Research and Exploration of Curriculet

Curriculet is a tool that allows its users to add to any reading assignment: questions throughout the text, media annotations and quizzes. The tool also allows teachers to keep track on their students’ work in real-time and give them feedback. It is possible to login as student or teacher. Teachers will have access to a store of pre-made Curriculet and the possibility to create their own. PDF, GoogleDocs, or Word document can be imported. When teachers will select a certain passage of the text, it will allow them to embed a note, ask a question, or create a quiz. Students will need a code or an URL provided by their teacher to have access to their Curriculet classroom’s page. After their reading and questions answering, students would get a report on their answers and the data would be available to their teacher.

This how Curriculet is presented on their official website.

The store allows teachers to buy and use some public domain literature, searchable by categories like grade level and genre. A pretty wide range of classics from literature are available, but there are not as many contemporary titles (better for High School level than Elementary). Of course, those titles are offered with ready-made Curriculets. A Curriculet is all annotations, questions and quizzes added to a text, grouped together.

, an Elementary Classroom Teacher from Colorado, described in his review, how this tool is good for learning. He first explain that for students this tool is perfect for improving their reading comprehension skills. The reading experience is altered in a positive way because of the checkpoints added through the text. The fact that students get correction automatically after answering a question throughout the text, helps them know if they understand each part the text, and they know if they need to read again a particular part. Moreover, if a teacher wants to help students get in deeper comprehension of a text, the teacher could add some of her personal reflections or some reference to other analysis of the text.  Also, Shiroff explains in his review that the ability for students to interact with each other with Curriculet, can have students more engaged in their learning. The reviewer explains secondly that this tool is helpful for teachers who want to measure their students’ understanding of about any text. Assigning Curriculets as homework can free up class time and allow teachers to check if the readings are done and even review students’ annotation on their text. All those use of the tool help teachers keep an eye on their students’ reading comprehension skills.

Donna M., a classroom teacher in California, described her use and explained to her tought of the tool. In her review, she first say that she used this tool as homework to support in-class instruction. She liked that students could add reference of recording, video or photograph to their text. Those references added interest and helped students understand. Also, the reviewer noted that students could highlight sections of the text and have vocabulary words defined. This is particularly interesting for English language learners when they don’t understand new vocabulary or don’t remember a word across an article they are reading, Donna M. also explained that after presenting the tool to her students, she latter had them create their own Curriculets. With regard to the Ministere de l’Education, des Loisirs, et du Sport, English as a Second Language program, using this tool is a good way of developping the Competency 2: Reinvests understanding of texts. Students would practice their text comprehension and represent their understanding of the information and language through reinvestment tasks.

Elizabeth, an High School Teacher, wrote a review of the app. In this review information about pricing is shared. For free, teachers will be allowed to teach 10 Curriculet texts, and for 50$ they will have unlimited usage for a year. Per book, the prices vary from 1$ to 3.50$. For the schools, the price is 5$ per students per year. The reviewer also mention that Curriculet is available on any computer or mobile device, as long as access to the internet is available. She also reported that she liked to  »spy » students, with the Time tracking feature, and know who was reading and how much time they spent on their work. She spent time looking at students’ annotations and highlights to help herself analyse students’ understanding. What was not possible, but she suggested was to have every students’ annotations on one page, and to prevent access to content until a question was answered.

Research and Exploration of PowToon

Powtoon is a videos and presentation creation tool. It allows its users to create their own animated videos and animated presentation that will catch the attention of the audience. It is made to be easy to use so that you don’t need to be a professional in animation to produce something good. A feature that allows users to post their Powtoon on Youtube is included as well as an option to save them on their computer. This app can be used for free or with different subscription options. Some access subscription for education are available but not necessary. PowToon is in constant evolution and updated on a regular basis

This video in presented on PowToon’s official website

When you log in for the first time on PowToon, you can use your Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn profile, or you can create one on the page. Then, you have to choose if you want to start a ‘studio’ project (video and animated presentation), or a ‘slides’ presentation (informative slideshow). Both are introduced by a quick tutorial. Many templates are also available to help users start with their presentation.

