Students believe Google Chat is helpful during school; teachers disagree


Keira Riemenschneider, eighth-grader on the explorers team, uses Google Chat to communicate with her classmates

Students claim Google Chat is beneficial to learning during classes because of the ability to converse with other students, but teachers say otherwise.

Grace Zhang, a seventh grader on the Legacy team says, “It benefits my education because I’m more motivated to participate in class.”

Google Chat is a communication service that can be used on the web. After COVID-19 hit, many students felt disconnected from the world and their friends, and they discovered Google Chat.

Alyssa Killer, a seventh-grader on the Legacy team, at Rachel Carson Middle School started using Google Chat around fourth or fifth grade, and she says this is because of COVID-19.

Aasiya Juneja, seventh-grader on the Majestics team, and her friends use Google Chat at school or during classes, stating that they think Google Chat is helpful for communication. 

“Kids like me find it easier to get help during tougher classes or to talk to friends during classes like Panther Time with Google Chat,” says Aasiya.

Although most students think Google Chat is useful, some students and teachers feel like Google Chat is more of a distraction.

“It stops them from listening to the teacher,” says Alyssa.

“I feel inclined to use [Google Chat] when other people are on it,” adds Anaya Gowder, a seventh-grader on the Legacy team. 

Teachers have caught countless amounts of students on Google Chat, leading to stories of punishments and laptops being taken away.

 “I never got in trouble, just Ms. Allen called me out that one time.” says an anonymous student.

Different teachers discipline students in various ways when they’ve been caught on Google Chat.

 “One time I was on a CAD laptop in engineering on Google Chat and Mr. Bolt gave me a weird look,” says Grace. “I think he was confused by what we were messaging because I was kind of in a weird chat space.” 

Teachers feel different ways about when to use Google Chat and if Google Chat is helpful to students. Some teachers think that Google Chat is solely a distraction for students, while others think it can be used as a learning tool. 

“I think it’s depending on the time, like right now [during Panther Time] if they’re using it for a productive purpose it’s fine, but it’s about having self-control and monitoring it appropriately,” Natalie DeBaldo, Mavericks team math teacher, says. “If they’re using it during panther time it’s fine. If they use it now [during class] it’s on them.”

Anaya says, “Rules are meant to be broken.”