Navigating the College Journey: Google has made a Messy Classroom

Education and technology have become an integral part of the learning experience. Moreover, as students begin to navigate the complex and difficult journey of the college application process students are experiencing inadequate communication. This is largely due to a commonly used website amount teachers and students Google Classroom. An online platform where both college counselors and students share similar negative experiences. 

Google Classroom is an online learning management system developed by Google. The purpose of the platform is to facilitate communication and collaboration between students and educators virtually. This could be through video conferencing in Google Meet, accessing learning material, engaging in discussions, or posting and submitting assignments. 

“Google Classroom just feels so flooded. Whenever I read an update on deadlines or scholarships I have to screenshot it because a couple of hours later the post is just gone because other things keep getting posted. It’s so annoying when you’re trying to figure out when what is due. Like the FAFSA application. I opened my account and stayed awake during December 1st just to find out that FAFSA would open December 31st through Google Classroom when scrolling, ” said Biva Zaman, a senior year student. Information gets drowned in google classrooms, a factor which makes the college process more difficult than it already is. 

The College Board, a not-for-profit organization reported in 2023, that 63% of students prefer direct communication with their counselors for college-related queries. “Direct Communication” is lost when using Google Classroom. The thread-based discussion leads to important messages being buried, hindering communication. This information is typically about scholarships, deadlines, 

“I hate that I have to keep scrolling just to not find the document that I’m looking for. Even when I go to the classwork tab to look at each section, I can find what I need. It’s really stressful because I need specific documents and specific information to do something. Just to scroll for fifteen minutes to end up with nothing.” said Samirah Mohammed, a senior year student. Documents are not widely accessible and students can not reach the resources they desperately need. Time management is key to managing the hectic schedule of a highschool senior. Spending time on petty tasks is not the most effective way to get college apps done. 

“I think that GC (Google Classroom) has all of the resources that students need but they can be difficult to find. There are definitely documents that need to be communicated like scholarship deadlines, schools, and financial documents. Google Classroom does that but it gets clustered… the functionality of the systems could be better” said Ms. Pappas, a college counselor. Echoing the concern of Ms. Mohammed, there is too much going on in the interface of the system. Making a stressful and time consuming process even more hard work. 

Recognizing the limitations of Google Classroom, several members of the community subject the creation of a website or a section of the already created Edison website to be made solely for college related information. 

“I think that that is a great idea. Transparency is a goal of this school and has been a goal before I was even here. I think that a lot of the top high schools in NYC have that or at least a separate website. Or a part of the schools website that they can update as they want. All the material is in the website is in one section that can be updated as they one. Schools like Brooklyn Tech have their website. Quite frankly it’s very efficient” said Ms. Pappas. A website would boast transparency and decrease the issue of clustering information. Everything is on one page. A solution that is viable and solves the issue at hand. 

A website is an idealistic solution to this grave idea. As technology advances and as the students of Edison develop their skills this website may come to creation. You do not have to reinvent the wheel. You just have to look at what others are doing and copy it. Ms. Pappas example of Brooklyn Technical High School’s website design is the perfect example of this. Students will have a significantly easier way to receive information and make contact when necessary. 

Tanisha Basra

Hello my lovelies, my name is Tanisha Basra. I am a senior at Thomas A. Edison CTE High School. I am a foodie, a video game fanatic, and an avid movie watcher. I am one of the fantastic members of the Opinion section in the Edison Light. As a person with strong, passionate, and concise opinions this section will bring out my analytical and possibly creative mindset. My hobbies range anywhere from total laziness to total productivity. Thus, my knowledge is as broad and as wide as my opinions on what I know. I hope you all enjoy the diversity and the reflection of mindsets I hope to bring to the Edison Light.