Listening to Teachers

Quick follow up to previous post about the NYT article about Google in classrooms. I talked about how Google is exceptional at listening to teacher needs and empowering teachers to let Google know what works.

Alice Keeler is an active blogger and edtech voice.  She is a tireless advocate for using tech to empower learners. (I’ve never met her, but have had some fun Twitter conversations with her. Perhaps I can meet her this year at ISTE!) Alice posted about a new feature in Google Classroom

I love it when I am in the middle of giving a training and stumble on a new feature. GIGGLES! More evidence that the Google Classroom team listens to teacher requests! Now when you go to get the class code there is an option to COPY the code! This is a feature I have personally requested several times.

Alice works closely with Google, so I’m sure she can easily give them feedback. But I’ve seen how quickly Google can make changes specifically to meet teacher requests. I’ve been testing Google Classroom since it launched. We’ve been using it for internal PD (until just a few weeks ago, Classroom was only useable to people inside your organization, no outside email addresses could be added), and at every training we mentioned how quickly it changes. Literally, new features would be there one day that were not there the day before.

While this can get a bit distracting and annoying, it is mostly fabulous. It’s always something you’d been wanting — or something that just made things better that you never knew you needed. I know these changes were in response to teacher requests. At ISTE last year, there were more Google Classroom sessions than just about anything else. Google was there, they were listening, watching and asking for feedback and input. They obviously valued the teacher input — something that not all companies do — and made teachers feel valued and important. And Google even follow through – they make the changes teachers want. Good for them.

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