Combs Traditional Academy utilizes Google Classroom

In the spring of 2015, J.O. Combs Unified School District made the conversion to Google Apps for Education. Teachers were inspired by Google’s evangelist, Jamie Cassip, in July, prior to students returning to school. One of the innovations brought onboard through Google Apps for Education was the opportunity to begin using Google Classroom. Google Classroom allows teachers to create virtual classrooms, where assignments can be distributed, students can use Google Apps such as Docs, Sheets and Slides, and those can all be saved into the classroom for feedback from the teacher.

Combs Traditional Academy, like the other schools in the J.O. Combs Unified School District, offers technology as one of the rotating specials that K-6 students participate in weekly. Suzanna Battaglia, the Technology teacher at Combs Traditional Academy, saw Google Classroom as a tool to allow her students to experience technology in new and innovative ways. Originally envisioned as a pilot to test out with fourth through sixth graders, she soon decided that it was a tool that even her Kindergarten students could easily use and allow her to more efficiently and effectively teach them skills with different technology applications.
Mrs. Battaglia shared that, once logged in, her students were able to stay far more engaged with the activities and instruction, and that she has been able to more effectively carry over activities from week to week. Students log in to their classroom and instructions are already there for them to warm up, she can provide direct instruction, then send students to work while she walks the classroom. She is looking forward to the collaborative opportunities that Google Apps provide once students have had an opportunity to become more familiar with the layout and functions of the applications.

Marcus Berkshire, principal at Combs Traditional Academy, shared, “Our students are digital natives. The only world they have ever known is one in which everyone is connected digitally. We want to develop essential skills and the ability to collaborate digitally is now essential for them to become leaders in society. It’s a real positive that we have the opportunity for our students to develop those skills here and now.”

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