Battle Of The Platforms

KELLY STRASSER

Any student in the Oceanside district has noticed that there has been a move towards using more technology in the classroom. Today it appears that Oceanside Schools are quite technologically oriented based on the implementation of the 1:1 model of iPads for students in the district beginning in 7th grade.  Due to this transition digital platforms in the classroom are quite prevalent. We use multiple platforms and apps to do our classwork, homework, and projects. Previously, all high school and middle school students were required to use Edmodo and Notability for sending out and handing in these assignments; recently, however, many teachers have switched their students to the use of Google Classroom and Google Docs, and of course there are some who still only use paper.

A vast majority of students and teachers seem to greatly appreciate and prefer these changes. For example, Mrs. Frasca, an English teacher here at OHS, prefers Google Classroom over Edmodo when it comes to interacting with her students. According to her, “the platform makes it very easy to share and collect assignments, provides opportunities for virtual class discussion and is a convenient archive for students of their entire course. Google Classroom also presents itself as a learning platform as opposed to Edmodo, which mirrors Facebook and may subconsciously be treated like social media.” In accordance to student usage, many agree with her opinion on Google Classroom as a  better option than Edmodo. For instance, Angelina Fazio and Janyce Gomez-Cobb, two juniors, both prefer to use Google Classroom instead of Edmodo. They believe it’s a lot easier to navigate and use to submit work to teachers. They also believe it is “much more efficient and organized.” The perception is that most students and teachers prefer Google Classroom over Edmodo for using in and out of the classroom.

As far as Notability vs. Google Docs., there is more of a debate on which one is “better” for usage in school. Barbara Barrios, another junior at OHS, believes that Notability is vastly superior to Google Docs. She believes, “Google Docs is a lot slower when functioning and Notability has a lot more features offered. It lets you highlight and hand write things in different colors, the size/thickness of the pen can be adjusted, and it’s easier to manage and organize.” However, some believe that Google Docs is a better alternative to Notability. When asked which one she preferred to use on a daily basis, Angelina Fazio stated, “I prefer Google Docs. because it makes it easy to type and share work with peers.” With the sharing option of Google Docs, multiple students can type on the same document at once and make comments when highlighting particular excerpts on each other’s work. Both Google Docs and Notability provide a vast amount of useful features that allow students to complete their work more efficiently, however, many have different preferences and don’t agree on which one is a better option, unlike the debate for Google Classroom vs. Edmodo which tips decidedly in favor or the former.

Google Classroom has proven itself to be the favored choice amongst students and teachers, while Notability and Google Docs users still clash against each other. The switch to Google based platforms is suitable for saving, completing, and sending in assignments while connecting yourself with peers and teachers. This makes it easier to work together, interact with others, and achieve an organized workplace At the end of the day, each platform provides the tools necessary to complete and hand in schoolwork with little to no difficulties.

Students enjoy having a choice but it seems that there is a haphazard manner as to which platforms are used. This puts the students at a disadvantage because they need to learn multiple apps, and platforms. It makes organization a tough chore. The change to digital devices should have provided us a common place to send in work for the convenience and organization of teachers. . Between these new platforms and apps there are questions. Should the entire school choose a single platform to help simplify matters? Is there another choice out there that has not been explored? Does this technology help to improve instruction and learning?

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