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Five students working on tablets

Google Classroom available in August

24 Jul 2014 by Heather Breedlove

“Nothing is more important than having a great teacher in the classroom,” said Jaime Casap, Google Global Education Evangelist. “Let’s give them the tools.”

Google did just that with its new feature, Google Classroom. Google Classroom will be available to millions of teachers and students using Google Apps for Education users in August. They are releasing it earlier due to the many Google Certified Teachers and Google Education Trainers who were making their voices heard that a later release would make it difficult for teachers to incorporate it into their classroom routines.

What does Google Classroom do?

Make life easier for teachers and students. Teachers will manage their students work easily and more efficiently. Students are able to turn assignments and organize their docs easier. During a Google social event, the Google Education team show a how-to set of directions that a teacher had made for her students to turn in a document to her- there was at least five directions! Now that has changed.

The interface is simple and works well within the Google ecosystem. It takes about five minutes for a teacher to set up.

The Google Education team did a demo with people who have never used Classroom before- took a total of four minutes from setup of a class to them turning in an assignment.

Google Classroom

Key features of Google Classroom:

  • Create a class
  • Enroll students or have them join with a special code
  • Create, assign, collect and grade assignments
  • Teacher announcements, questions, and comments
  • Streamlines sharing of and receiving documents
  • Makes organizing easier for students
  • Serves as classroom central for student work

Here is a more in depth look at Google Classroom from a teacher and student perspective.

Kevin Brookhouser, from Google Guru gives his thoughts and recommendations

This will be a great solution for most schools using GAFE, however it doesn’t have the functionality some teachers were hoping for like assignment due date control and more grading integration ability. Other learning management system options like Hapara and Haiku Learning that meet this need. Google has said it has no plans for competing with their partner companies. For now, Google Classroom is a entry level into a more mature learning management system that integrates with GAFE.

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