Which is better? Blackboard or Google Classroom?

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Taking effect this year, many students at Albemarle are seeing changes in technology and the One to One program. This includes more usage of a program named Blackboard and many other platforms, such as Google Classroom.

Blackboard is a site that helps students organize assignments and in a way where everything can be found for each class. This site provides virtual ways to learn such as finding notes and other classroom materials online.

However, Blackboard isn’t the only site that teachers are using in order to get their information and homework out to students.

“I like that I can check my assignments. I dislike that all my teachers are not on there, and that not all my teachers post things,” sophomore Rachel Gatling said about Blackboard.

While Gatling believes Blackboard is a nice resource to have, she prefers to use Google Classroom since some of her teachers manage assignments through that platform.

The Revolution polled the faculty and out of the 54 responses received, 33 percent  said that they use Blackboard as their primary platform to communicate information. Google Classroom came in second with 28 percent using it as their primary platform..

However, 54 percent of faculty would want Google Classroom to be used throughout the entire facility.

English teacher Allison Reese uses Google Classroom for assignments and homework, but also her personal website. “I think that we should be able to use a digital platform, but I feel like it is up to the teacher’s discretion of which digital platform they use.”

She prefers Google Classroom because she thinks that it is user-friendly and is easy for both students and parents to access. Reese prefers using a digital platform, but uses email to communicate with students and parents also.

Even though it appears that using Google Classroom might be the “winner” among most teachers, some still would prefer using Blackboard for the entire faculty.

In order to use Blackboard, it costs $50,000 for ACPS to have a license plus approximately $42,000 for yearly maintenance, according to Department of Accountability, Research, and Technology Chief Information Officer Vince Schievert.  This covers 14,000 students and 1,500 staff within the county.

Sophomore Jackson Young would prefer all of his teachers to be on Blackboard, “It would be nice if it was all in one place.”

He likes that most of his teachers put homework on Blackboard, but expressed his frustration about not having everything in a single location. Although he believes that other sites are easier to use, such as Google Classroom, he doesn’t dislike anything about Blackboard.

“It provides your school in the box, a virtual locker, and gives ability to keep track of your assignments,” Schievert said.. He believes that Blackboard is a management system that meets the needs of the county and is affordable.

Schivert credited Blackboard for being a central focus, and thinks that everyone should use it because of congruency.

He said that a committee of administrators, technology people, and teachers made the choice to have Blackboard.This board meets every five years and makes changes.

Out of all the responses, 78% of teachers still want to use multiple sources to get assignments, notes, and materials out to students digitally. “No. Different teachers are more comfortable with some types of platforms than others. Changing the format for some would discourage them from using the technology”.