Mieke VanderBorght, a researcher at the University of Virginia, described PowToon as a super-cool presentation tool that relies on teacher for classroom relevance. She started by describing features of the app such as professional voice-overs, possibility to download on DVD, and share with other users. A good number of images, animations, and visual styles are available for free, but the classroom and premium accounts unlock even more. This tool could be good for the classroom because the originality of the presentations created will absolutely catch the attention of students and foster their engagement. VanderBorght proposed letting the kids be creative with the tool. Also, teachers could replace written reports by presentations and ask students to present their work afterward. Students can work on this tool in groups or individually. The benefits of attention-grabbing presentations are explained on the PowToon blogs. However, the researcher tought there was not enough support and examples of the pedagogical use of PowToon compared to what was offered for the buisness use of the tool.

Two different ways the tool can be used in the classroom are described by Steven M. in his review for PowToon. First, he said he asked students to create a 30-60 second video about their past vacation activities. Second, he asked students to create a commercial. Students worked in small groups on this project and used scripts from a bank of radio commercial scripts. Students recorded the audio track of their commercial and then created their visual component. The only issue noted was that only one student at one time could work on the visual editing. The teacher said he preferred to use this tool in place of PowerPoint or Prezi and encouraged his students to do so.

Eric Curts, a Technology integration Specialist, wrote a review for PowToon in education. He gives some examples of activities that could be done with this tool. One that could be adapted to an ESL classroom would be to act out a section from a story students are reading to help them understand. Also, teachers could make short comic to explain new concepts or vocabulary words. The reviewer also noted that the free version of the app was limited to five minutes per videos, but there was no limitation to the number of presentations.

The advantages of a PowToon for education access are that it helps teachers assigning and collecting the work of their students, it allows users to have access to more images and styles, and it is possible to make up to 15 minutes videos.

Research and Exploration of RWT Timeline

ReadWriteThink(RWT) Timeline is a tool for tablets that allows students to create a graphical representation of events trough time. The graphic can be organized by time of day, date, or event, and users can add short or long descriptive text. Images can also be added to the Timeline graphic to make them more visually appealing.

Here is a tutorial video of how to use RWT Timeline

When students open this app they are asked to choose an avatar and a name that won’t appear on their project. Then, they choose a name for their project and see it appear on a blank sheet with a dashed line across the middle. Students can click on the line to add an event to the point they clicked. They can then add a short description and an image to the event. Timelines can be saved, edited and sent by e-mail. The app and the benefits it can have in the classroom have been reviewed by Amanda Bindel, a retired teacher from Texas. She explains that this app is easy enough for elementary-level students to be able to use it. However, not much customization is possible so every project looks similar and the logo of the ReadWriteThink and International Reading Association appear at the bottom of every project. The reviewer explains that the app could be used by students and teachers to present any idea in a timeline graphic. For example, timelines of events from a short story could be organized for better comprehension. Timelines could also be used to present the procedures of an activity or to note achievements throughout the school year.

Karen Larson, an Academic Technology Specialist from California, wrote a field note about RWT Timeline. She recommended this app for any subject areas where organizing events is the goal because there are no date or specified time written on the line so any kinds of information can be organized. She also tought the app was very simple which was good for younger learners, but older students may lose interest to it.

Lindsey Fuller, a sixth grade teacher in Illinois, wrote about her experience with RWT TimeLine on her blog. She said she used the tool to plan research and presentation projects, so every student had to think about what they had to do. Also, she used the tool to lay out the events of a story, in order to facilitate and practice comprehension, and to dissect the development of this story.  The teacher also appreciated that she no longer had to do time lines on paper. With the older technique, the result was most often a mess, where images were hard to integrate, and it took too much space. She would ask students to send their timelines by e-mail when they were done.

In the ESL classroom, I think this app could also be used to explain verb tenses to students because with a clear and easy to edit visual support students would surely understand better. Also, the app could be used to plan a short written assignment and to order main points to be discussed.

