Google has come out with many new apps and features recently, and many of those can be used for various purposes, including education (e.g. Google Docs, Drive, Mail, Calendar, etc.). Up until recently, all these different Google apps could only work separately from each other, as stand alone apps; they weren’t interconnected in any significant way. Teachers and students could still use them, but their applications in education settings were limited. However, Google has addressed this issue with one of their newer apps, Google Classroom. With this new app, teachers and students need not jump between all the various different Google apps just to send out a file to everyone, or turn in an assignment – this can all be done from within Classroom. It also possesses some of its own unique features, which make this app particularly well suited to educators. For example, teachers now have the ability to send out individual copies of an assignment to students in a class, the ability to grade assignments using any point scale, and the ability to correspond with students about particular assignments.
Google Classroom also caters to student needs as well – ever turn in an assignment early, only to think of a change you wish you had made before submitting? Not a problem. Classroom allows students to actually “unsubmit” assignments so that they can make any changes, and then submit the revised assignment, without any sort of hassle or confusion. Additionally, teachers are able to “return” an assignment to student, with commentary, thereby allowing them to inform students of any changes they need to make before resubmitting later.
Google Classroom possesses many other features as well, all of which help to make it extremely practical. However, it does seem to possess its own shortcomings. For one, it requires that everyone in a class have Internet access. That being said, the app is available for mobile devices, along with all the other previously mentioned apps. That, in addition to it being cloud based does offer teachers and students certain advantages. However, being cloud based does carry some potential risks with it. The app also seems limited in the types or formats of assignments that it can be used with. Despite all this, Google Classroom is a very versatile app that can be used to help organize a classroom and the interactions between students in teachers in a way that allows for immediate feedback, takes into account specific student and teacher needs, and it can effectively help to free up some of the limited classroom time.
Click here for a review and tutorial.