In my position this year, I have spent a LOT of time in buildings. Sitting down with teachers to plan lessons, brainstorm new ideas, and co-teaching lessons.
The biggest thing I have noticed this year is that teachers so often work in “silos.” They focus on their classroom and their kiddos (nothing wrong with that), and do lots of work themselves that could probably easily be shared.
A big goal for next year, that I will be thinking on a lot this summer (and at ISTE!) is how to connect teachers to one another. For ideas. For collaboration. For professional networking.
I’ve worked this year on using Google Classroom to help teachers on grade level teams collaborate. We know that Google Classroom is great for student communication and collaboration…but why can’t it just as useful a tool for teachers?
Enter Google Master Classes.
The idea is this: I’m on a team of four teachers, and we are all teaching the same unit. We all post the same videos or articles or assignments to our Google Classroom for our kids. If we are all using a video for a discussion, why would all four of us create the Google Classroom post from scratch? Why can’t one of us create it (while the other three are creating other posts) and the rest just “reuse” it?
Using a Google Classroom Team Master Class almost like a shared Google Folder or Team Drive allows a significant amount of work to be done by the team, then just reused by each teacher when needed. When you consider the amount of time you spend typing the instructions and text on announcements and assignments…and developing high quality questions…doesn’t it make sense to share that work?
I could see the idea of a Master Class of resources being used between grade level teams in a building, content areas district-wide, or admin teams at each level.
I’d love to hear feedback on this idea, and how teachers use Google Classroom to foster collaboration between one another.