||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (November 2015)|
|Release date||August 12, 2014|
|Related articles||Google Apps|
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 ties many of Google's 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 or through a private code that can then be added in the student interface. 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.
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.
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 you archive your course, you and your students can view it, but you won’t be able to make any changes to it until you restore it.
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 you open the app with an Internet connection, so that you can see them when you don’t have a connection.
Google has been attacked for allegedly data mining students' browsing history, searches, and other usage of services for advertising, with parents not opting out for fear of their children falling behind in school.
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