day, I felt more fulfilled to be the captain of the track and field and basketball teams than to be a fierce competitor. Leading and being a part of a team always meant more to me than winning.
This passion has continued into working on many different teams, clubs, and organizations. At the Odette School of Business, I mentored first-year students transitioning from high school to university. I was on the Commerce Society – working in Human Resources and mentorship development, -debate team, orientation leading, and many open houses for visiting students. I currently coach a year-round track and field program for kids at Windsor Legion Track and Field Club. These, in addition to many other experiences, have given me an appreciation for learning and education, realizing that these things do not always happen in a traditional classroom, but some of the most life-changing curriculums can be very nontraditional.
Leading and facilitating a team can happen in a multitude of diverse ways, and at Hawkins & Co. we have been exploring a new option to make our learning journey more effective. We have been using Google Classroom, a tool included in Google Drive and G Suite, to enhance and sharpen our training programs. In the process, we have discovered some more than useful features that we would like to share.
- Google Classroom integrates smoothly with other Google features. When making an assignment you can separate it by complete subject, topic, due date, and attach documents such as Google Docs, Slides, and Forms, modifying them how you want it to be seen by the “students”. You can integrate other Google Compatible apps such as attaching a Youtube video to review before taking a Google Forms self-grading quiz to test your knowledge.
- Google Classroom allows for group collaboration and creativity, as well as organization in both the teacher and student roles. For each broad subject, you can create a whole virtual classroom in itself, for employees to hypothetically graduate from classroom to classroom as they increase their knowledge. There are options to have a group discussion with online comments and collaborate on documents.
- Google Classroom allows you to work in the cloud, making it easily accessible from all sorts of devices, including your phone. Need to recheck a training document because you forgot certain steps in a process? Or just want to comment on an assignment you recently finished? You can do that anywhere, anytime, just by signing into your Google account. This makes communication in the workplace that much simpler.
These are just a few things that we like so far, but we know the options are endless. Google Classroom has hundreds of online apps that can be integrated to make it an even better educational space. For me, I can see future uses for Google Classroom in my own life, from using it to organize my own studying, or even as a learning tool for my future children. You never know where Google will take you but so far for education, we like this path!