This is what the TimeLine interface looks like

Research and Exploration of Socrative

Socrative is a tool that allows teacher to engage their students in assignments and educational activities on their tablets, laptops and smartphones. With this tool it is possible to organize real time types of questionnaires and get instant correction of answers. This can save a lot of time and allow teacher to give more questionnaires to the students. Those questionnaires are also really appreciated by students

The first picture shows the teacher’s interface, the second shows the space race interface, and the third shows the live results interface.

On the app or the website, it is possible to login as a student or as a teacher. Teachers need to sign in or use their Google profile to do so. Students only need their classroom number to log in.  Teachers can create quick questions (Multiple choice, True or False, Short Answer) or series of questions to from quizz. The Space race option is also available, it is the same as normal quizz, but in a game form where students can compete against each other or in teams and see their performance on screen.

.This video is an overview of Socrative

Rachel M., a Spanish teacher at Cornell Senior High School, in Pennsilvania, did a review of the tool and discussed her usage of the tool and reflexions about it. First, she explained that she prefered to use this tool for formative assignments rather than somative ones. For those practice quizzes, the teacher prepared about 10-25 questions. Then, she started answering the questions with the student by using the  »teacher-paced » option. This option allowed her to disscuss of answers and pitfalls and students internalized a lot of this. After, she reviewed most of the questions, she would start a  »Space Race » to evaluate what students recalled from the discussion. Concerning her tought about the tool, she said she loves it for different reasons. One of the reason is that is is free to access from any smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Also, she loved the fact that she could easily look at the data in detail or in general. Another reason is that students can use fictive names when their score appears on the big screen. Socrative allows open-ended responses and this was crucial in the context of a language classroom.

Socrative is a tool that allows to create online teacher-led or student-paced quiz for instant response. This is analysed by Anthony C., an educator with Computer Science and Technology Integration as a focus, in his review of the tool. This educator used Socrative as an entrance or exit-ticket activity. He reviewed past material, considered new ideas and questions, tried out pre-test, and gave feedback. He used short answer questions to consider new ideas, and the multiple choice and true or false questions for student paced quizzes. Students loved to receive instant gratification for their responses. Moreover, the educator tought that the possibility for teachers to view data as a chart in the dashboard was really helpful for a quick scan of students results. This tool was mostly useful for formative and pre-assessment and as an indicator of progress.

On her blog Emma Frances Bloomfield, a communication scholar and Ph.D. student, wrote an article about Scorative. The blogger based her opinion on the arguments that many students revealed to be nervous at the possibility of being called upon or to participate in class discussions. According to her, Socrative relifs the pressure of initiating conversation or being correct. The tool also helps saving time and engaging every students in activities. She used this tool to assign weekly reading re-cap quiz. Those re-cap quizzes were formative, and helped the teacher and students to know if they retained the material. After each quiz, she chose how she wanted to receive the data, in order to refer to them them latter. Knowing in real-time what questions were more difficult for student allowed her to meet the needs of the students in her discussions, without needing students to volunteer.

I personally tried this tool in my Computer APPs classroom as a student and tought it was pretty fun. Even if every student in that class were young adults, the space race activity was really appreciated by everyone. I think those kinds of quizz are so much fun that they could also be used as rewards. For example, in an ESL classroom, at the end of class the teacher could give a quizz in English about a random subject students liked. This way students would have fun doing the quizz while practicing their English written comprehension.

Research and Exploration of Thing Link

Thing Link is an interactive media platform that empowers its users to create more engaging content by adding a wide variety of possible media links to photos and videos. This tool is already very popular and it can be used to create interactive images and videos of all kinds.

This video explains how to start with Thing Link.

Amy Lauren B., a retired teacher, gave her reflexions about this tool in her review. First, she describes the tool as a fun and secure way for students to demonstrate their learning. The process of editing images or videos is pretty simple. Any image or video can be uploaded and then links to web-pages, audio recording, and videos can be added. The educational version of the platform only allows teachers to create groups and control students’ access to those groups or classes. Second, the reviewer explained how Thing Link could be used for learning. She tought that letting students lead the way and express themselves was the best way to use Thing Links’s full potential. Also, teachers could use Thing Link to collect tagged images and create an interactive slideshow for a pre-activity. In ESL, students could use this tool to tag vocabulary words to images or to regroup information (related videos, notes) about a subject for a research.

