Google Classroom Review

Google
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Google Classroom
Google
1998
Mountain View, CA
Ownership
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Public
Over 5 million
Cloud
Yes
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Google Classroom At A Glance

Good: Strong collaborative focus, easy to set up classes and assignments, integrates with other Google products and many educational apps.
Bad: Not available for businesses, accounts for parents aren't offered.
Bottom Line: Learning management solution intended for schools that's used for both online and classroom courses.

Product Overview

Google Classroom is part of the G Suite for Education (Google for Education) package that includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar and other apps. It’s targeted to teachers and students in both K-12 and higher education markets.

Google Classroom is a free service for teachers and students. Like other Google products, it only takes a few minutes to set up. However, users can’t register until their school signs up for the Google for Education package.

The Google for Education suite is free, but Google sells a variety of optional products and services, such as authoring tools, content topics, Chromebooks and professional development workshops.

One of the biggest benefits of Google Classroom is it’s simple to use and encourages collaboration between students and teachers. Teachers can create a class and list educational apps, such as assignments in a few clicks. They can add students by name or send them a code to join. Students then can see what assignments are due, participate in discussion forums or message the teacher (either in private or via group chat).

Google Classroom integrates with many student information systems, along with websites such as Discovery Education, Curiosity.com and the American Museum of Natural History.

Google Classroom is also available as a mobile app for iPhone and Android devices.

Features

Here are some of the key features of Google Classroom:

  • Set Classroom themes with school colors or logo
  • Reuse assignments, tests or other course content in future classes
  • Add content to assignments, such as video, PDFs, Google Docs or Google Forms survey
  • Share videos, links or images from other websites with students
  • View assignments, announcements and other resources on a class resource page
  • Draft assignments or announcements and schedule them to post on a later date
  • Use Google Calendar to track assignment due dates
  • Export grades to Google Sheets or a .CSV file
  • Set permissions on whether students can make posts or comments (or mute individual students)
  • Set permissions on which teachers can create and manage classrooms, or which schools within a district can use Google Classroom

Each month, Google provides updates on new releases in Google Classroom. Here are a few new features released in early 2017:

  • Third-party developers can create questions and add materials to coursework
  • Administrators can access Google Classroom usage data for reporting purposes
  • Teachers can send assignments and announcements to individual students
  • Teachers get email and mobile notifications when students haven’t submitted assignments by the due date
  • Students get email and mobile notifications of work that’s due within 24 hours
  • Both teachers and students can customize which notifications they want to receive

  • Asynchronous Learning?
  • Employee Training?
  • Gamification?
  • Content Library?
  • Mobile Learning?
  • SCORM Compliance?
  • Synchronous Learning?
  • Testing & Assessments?

Target Market

Google Classroom is targeted to both K-12 and higher education. Below, we’ve listed 10 schools that currently use it:

  • Amherst Central Schools
  • Arizona State University
  • Bloomington Public Schools
  • Boise State Universtiy
  • Brown University
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Maine Township High School District
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Michigan
  • Vanderbilt University

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Implementation/Integration

Google Classroom accounts for teachers and students are free, but schools must register for the Google for Education platform first.

Google provides a variety of training options for educators and IT administrators. They are:

  • The Google for Education Training Center, which includes basic or advanced self-paced training on Google tools, Chromebooks and Android devices
  • Train the Trainer course for people interested in training others on Google tools
  • Certified Educator and Certified Trainer programs
  • G Suite Certified Administrator program for IT administrators

Customer Service & Support

Users can access support for Google Classroom in the following ways:

  • The Help Center provides resources about various Google Classroom topics. There’s also a troubleshooting section with solutions to common issues
  • There’s a product forum where users can receive help from other Google Classroom users and Google Classroom staff
  • There are dedicated IT guides for schools’ IT administrators

Google Classroom also provides monthly updates with new features and other product upgrades.

Pricing

The Google for Education suite is free, but Google sells a variety of optional products and services, such as authoring tools, content topics, Chromebooks and professional development workshops.

Shortcomings

Google Classroom isn’t available for businesses. Vendors such as Blackboard and Moodle offer excellent solutions for companies. Businesses can also check out our other LMS reviews.

Additionally, unlike other school-based LMSs, Google Classroom doesn’t offer accounts for parents. Instead, parents can sign up to receive an email summary of their children’s work and grades.

Screenshots

Google Screenshot 1
Google Screenshot 2
Google Screenshot 3

About

Google got its start as a search engine in 1998. (It initially began as a research project for two Stanford University students.) It has experienced tremendous growth in the number of employees and services offered over the years, eventually becoming a publicly-traded company in 2004.

Some of Google’s popular services include Google News (launched in 2002), Gmail (launched in 2004) and Google Maps (launched in 2005).

Google offers several business solutions for companies, such as My Business, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Google AdSense, and Google Apps for Work.

Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, Google has over 70 offices in 40 countries worldwide.

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