For the past couple years, teachers have been expected to use myMCPS Classroom to post online assignments, upload answer keys and everything in between. It does its job, but poorly at that. Not only is Google Classroom easier to navigate, it also runs faster and updates frequently, providing students and teachers the most efficient way to share files.
MyMCPS Classroom is still difficult even after years of using it. The difference between modules and files is confusing, and trying to find an assignment without using CTRL+F is a challenge. Contrast this with the simplicity of Google Classroom’s layout, which can be easily mastered within minutes.
It makes perfect sense why Google Classroom would look and run better. Google is a multi-billion dollar company, so it’s to be expected that every service they put out is top-notch. Meanwhile Canvas, the website myMCPS Classroom is on, is at a disadvantage from the get-go, with nowhere near the resources that Google has.
Nothing is more precious in students’ lives than time. Google Classroom requires three clicks and minimal scrolling to access any assignment due to its organized layout. Contrast this with myMCPS Classroom, which gives my finger a workout, clicking and scrolling like as if my hand were running a marathon.
The power to submit assignments is something essential toward a file sharing platform. On Google Classroom, if students are unsatisfied with what they have turned in, they have the power to unsubmit assignments, so their teacher can’t grade what they had previously submitted. MyMCPS fails to give students this option, instead allowing students to “resubmit.” While resubmitting is similar in concept, teachers are still able to see what the student had turned in originally, making every turn-in feel permanent.
It seems nonsensical to shell out money on an inferior product, yet the county insists. Despite Google Classroom being free, the county continues to pay for Canvas for no good reason. Everybody likes free stuff, but the county would rather shovel money into something for no reason whatsoever.
At the beginning of a semester, myMCPS Classroom often doesn’t work for a plethora of students, leaving teachers unable to share files. When only half of the class can access the resources they need, that creates problems with students who were absent who cannot do the homework as a result, and teachers who can no longer assign assignments online. Google Classroom on the other hand can be accessed by every student so long as they have the code, and it’s never down so students never have to worry about their work being incomplete or late.
While myMCPS does have its benefits, it would be advantageous to both students and teachers to switch to myMCPS Classroom. It is faster, easier to navigate and more visually appealing. It should be up to teachers whether or not they use myMCPS Classroom, and they should have the option of using the better alternative.
In 2017, MCPS implemented a new system for posting grades and assignments. This system, called MyMCPSClassroom, replaced Edline, the previously used platform. For the past two years teachers have been aquainting themselves with the software and are enjoying the new components of this platform.
Comparatively, Google Classroom is a free software designed by Google to streamline the process of sharing files between teachers and students. Google Classroom has been in use since 2014, making it something teachers are comfortable with. However, MyMCPSClassroom is the best new platform for digital learning. Like edline, it’s time for Google Classroom to step aside, and MyMCPSClassroom to step into the limelight.
The myMCPS Classroom platform has several new features that Google Classroom is lacking. Most notable is the parent portal. Unlike Google Classroom, which is narrowly focused on student and teacher communication, myMCPS Classroom has a whole section called the “Parent Portal”. According to montgomeryschoolsmd.org, “Once parents or guardians create an account in the portal and link it to the appropriate student or students they will be able to interact with information related to grades, attendance, scheduling, and more.”
Parents are given a much wider scope of control on their child’s schooling, allowing for transparency between teacher and parent, and student and parent. Google Classroom completely leaves parents out of the equation, and now with myMCPS Classroom they can be filled in on much more than they were before. “Teachers are able to post answer keys and announcements to the modules, which remind me of things I would’ve forgotten. Google Classroom didn’t do that,” sophomore Brady Weiss said.
MyMCPS Classroom also eliminates the need for teachers to use multiple resources to facilitate learning, because it encompasses the best parts of a number or useful softwares. MyMCPS Classroom is superior to Google Classroom because it is capable of doing all the Google Classroom can do, and then some. Classrooms landing page, or “dashboard”, contains a list of all of a student or staff’s courses, global Montgomery County announcements, recent feedback and a streamlined “to-do” assignment list. “Classroom is just a lot more organized and easy to work around. The layout makes it easy for me to see what I still need to do, and if I’ve received any new grades,” junior Zenia Kaovasia said.
Another feature unique to myMCPS is its calendar of events. On the side of the dashboard there are different tabs available to students, the calendar being one of them. When a teacher puts an event into their course folder online, classroom color codes the information, and puts it into a calendar. This ingenious quality has helped to keep students organized and make a course load seem less overwhelming. “Having the calendar is really helpful because if I ever forget to write something in my assignment book I can look on Classroom,” Weiss said.
MyMCPS Classroom is superior to Google Classroom because it offers features that no other platforms carry. Students, parents, and teachers are able to connect with each other easier and make digital learning simpler. “I hate it when some teachers use Google Classroom instead of myMCPS Classroom because they’re only limiting the resources that can be used,” Kaovasia said.