For Teachers

For Parents

Google Classroom

  • Android, Website, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 12+
Downloadfor Android Downloadfor iOS

Teacher Overview

Google Classroom is a free application which enables teachers to collaborate and communicate with students. Google Classroom serves as a hub for student work and classroom resources.

Google Classroom can be utilized by any eLearning professionals and online educators who have already created a Google Apps for Education account for free. In essence, Google Classroom is designed to give online facilitators, content creators and educators the ability to go paperless and centralize their eLearning materials in one cloud-based location.

Google Classroom Review

What is Google Classroom?

Google Classroom stands out from other learning management systems or student information platforms as it combines all  G Suites tools in an intuitive interface for its users. Google Classroom combines many of the most popular Google products to help teachers organise their lessons and make resources available for their students.

The great thing about Google Classroom is that all of its perks, such as organizing and managing online content and assignments, providing a safe environment for both online facilitators and learners to communicate with each other, etc., are absolutely for free. 

How to use Google Classroom?

  1. eLearning professionals can deliver documents to their students directly, as well as distribute files to other online collaborators, such as eLearning content creators.
  2. Online facilitators can share links to online resources, such as videos, articles and sites, which can serve as supplementary eLearning tools.
  3. Data can be collected from online learners, making it easy to receive learner feedback and personal information that can be used to improve the overall eLearning experience.
  4. Learners can provide feedback to their peers by commenting on assignments and working collaboratively on assignments. They can also work together or research tasks through the Google Classroom app.

Google Classroom has options for teachers to send out updates about students' classwork, but it doesn't offer the level of communication you'll find in tools like Seesaw, ClassDojo, or Remind.

Google Classroom even features an assignments page, where students can view upcoming deadlines in order to stay on track. Likewise, online facilitators have the power to quickly and conveniently view who has completed each assignment and offer constructive feedback immediately. 

Google users can also integrate their Google Docs and Google Drive accounts into its system to store their files in a cloud.  

How can Google Classroom support differentiation in the classroom?

Google Classroom can help streamline formative assessment, which is important in helping students who might need more support or extra challenges. For example, you can use the platform to quickly create, distribute, and collect digital exit tickets or auto-graded assessments. In a way, Google Classroom can make it easier and faster to gather regular feedback on your students' progress. Of course, there are plenty of other formative assessment tools out there, many of which now offer integrations with Google Classroom.

Is Google Classroom an LMS?

To some extent, whether or not Google Classroom is an LMS depends upon which features of an LMS you want. It has some of the features of an LMS, particularly in regards to the organisation of classroom materials and student work.

Whether you are happy to use Google Classroom in place of an LMS will depend upon which features of an LMS you are happy to forgo. Some schools use a dedicated LMS alongside Google Classroom while others are happy just to use one or the other.  

The best advice is to look at the features of dedicated LMS software and decide whether they would repay its cost in terms of teacher workload savings, student achievement, or parental engagement. Aside from an investment in set-up time, Google Classroom is free for schools so a valid strategy is to start with that and see if you need any more. 

Who can use Google Classroom?

Anyone can use Google Classroom. Workplace trainers, educators of all types, and students of all subjects can use the tools. For schools, Google Classroom is free.

How do teachers use Google Classroom?

Google Classroom for communication 

Students and teachers can communicate privately. Teachers can send group reminders, feedback to students about assignments, and email reports to parents. Google Classroom does not have a chat feature built into it but such a facility can be run alongside it using one of Google's other tools. Even if you do limit or disable chat facilities, it is possible for children to communicate with each other using a shared document.

Google Classroom Stream is a place where each student and the teacher can post messages for viewing by all members of the class.

Google Classroom for administration

Teachers can organise their teaching materials and make them available to students in Google Classroom. Students can complete tasks and submit work to their teachers using Google Classroom.

Google Classroom for organisation

The tools in Google Classroom work well together and with other Google tools such as Calendar, Hangouts or Meet. Calendar helps teachers keep track of issued assignments and students to always know the deadline dates. The other two tools allow greater collaboration between students.

Google Classroom for assessment

Self-marking quizzes can be designed and set by teachers. Other apps, third-party browser add-ons, and teaching platforms can work alongside Google Classroom to provide assessment in different forms. It is in assessment tasks that Google Classroom most noticeably falls behind true LMS platforms as it does not have natively the wealth of options and features that you might find in a true LMS.

How do I set up my Google Classroom?

Teachers who want to use Google Classroom must ensure that their school has signed up for G Suite for Education, which is free. This ensures that schools have the tools to set privacy and security options for their students. It is possible to bypass this as not all classes using Google Classroom are of school age.  

Teachers in schools, however, would be breaking Google's terms and conditions and leaving children less protected online, if they did this. Apart from some initial administration, there is no reason to bypass the G Suite for Education requirement and many advantages to having it in a school.

