What is Google Classroom?
Google Classroom is a digital learning platform for schools. It brings learning tools together in one place to help teachers and educators manage, track, and enrich the lessons and educational experiences they deliver to students. The platform also allows teachers to efficiently create, deliver, grade, and return digital assignments and other resources for their students. It streamlines the file-sharing process, all without the use of paper.
Google Classroom is free to use for anyone holding a personal Google account and for organizations that use Google Workspace for Education or Google Workspace for nonprofits. Most often, teachers and students access Google Classroom through a Google account that their school provides.
A Popular Online Teaching Platform
Google Classroom has become one of the most popular education-technology tools out there, thanks to its flexibility and integration with Google’s system and suite of tools that so many people already use and are familiar with. The platform is a low or no-cost, natural, easy, and intuitive way to get into online learning, for both teachers and students alike.
Why Should I Be a Google Classroom Teacher?
If you’re teaching various classes and subjects and would love to consolidate the tools and templates that you use across them all, Google Classroom could be a great option. You’ll enjoy a ready-to-go education platform that’s easy to use across multiple devices and that integrates with other tools you might be using. It’s a win-win for teachers and students and their schools because most users of Google Classroom will already have a device to use with it, and the school doesn’t need to provide IT support. You’ll even have access to Google Hangouts support for live video classes.
As a Google Classroom teacher, you’ll put in minimal effort to plan and deliver your class resources, assignments, grading, and feedback. You’ll seamlessly see all of your information across multiple devices.
Google Classroom is a robust platform with different versions and features but in its most basic form, it allows you to use all of Google’s tools in one place. So, while it won’t fully replace a brick and mortar classroom, it’s a free way to either get started teaching online or offer multiple, simple classes.
Keep reading to learn all about handy Google Classroom features.
Google Classroom Features
Google Classroom offers a number of helpful features that you can choose and benefit from in your classes. Overall, it offers you a single spot to use all of your education tools and run multiple classes. From any location on any device, you can work concurrently in a document with your entire class or connect with them face-to-face through Google Meet. This gives you and your students and parents more freedom and flexibility to be mobile from anywhere in the world.
Here are some of the more specific features you might benefit from as a Google Classroom teacher.
Manage Student Assignments and Feedback
It’s easy to create, deliver, and receive automatically graded assessments in Google Classroom. Or, to get a feel for how your students are doing or where they’re at on a certain topic or subject, simply post discussion questions. And, when you grade assignments and send student feedback, you can conveniently:
- Work in different modes, from a specific student, class, or assignment in seconds.
- Monitor your students’ progress and send their grades to your school’s student information system (SIS).
- Mark with rubrics next to your students’ work, for maximum consistency and transparency.
- Customize your comment bank to conveniently save frequently used phrases.
- Get up to speed instantly on each student’s class performance, assignments, feedback, and deadlines using notifications.
Stay Organized and On Track
You can stay completely organized while managing multiple classes with digital automated calendar reminders and classwork templates. Plus, pages with to-dos for your students and to-review items for you keep everyone on track. This can involve many types of media and files, from websites and discussion boards to spreadsheets, videos, PDFs and more. You can conveniently post assignments to more than one class at once and update or reuse assignments from previous classes or years. You’ll also save time when you sync your classroom rosters from the SIS and add new students via a code or link.
Create Personalized Learning Experiences for Your Students
With features like support in multiple languages, adjustable accessibility settings, and individual education plans, it’s easy to take care of each student’s needs. When you do this, you’re more empowered to offer them as relevant and meaningful a learning experience as possible.
Communicate Effectively and Easily
It’s intuitive and straightforward to use Google Classroom when communicating with your students. Post reminders and announcements about assignments, quizzes, and projects, and see at a glance who has submitted their work or not. There’s also functionality to private message students so that you can individually answer questions and provide support and feedback.
Streamline Class Management
You can easily simplify the way you consistently manage all of your classes with integrations like Google Calendar, Docs, Drive, Meet, and Forms. This means you’ll find several complementary shortcuts and automation to manage your classroom.
For instance, your students’ class calendar will automatically populate assignment due dates that you’ve posted on the platform. Or, distribute unit tests or quizzes via Google Forms that get automatically graded once they’re handed in. You can then check out how your class performed directly in Forms or through a Google Sheet that’s automatically created.
Balance Work and Life Better
The location independence of remote teaching gives you a certain freedom and flexibility to do more of what you want, where you want to do it. When you connect with your classes over Google Meet video or collaborate in Google Docs, for example, you really can be anywhere in the world. All you need is a reliable internet connection and a quiet space.
Verify Authenticity and Originality
Google Classroom even offers features to verify the originality of your students’ work. Not only can you scan assignments to verify authenticity with originality reports, but your students can check their own work to get recommended citations. You can also compare their work against that of other students in your domain’s past student work repository.