IT'S JUST ANOTHER TOOL/APP....
Well yes and no. While this is another app, another tech tool to modernize the process of education, I see it as much more profound. While having a "paperless classroom" to many means taking their once printed worksheets and pushing them to students through something like Google Apps for Education, you and I both know that this doesn't change the process of teaching & learning. The actual goal of all this technology is to transform what is happening in schools. Often I feel like the purpose of education is to "show you learned something" i.e. all the standardized assessment in Ohio only measures your ability to memorize and regurgitate. Okay so many might argue standardized testing also shows your ability to read and find information. Some might even say you have to apply that information to a super hard question...whatever...point is it is the same old educational system that COMPLETELY misses the point of learning how to learn. Problem solving and Problem finding. Those skills are not sufficiently tested and those are the skills that our kids need.
How does Classroom fit into the above rant? Well the way I see it, the simpler you make it for teachers to push presentations and notes and worksheets to students, the less time a teacher spends on those things and the more time they start to pursue relevant learning. If I do not have to direct lecture because I can make 120 copies of my presentation for students, or give them links to videos and resources, then I can start to think about how to move that away from class time, or at least how to use less time doing it. Now I do not have to stand at a copier making classwork (or homework), then collect it, grade it, hand it back, collect again for revisions, all while trying not to lose it!
Classroom represents the simplest, no frills LMS that I have ever seen. It automates the behind-the-scenes craziness of managing your Google Drive with hundreds of students and it simplifies our ability as teachers to collaborate on student's work with them.
BUT HOW CAN THIS REALLY CHANGE MY CLASSROOM?
YOU ARE THE ONLY THING THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR CLASSROOM! You need to see Classroom for Google as a way to streamline the day-to-day and then use your creativity to do something amazing with the time you know all-of-a-sudden have. Good luck, be brave and have fun!