The Power of Paperless
How You Can Use Google Classroom to Support Student Needs During and After Class
Organization. Time Management. Executive Functioning.
These are common areas of need on an IEP. Figuring out how to address them is often confusing and frustrating for students, parents, and teachers alike.
Google Classroom can be used to effectively support these areas of need. Going paperless with Classroom is necessary for some, and good for all.
If you aren't ready to go paperless yet, or don’t have the technology in your classroom, that’s okay. Start using Classroom for posting announcements, important dates, and big assignments. Try out the strategies below, and build from there. Your students with autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities will benefit, and their parents will thank you.
Facilitate Communication & Collaboration
Many students with disabilities have great difficulty articulating to their parents what they did at school, and what they need to do for homework. Others simply cannot remember. To support these students and their families, use Classroom as a tool to communicate with parents directly. At the very least, just having the ability to log in to their child’s account to access Classroom will help parents see what is happening in your class, what their child needs to do, and how they can support them in your course.
For some students it can take a team to support them in a course. Add the Resource teacher or an Educational Assistant to your Classroom so that every member of the team knows how they can support that student academically.
No lost work. Think of all the problems that would solve. In a paperless classroom, your assignment is not going to end up in the black hole at the bottom of your student’s backpack. All course materials will be accessible online, at school and at home. They can even be organized by topics. Other Classroom features that support organization are Announcements, Calendar, and a To-do list that includes all upcoming work a student has, arranged by course, and due date.
Support Fine Motor Skills Attention Deficits
Most students can either write or listen, but not both. Some students have a hard time sustaining attention long enough to do either effectively. Others have graphomotor skills issues that get in the way of taking notes in class, and it isn’t always practical to provide them with duplicated notes from you or a peer. Reduce cognitive load during class time by uploading your course materials into Classroom so that students have digital copies of all notes. They can learn new terminology and concepts ahead of time, refer to the notes during class, and afterwards for repetition and review. Digital materials can be easily made compatible with a range of assistive technology options.
Support all students in an inclusive class by differentiating instruction. When posting an announcement, assignment, or quiz, you can assign different versions to students in the same class. Only what is assigned to them will show up in their own Classroom feed. You can also use this strategy for tiering and to create groups based on student readiness, ability, and interest.