An Introduction to Google Classroom

Image via JustLego101
Image via JustLego101

Google Classroom is a platform for communicating and collaborating using Google Apps for Education. Unlike other platforms, Classroom focuses on three key areas: pose questions, make announcements and set assignments. Although this may seem somewhat limited, as Alice Keeler demonstrates, it provides a foundations for so many possibilities.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Sharing Resources: Whether it be as an assignment or through the announcements, you can easily share resources with students. In addition to this, Classroom creates a structured filing system in Google Drive.
  • Structured Organisation: Unlike spaces like Edmodo which can end up with a random student who mysteriously has three accounts, Classroom provides a central management system through Google Apps Admin meaning that you can in fact add students yourself. In addition to this, you are now able to have multiple teachers, something that was not possible at the beginning.
  • Extending Google Apps: Not to be confused with Learning Management Systems, Classroom works best when it is integrated with Google Apps. For example, through the creation of an assignment you can generate an individual copy of a Google Doc.
  • Multiple Device: Like Edmodo, Classroom is available in the browser, as well as on the iPad and iPhone.
  • Assessment and Rubrics: Although there are answers, such as Alice Keeler’s Sheets Add-on RubricTab or Andrew Stillman’s use of Goobric and Doctopus, the easiest way to create a rubric with Classroom is by creating a copy for each student via assignments. Associated with this, Classroom provides the ability to turn work in. This means that students can signal to you that although they may have shared a document with you, they have actually finished with it
  • One Less Logon: A part of Google Apps, using Classroom as opposed to other spaces means one less log on for students to remember.

So what about you? Have you used Google Classroom in your classroom? What have you seen as some of the benefits and challenges? As always, comments welcome.

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Aaron Davis

I am an Australian educator whose life has granted a breadth of opportunities. I also have a keen interest in ICT and 21st Century pedagogies. My current role finds me supporting schools with the integration of technology.

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An Introduction to Google Classroom by Aaron Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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