How to invite students to Google Classroom?

Google Classroom can be used by students wherever they are using any device with a modern web browser. They need to have a Google account that can either be a personal one or one created by the school. Particularly for younger children, the latter is the most sensible as it lets school administrators take more control of privacy and security settings.

Students connect their accounts to a class using a code provided by the teacher of that class. Teachers can find this code under the title of their class on its main page. Most of the time, teachers will just issue an invite by email from their dashboard as this is easier for all involved.

How to join a Google Classroom?

Students need only go to classroom.google.com to log in. The first time they do so for a particular class, they will need the code issued to them by their teacher.

The tools and facilities open to students will have been defined by the teacher who is administering the Google Classroom. The same student may have different facilities available in each Google Classroom of which they are a member.

What is Google doing with my students' data? Should I be worried about privacy?

Google is a company which derives value from the data it obtains from its users, so parents and teachers are right to consider how they use its products with children. Many countries have restrictions on how apps aimed at children can gather and use data. Google Classroom is expected to respect these rules.

Teachers should remember that, although they may use other Google tools alongside Google Classroom, they are not necessarily a part of it and so do not need to follow the same rules. For example, general-audience youTube channels are not under the same restrictions and can harvest data and use it, for example, to serve targeted advertisements.  

Is Google Classroom free?

Google Classroom is free of cost but this should not be your only consideration.

A dedicated LMS may offer features that, in your case, would more than repay its cost in time or efficiency savings.

Schools and teachers should also remember that using Google Classroom is embedding its brand and use in children's minds as forcefully as any direct advertising. Companies want to encourage children to become lifelong users of their products - Google Classroom is one way that Google is doing this. This is not to criticise either the company or the schools that make use of its powerful and useful products but it is something that schools should consider.

How can families and parents stay in the loop with Google Classroom?

Parents cannot directly access data about their children held in Google Classroom. However, teachers generate reports in Google Classroom for parents. These are a convenient and efficient way to provide parents with frequent updates by email.

How can I make Google Classroom more engaging and interactive for my students?

Teachers aren't restricted just to the core tools of Google Classroom. They can link to resources from across the internet such as websites and videos. Student submissions do not need to be only in text using the Google Docs software. Instead, they can upload video, audio, and photographic submissions.

Collaborative work between students can be facilitated using the Google Classroom tools such as Streams or other tools, such as Google's own Hangouts.

Teachers should be careful to fully vet any external resources for unsuitable content and remember that unless it is specifically aimed at children, its use might have security and privacy implications. Likewise, any method that teachers use to facilitate communication will need to be monitored and ground rules made clear. Even a simple Google Document can be used, and possibly abused, for communication if it is shared for collaborative work.

What other apps and websites integrate with Google Classroom?

There are different levels of connectivity that apps can form with Google Classroom. At the simplest level, you can import and export data between Google Classroom and other apps. This saves the laborious task of repeatedly entering the same data. More sophisticated apps, that you may already use, add seamlessly to the functionality of Google Classroom. 

Where can I find more ideas about using Google Classroom?

Google Classroom is massively popular and has been so for a long time. Whatever subject you teach and whatever age your students, you are likely to find that other teachers have written about their experiences and top tips for Google Classroom.

While Google is infamous for dropping support for services, there is no evidence of this in regards to Google Classroom. Google for Education's Twitter account is regularly updated with links to all sorts of content with good advice and ideas for teachers.

Teachers using Google Classroom for the first time should build up their reliance on it gradually. Both they and their students will need time to get used to using it. Focussing on the core functionality will provide a good basis on which to introduce more bespoke activities.

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Additional Information

Teacher Ratings

Devices

Android, Website, iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Topics

Skills

Collaboration Skills
Organisational and Productivity Skills

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Google Inc.

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Screenshots for Google Classroom

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Description

Google Classroom is only available for students and teachers with a school-provided Google Apps for Education account. Using Google Classroom in school or university? Get the Android App to use Classroom on the go.

Google Classroom helps teachers save time, keep classes organised and improve communication with students. It is available to anyone with Google Apps for Education, a free suite of productivity tools including Gmail, Drive and Docs.

There are many benefits to using Classroom:

  1. Easy to set up – Teachers can add students directly or share a code with their class to join. It takes just minutes to set up.
  2. Saves time – The simple, paperless assignment workflow allows teachers to create, review and mark assignments quickly, all in one place.
  3. Improves organisation – Students can see all of their assignments on an assignments page, and all class materials are automatically filed into folders in Google Drive.
  4. Enhances communication – Classroom allows teachers to send announcements and start class discussions instantly. Students can share resources with each other or provide answers to questions on the stream.
  5. Affordable and secure – Like the rest of our Google Apps for Education services, Classroom contains no ads, never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes, and is free for schools.
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