Mark R., a classroom teacher in a juvenile court and community schools in California, gives in his review some classroom implications for the use of Thing Link. First, this tool could be used to create multimedia definition of new vocabulary, by adding audio pronunciation and other explanation to an image. Second, students could use a calendar image and create links to events or upcoming evaluation. Third, students could analyze different component of an image by making links with previous learning. This tool allows users from the classroom to turn normal images into more inspiring sources of learning.

In her webinar, Susan Oxnevad did a complete overview of the tool. The Thing Link education community manager said this tool provided students an opportunity to enhance their learning. Some particular features of Thing Link are described by the educator in her review. One of those features was the rich media tags that allowed to create a link that will embed information on the page, so you do not have to open a different window to see it. Also, the tool is web based and available across platforms. Moreover, teachers could provide students with many collected resources into one image as an alternative to textbook, or students could create a portfolio to note goals and reflexions.

I did my own experimentation of Thing Link and it took me only a few seconds to be able to login and create my own Thing Link image. It was possible for me to login from Facebook so I did not have to create an account or profile for this website. Once I was connected, step by step instructions showed me how to import an image or URL and then how to add links to it. I also had no difficulties to share it and import it on this article.

Here is the result of my experimentation.

Research and Exploration of Prezi

Most of us know the importance presentations have in today’s classrooms. Most teachers now present slides every class and even students are sometimes asked to used them for their own presentations. Those slides have taken so much place they started to get boring. It is tru that repetitive slides containing too much information in quick, disjointed succession are not optimal for students’ implication and understanding. But now, with Prezi, presentations are made way more interesting and understandable.

Take a look at this video from the official website to see how they present their product.

What is Prezi ?

Prezi is in its most simple form an interactive, web-based presentation platform, that can be used to creat more engagement among those watching it (students). What differentiate Prezi from other similar tools is that it allows you to zoom in and out from your different canvas. This is  a great way to illustrate big concepts, as well as focus on specific details. Once you are ready to start your project on Prezi, you can either, chose a template from the latest or the most popular, search for a different one, or create your own. Choosing a template will display your Prezi canvas. The way prezi works is that it zooms into specific areas on the canvas by following a path that you need to edit. Then, you can add content or modify your prezi at any moment. Of course, this tool is cloud-based, meaning your projects are available from any device connected to Internet. However, the free service may prevent you from sharing privatly your projects.

For teachers

Prezi is already popular among teachers around the world. It helps them cultivating an atmosphere of engagement and curiosity in the classroom. Also, many projects in different educational subjects have already been made. The most interesting of them, as well as other articles, are shared on the Prezi Education Blog. According to the MELS Reference Framework for Professional Competencies, teachers will show their ability to integrate information and communication technologies during their activities when using prezi in their classroom.

For students

Students will show more interest in their teachers’ presentations if they are done with Prezi. First time they see a presentation done with this tool, they will probally be impressed by how creative  it is and enjoy something finally different from powerpoint. Also, Prezi is pretty simple and could easily be used by childrens of all ages (13 or older)

EDIT (2015-04-15) :

Personal and other teachers’ reflexions

, a college educator and online course designer, described the online presentation maker Prezi in her review. First, she describes how the unique features and stylish presentations of Prezi made it an engaging tool for the classroom. Then, the reviewer described different features of the tool  that made it a good choice for classroom and presentations. For example, users can upgrade to an  »Enjoy Edu » account, in order to have access to logo-free, private presentations, and enhanced support and storage. Moreover, users can login through Facebook and use the same profile on both sites. Those kinds of online interactions made group work easy and kept students goal focused. However, Finkelberg concludes that Prezi was a well-designed tool, but it  »doesn’t hold any intrinsic educational value; it’s the content that students create that will ultimately determine the quality of the presentation »

