What is Google Classroom?

Google classroom is a free web-based learning platform for schools that aims at simplifying creating, distributing, and grading assignments in a paperless way. It is an online tool that allows teachers to setup classrooms, assign work to students, grade the work, and return it to the students. Thus, it is a collaborative solution for teachers and students. It integrates Google Apps for Education account with all other Google Apps services, including Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Calendar to save your time and paper. Google classroom was publicly release on August 12, 2014 with its goal to be a paperless educational system.

Here is a short introduction to the classroom:

What are the features of the classroom?

Google Classroom provides many features that enable educational institutions to go to a paperless system. Teachers can create and distribute assignments through Google Drive, while communication with the students can be done through Gmail. There are two ways to invite students to this classroom. Teachers can add students directly from the Google Apps directory or can provide a code that can be entered for access to the class by students.

Assignments are stored and graded on Google’s suite of productivity applications that allow collaboration between teacher and the student or student to student. Teacher can provide a file that can be treated as a template so that every student can edit their own copy and then turn back in for a grade instead of allowing all students to view or edit the same document or copy the same document. Students can also choose to attach additional documents, from his or her drive to the assignment.

Google Classroom supports many different grading schemes. Teachers have the option to attach files to the assignment which students can view, edit, or get an individual copy. Students can create files and then attach them to the assignment if a copy of a file wasn’t created by the teacher. Teachers have the option to monitor the progress of each student on the assignment where they can make comments and edit. Turned in assignments can be graded by the teacher and returned or returned only with comments to allow the student to revise the assignment and turn back in. Once graded, assignments can only be edited by the teacher unless the teacher turns the assignment back in.

This tool is also a great tool for communication. Teacher can post an announcement to the class stream which can be commented by students allowing for two-way communication between the teacher and students. Students can also post to the class stream but will not be as high of a priority as an announcement by a teacher and can be moderated easily. multiple types of media from Google products such as YouTube videos and Google Drive files can be attached to the the announcements and posts to share content. Gmail also provides email options for the communication between the teacher and students.

At the end of a term, when the courses has ended, teacher can put the courses into archives which mean s that the course is removed from the homepage and placed in the Archived Classes so that teachers can keep their current classes organized. When in archived mode, the course can still be viewed by both the teacher and students but cannot be changed.

Google Classroom apps are available for iOS and Android devices so that it is easier for the teacher and students to access the class. With the app, teacher can create classroom, post to classroom feeds, communicate with the students, and view assignments.

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