Google Applications for Education released a trial Classroom application in May. After 100,000 educators in 45 countries tested the app, the final adjustments were made, and it has finally been made available to the public. Google Apps Education is required to get the app, but it’s a platform to host a suite of apps improving communication and collaboration in the classroom.
Google Classroom is designed to help teachers interact with their students. It provides them with a dashboard through which they can access Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Slide, and G-mail among others. The dashboard allows teachers to keep classroom materials organized, allows them to send messages to the class by posting them to the dashboard, and manage who is in the class and can see what content. Students can be added by the teacher, or a code can be distributed so that students can add themselves, a great option for clubs or teams that wish to use Google Classroom. Students are able to turn in work through the dashboard and teachers can post grades for the students to see privately. Students will also have an easier time collaborating in documents. After a survey revealed that teachers wished that they could provide feedback on an assignment before it was turned in, an option was made available that allows teachers to leave comments and help edit work while it is in the rough draft stage of the student’s dashboard.
On the teacher dashboard for Google Classroom, the instructor is able to save their lesson plans as well. It’s really a one stop shop for all of the applications that schools use, or that could be used in an education setting. G-mail keeps everyone connected through communication, and Drive prevents the loss of student work. Documents can be distributed by the teacher so that they are viewed, but students cannot edit them, or they even distribute tests from the dashboard.
This app is just another way that Google is working it’s way into the educational community. Google was able to get a head start with Chromebooks and Google Play for Education, which offers schools the ability to purchase and distribute e-books and applications, and push them to student devices. It adds a sense of mobile device management. This dashboard helps pull all of these features together to make tech savy schools into Google schools.
Google Classroom is available in 45 countries, and 45 languages including Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian.
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