In his review, the instructional technology resource teacher, Mike R. explained how he used Prezi and gave his reflexions about it. He recommended this tool and used it himself for his presentations, which were all looking  different due to the wide diversity of models available online. Students enjoyed it, in a class where Prezi was introduced to students, 75% of them chose this tool for their presentations. Online collaboration to build their presentation enabled students to work on their project from their home and the ease of use of this website made students more creative. Also, the reviewer tought that students and teachers could take advantage of the zooms and movements during presentations. For example, they could hide information throughout the page to keep the content clear. However, when students used too many rotations, some felt a little seasick.

In their research paper,  Amaal Al Masri, Atika M. Ismael and Fatima Z. Qudah, measured the effectiveness of using Prezi for teaching English language sounds and its effect on the students’ performance. To do so they designed a pre-test and a post-test that the attributed in order at the beginning and the end of their experimentation. For 8 weeks, on group was taught using Prezi and another was taught using traditional instruction of exercises and drills. At the end, the group who learned using Prezi (Experimental) improved significantly more than the traditionally taught group (Control).

panier

The table A. represent results from the two groups on the pre-test and table B. represents their results on the post-test

Research and exploration of Kahoot !

tumblr_inline_n5za5h2ToY1rgp1yg

Whatever your level is or the experience you have, learning is always more enjoyable when it is done at the same time as playing, or at least in a fun way. The website presented in this article is a game based classroom respond system for schools, universities and business. 

First, let me basically explain what Kahoot! is. When you create an account on Kahoot!, you can start create your own quizzes easily with simple tools available. You can also use public quizzes made by other people. Then, you are ready to launch your quiz in your classroom. Use a projector to display the questions at the front. Next step is to have all students register for the quiz on their mobile devices or any device that has web browser. They dont need to install any app or subscribe to anything, they just need to choose the name they want to use and they will see them appear at the front on the players’ list. Then, the fun begins and students start answering the questions. They answer in real-time with their device and they all compete for points and to be at the top of the leaderboard.

The students in general really like how Kahoot! works and it is full of advantages for them and their teachers. This tool could also be called a classroom engagement tool. The game-base of this website motivate the participation of students who are excited to play. Also, students can ask questions to their teacher and become leaders by taking control of their own learning. Students improve their learning and become more succesful learners by involving in a topic. The statistics compiled after each quizzes can be useful for teachers and students to get to know their weakness and strenght. Teachers and students can adapt to their current understanding and also keep track of the results on long terms.

I used a Kahoot game for the first time with my grade 5 Core French students (all boys), and I don’t think I have ever seen them more excited or engaged in an all French activity as they were during the game. Sylvia Duckworth, Core French teacher in Toronto, Canada.

Many teachers have tried Kahoot! and said the activity was a success. Some of them even wrote blog articles and you can find some interesting ones on the Kahoot! pedagogy blog. If you go there you will learn how other teachers chose to use Kahoot! which is interesting if you want some ideas and suggestions.

Another idea of activity teachers could do with their students would be to challenge them to create their own Kahoot! quiz. This will switch the roles of learners and teachers and will help students remember what they ask in their quiz. The learning pyramid graph explain that fact.

To conclude, if you are looking for a motivational, engagement tool, which is easy and fun to use in your classroom, you should probably try the game-based classroom respond system Kahoot! and, its infinite possibilities of activities.

This is where I got introduced to Kahoot!

Research and exploration of Evernote

evernote

Evernote his at its most basic a note taking tools. But, its in fact a lot more than that and some even call it an extension of your brain. Here is a video showing a basic overview of the application.

What is it ?

Evernote is the software that allows you to take any kind of note, in different ways with many tools included, at any time. Evernote also organize all those notes in a database for you to be able to find anything you search later on. The application also offers the possibility to share your work instantly with anyone. It can be access anywhere because it is a cloud based application. You can create a note on your phone, then, edit it on your computer (MAC/PC) and finally share it from your tablet. If you don’t have access to Internet you will be able to create notes but they won’t be synchronized with all your devices. Free users can upload up to 60 MB of data each month, with unlimited storage. Which I think is enough except if you want to save many videos.

