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|Release date||August 12, 2014|
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Google Classroom is a blended learning platform for schools that aim to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. It was introduced as a feature of Google Apps for Education following its public release on August 12, 2014. Its aim is to be a paperless educational system. Google Classroom is simple to use and accessible from all devices. On June 29, 2015, Google announced a Classroom API and a share button for websites, allowing school administrators and developers to further harness Google Classroom.
Google Classroom ties Google's many products together to help educational institutions go to a paperless system. Assignment creation and distribution is accomplished through Google Drive while Gmail is used to provide classroom communication. Students can be invited to classrooms through the institution's database, through a private code that can then be added in the student interface or automatically imported from a School Information Management System. Google Classroom integrates with students and teachers Google Calendar. Each class created with Google Classroom creates a separate folder in the respective Google product where the student can submit work to be graded by a teacher. Communication through Gmail allows teachers to make announcements and ask questions to their students in each of their classes. Google Classroom will not show any ads in its interface for students, faculty, and teachers. 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 the teacher and the student or student to student. Instead of sharing documents that reside on the student's Google Drive with the teacher, files are hosted on the student's Drive and then submitted for grading. Teachers may choose a file that can then 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 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.
Applications and add-ons such as Flubaroo can also assist with Google Classroom grading. By creating a Google Form and uploading it to your Google Classroom account you can have the Flubaroo add-on automatically grade and send student grades to them via email for instant feedback.
Announcements can be posted by teachers to the class stream which can be commented on by students allowing for two-way communication between the teacher and students. Students can also post to the class stream but won't 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 announcements and posts to share content. Gmail also provides email options for teachers to send emails to one or more students in the Google Classroom interface. Access Classroom on the web or via the Android and iOS Classroom mobile apps.
Teachers can add students easily by giving students a code to join the class, leaving the teacher more time to teach. Teachers that manage multiple classes can reuse existing announcements, assignments, or questions from another class. Also can share posts across multiple classes, and archive classes for future classes. Teachers can stay organized by reviewing students work, assignments, questions, grades, comments can all be organized by one or all classes, or sort by what needs reviewing.
Classroom allows instructors to archive courses at the end of a term or year. When a course is archived, it is removed from your homepage and placed in the Archived Classes area to help you keep your current classes organized. When a course is archived, teachers and students can view it, but won't be able to make any changes to it until it is restored.
Ways to use
- Flipped classroom
- Solicit daily, weekly, or annual feedback from students or parents.
- Share anonymous writing samples with students
- Create "by-need" groups by class (for example, based on reading level)
Google Classroom apps are available for iOS and Android devices. With the app, teachers can create classrooms, post to classroom feeds, communicate with students, and view assignments. With the mobile app, students and teachers can:
- Snap a photo: Right from the assignment page in the mobile app, students can snap a photo and attach it to their assignment.
- Share from other apps: Students can also easily attach images, PDFs and web pages from other apps to their assignments.
- Offline caching: Even when Internet access isn't available, students and teachers can get information about their assignments in the Classroom mobile app. Class streams and assignment information are automatically cached every time the app is opened with an Internet connection, so that they are available for viewing even without a connection.
Google has been criticized for allegedly data mining students' browsing history, searches, and other usage of services for advertising. The Federal Trade Commission complained parents were not given the option to opt out of data collection. Teachers have been having issues with classes disappearing, assignments being deleted, and students having to resubmit their work because their submissions show up blank. Another issue teachers have is that the text bar gives random feedback when trying to give feedback to students.
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