There’s no denying that Google Workspace for Education provides great tools for educators, but no one solution is perfect for everybody. And that’s true of Google as well. We’ve already outlined the benefits of using Google for your curriculum mapping and lesson planning. Now it’s time to break down the areas where Google falls short so you can better evaluate which solution will work best for you.
The limitations of Google
No standards alignment
A great curriculum mapping platform should make it easy to line up what students are learning in class with the Common Core Standards, state standards, CTE Standards and more. Unfortunately, there’s no built-in way for Google to line up the material you’ll teach in your course with the learning standards you need to achieve.
The creation and development of Google’s tools were for a rather broad audience… not specifically for educators. They can still prove helpful for teachers and administrators. However, it also means you’ll miss out on certain kinds of functionality that an LMS system or an integrated education planning and analytics platform can provide out-of-the-box.
Are students learning what they should be learning – and are they on pace to advance to the next level? These are the kinds of questions schools need to keep in mind as they’re mapping curriculums, and that teachers must consider as they’re planning lessons. It’s also an area where Google falls short. Their tools are lacking the deep analytics and reporting you need to surface insights about how standards are being planned, taught and assessed.
Comparisons are challenging
How do your curriculum maps line up with those in other subjects and grade levels? Are they consistent both with your district’s or school’s approach, or with the standards you expect your students to achieve? With Google, you’re left on your own to open multiple windows and scan documents side-by-side, with no birds-eye view, filters or toggles available… which means you might miss important details that a more robust platform would make more evident.
Concerns about security
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many schools to scramble for digital solutions that filled in the gaps. At the same time, concerns arose about Google’s ability to track student data both inside and outside the classroom – especially as the company’s footprint grew larger in schools across the world.
No live support
What happens if something goes wrong? Well, you could Google the answer… but in the moment, you want to connect with an expert now, not read through a bunch of help documents. That’s where a dedicated team of experts and educators would really come in handy. Sorry to say, that’s not an option here, though other platforms like Chalk certainly deliver.
Ideally, you’d want a platform that delivers on the same kinds of benefits that curriculum mapping and lesson planning with Google provides, while also filling in the gaps where the suite falls short.
Picking the right tool for the job
Google is not the only set of tools available for teachers, administrators and education partners to plan and achieve better student outcomes.
Google Workspace for Education is, after all, hyper focused on productivity. Its tools, while helpful, prioritize access and usability for a wide audience. However, Google did not necessarily have educators specifically in mind during the creation of these tools. None are purpose-built for initiatives like curriculum mapping and lesson planning. Rather, they take some tweaking behind-the-scenes (and often an add-on or two) before they start to shine.
That’s where an integrated planning and analytics platform like Chalk makes the biggest difference.
Chapter FiveChalk as an Alternative Solution