Evernote for teachers

For ESL teachers, this application can be used in many ways to improve organisation and communication. For example, teachers could use it to keep track of past and future teaching activities in one notebook. Also, they could organize with keywords a bank of useful websites, for themselves and for students. E-mails from parents, from colleagues and from students could all be saved and organized so that teachers dont have to worry when they clean their mailbox. The audio recorded note tool  can help teacher when they evaluate oral presentation or they can even use the voice recognition (audio to text) to quickly have what they say written. This tool can save a lot of time for people who type slowly. As well, teachers could create lesson plans online and share them with their students. Afterward, they could include to their plan some picture of the white board and some scans of the papers with their cellphone.  Evernote recognizes text in photos, even handwriting, so they can be searched within Evernote notebooks.

Evernote for students

For students, the benefits they can get from this application are pretty much the same as for the teachers. Organisation is easier with electronic documents and communication with the teacher is fast and not only at class time. For the students, Evernote become an electronic binder where they put all the works they do and all the notes they take. If they miss a class or need to revise, they can have access to other students’ or to the teacher’s note. Collaborative works are also made easy with Evernote because only one document can be shared and edited by everyone. All of the three MELS’s ESL program competencies can be practiced with activities on Evernote, but it is firstly an organisation tool.

EDIT (01-04-2015) :

Personal and other teachers reflexion

Nicholas Provenzano a high school English teacher and edublogger experimented a complete Evernote Environment in his classes. He reported his experimentation in his article  »The Epic Evernote Experiment ».  Upon completing his experimentation the blogger reported observations and suggestions. First, he explains how doing lessons’ planning on Evernote helped him store all his old handouts and notes as PDFs. He also loved to have access to his lessons at any time because he could add ideas he might have when he felt inspired. Then, Provenzano describes how Evernote enhanced communication in his classes. For each class, he created a shared notebook regarding assignments. He daily placed in it days’ work and notes explaining the upcoming classwork. Consequently, students were more aware of what their assignment was because they could rely on Evernote. This also saved alot of the teacher’s time as long as he no longer had to use class time to review with students what they missed. Evernote replaced their agenda in a nonesuch manner. Moreover, observations on how Evernote provided access to students’ work  are promoted in Provenzano’s article. Instead of having to carry a bunch of books to complete their assignments, students had all their documents online and they could work wherever they had Internet. Access to students’ work was also allowed to their parents so that they could keep track of their child’s work from anywhere. The teacher had student place all their finalized work in a personal portfolio so that he could leave private feedback to each student. This dialogue on their work allowed students to improve and revise their writing. The last useful thing Provenzano found in his experimentation is to set up notification reminders on notes. For example, he could set the reminder before an assignment they might have forgotten about or before they left the school without something important. These kinds of digital reminders were really advantageous for students who tend to forget work.

Research and exploration of Google Classroom

google-classroom
When it comes to choosing what learning management system, social media or any other tool you want to use with your classroom, the possibilities and choices are not missing. In September 2014, Google were launching there learning management system; Classroom. This service already helps many students and teachers in various ways and I decided to do some research about its different aspects. In my opinion, Classroom’s service is almost impeccable and the reasons to use it are not missing.

First of all, the use of this service is available to all institution registered to Google Apps for Education. It is free, but the institutions have to register. Some service are available without this kind of registration but Google made the process pretty simple and easy to use like pretty much all of their services.

Once the registration and installation process is over, you have access to a very nice interface’s design. The interface is clear, simple and created to help the user focus on productivity rather than distractions. On the official Classroom website, this interesting video is shown to explain how the service works and different things you can do with it.

The simplicity and the extent of possibilities are aspects that i really appreciate from this service.

