Google Classroom Review

Google
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Google Classroom
Google
2014
Mountain View, CA
Ownership:
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Public
40 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: 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.

As of fall 2018, Google Classroom is available as an additional service to companies that are G Suite Basic, Business and Enterprise customers.

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 2018:

  • Gradebook beta, where teachers can view, edit and share student’s grades via the new Grades page
  • Ability to edit class details, such as class description, subject and room number
  • New Classwork page, where teachers can post assignments, questions and materials for students to view
  • Student selector and bottom-tab navigation functionalities added to Android devices

Target Market

Google Classroom is targeted to K-12 and higher education markets. 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 Teacher Center, which includes basic or advanced self-paced training on Google Classroom and professional development opportunities for teachers
  • 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 for schools, but there’s a paid G Suite Enterprise for Education tier that includes additional features, such as advanced videoconferencing features, advanced security and premium support. Individual licenses for the tier costs $4 per user, per month for faculty, staff and students.

Google also sells a variety of optional products, such as Chromebooks, and partners with other companies for authoring tools, content topics and professional development.

Shortcomings

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
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About

Google Classroom had a remarkable launch in 2014, rapidly growing to be one of the most frequently used tools in use in K-12 schools.  Available in 42 languages, this free classroom tool enables educators to streamline assignments, boost collaboration, and foster seamless communication, leveraging Google’s G-Suite for Education set of productivity tools.

In 2018, Classroom got a redesign, with a new Classwork page, which lets teachers better organize assignments and questions by grouping them into modules and units, and a new grading tool that can integrate with several file types. Google also launched Course Kit using LTI standard, allowing course management features within another LMS solution.

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