For teachers of ESL, as well as teachers of other subjects, giving homework online have some advantages on giving paper homework. First, it saves time because the teacher can distribute an homework in one clic, then start correction as soon as students start giving their copy back, and give feedback to all of them out of class time. Also, giving homework online with Google Classroom will make it easier for teachers to organise and have all of their students’ works in one place where it is easy to find what they are looking for. As a student, I think that it can as well save a lot of time and help with organisation. Having a saved copy of everything I have done so far helps me for revision. Also, I can have access to them from different places so I can’t forget them home.

Another aspect that makes the strength of Google Classroom is that it works with others Google Apps for Education. For example, assignments are given on Classroom but done on Google Docs, students are identified by a Gmail address and mailbox, hard copies are saved on Drive. All those apps are very useful each in their own ways and having them automatically working together is useful because teachers and students don’t have to go multiple places online to do what they need. Also, with the Google Apps for Education, teachers can prepare activities and assignments that follow the three competencies targeted by the MELS’s ESL program.

Furthermore, The SAMR Model, designed by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura explores how the technologies have outcomes on students. He explains how you can evaluate the level on efficiency of an app by looking at what the app allows you to do. The grades are going from Substitution, Augmentation, Modification to Redefinition. On the SAMR scale, Google Classroom would reach the level of Modification because it makes the tasks easier or different, but the hearth of the tasks is the same. For example, communication with the students has always been part of classroom management, but now with new technologies communication is done online by posting message on your class’s page or by sending alert to the cell phones of students.

Last but not least, Google classroom is a good choice because of its availability. There is an app for mobile devices so that you can receive notification and check your assignments from anywhere. It is also a Google service so you can  trust  it. Google has made its name through the years and we know the quality of their service. This is important because you don’t want your classroom to be managed by a software that is buggy or that could crash tomorrow.

Even if this service requires your institution to subscribe, the design of the app, the way it helps organize works and save time, its variety of related educational apps, its outcomes on students and its availability makes this service a great technology to integrate to classrooms.

EDIT(01-04-2015) :

The  learning management system (LMS) Google Classroom  is described by Michael Mussman, an Editor of Forward Thinking, the Ashford University blog, as a nice, user-friendly, convenient addition to the LMS industry.  In his blog article, Mussman explains that the interface is split between announcements and assignments. Attachments like YouTube videos, hyperlinks, or Drive documents can easily be added to your posts. This is observable on the slideshow prepared by Meg Tufano at McDermott MultiMedia Group. Mussman also report in his blog that the commenting system of Google Classroom is greatly developed. For example, students can write comments on a specific point within a picture and teachers can create URL to link back to comment later. In addition, teachers will appreciate how easy it is to create and manage assignments. A list of all assignments is available in one click and how many students turned in each one is displayed.  There is an option that allows teachers to repeat an assignment each week without having to create a new one every time.

More recently, Classroom updated their system and added some new features to it. Aaron Svoboda, of the Nebraska Educational Technology Association, wrote about those new things in his blog article.  In January 2015, the ability to archive classes was added. This ability allows teachers to remove of their home page classes from past semesters and keep them as read-only. Archiving a class will prevent the teacher from posting new assignments and students from turning them in, but the access to resources and works is still possible. Another feature added to upgrade Classroom was the assignment page for teachers. This page allows teachers to see assignment from every classes in one place instead of separate pages for each class and assignment. It is also possible to  »Mark as reviewed » each assignment to move them from the main list to the  »Reviewed » list. This make correction process faster and easier for teachers because they can see what they have done and have to do.

http---makeagif.com--media-1-18-2015-HIEM5N

 This is what the assignment page looks like

Benjamin Banneker, a grade six teacher in Cambridge, MA, published a review of Google classroom.  He reported, as other teachers using this system, that he enjoyed the simplicity and usability of the platform. This is something particularly important when teaching to younger children from elementary and middle school.  This teacher explains how he created  several classes per subject. For example, for his math class he created a class consisting of my most advanced math students, a class consisting of students who are on grade-level, and a class consisting of my struggling math students. The reason he did that is that  students enrolled in a class all receive the same assignment so he had to separate the class in order to differentiate work.