Google Classroom allows educators to communicate with their learners through announcements and comments on the app’s Stream. Educators can organize their out of class learning activities using the app’s many tools. Using Google Classroom, participants are able to interact with other participants through public comments or communicate with their educator through private messages.
Version: 2.2019.10204 (iOS), 5.2.102.04.44 (Android)
Compatibility: Available on iOS and Android devices.
Target Audience: Educators and trainers seeking to organize and communicate with students and trainees.
Bottom Line: Google Classroom helps educators organize their classes or trainings and communicate with students.
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Features and Options:
Google Classroom provides educators or trainers with a platform to organize their classes or trainings. It works with most Gmail accounts and can be accessed using the Google Classroom app or over a web browser. When a user downloads the app, he or she creates their Google Classroom using their email and password. To invite students into the class, the instructor shares a class code, which students utilize to add the class to their Google Classroom account.
Once logged in, the user can select “+” to create a Class. The user indicates the title of the class, the section, and the subject. Under a new Class, the main features of Google Classroom are revealed: “Stream,” “Classwork,” and “People.”
Stream allows educators and students or trainers and trainees to communicate by creating “Announcements.” Announcements allow users to send text, documents, or photos to the entire class. When users comment on an Announcement, a thread appears under the original announcement. Using the Settings feature, the Class creator can limit participants’ ability to initiate or respond to Announcements. In addition to Announcements, Stream displays new “Assignments” created under the Classwork feature by the Class creator.
Classwork allows the Class creator to organize by “Topics,” “Assignments,” “Questions,” and “Materials.” The Class creator can chose to utilize these tools in a number of ways.
Using Topics, the Class creator can post their Assignments, Questions, and Materials under each Topic. There is no limit to the number of Topics for each Class. Class creators can choose not to use Topics, and Google Classroom will organize Assignments, Questions, and Materials chronologically. Alternatively, creators can use a hybrid of these two organizational options, posting some actions under Topics and other actions without associated Topics.
When creating Assignments or Questions, the creator of the Class indicates the title, instructions, due date, and points associated with the assignment. Questions also ask the class creator to indicate whether the Question is a short answer question or multiple choice question and whether participants can reply to one another.
The class creator can also post Materials to the Classwork section. Materials can include attachments, such as links, photos, and/or various types of files.
Participants can comment publically or message the educator privately under each Question and Assignment but can only comment publically under Materials. Participants can update their completed assignments directly on Google Classroom under the relevant assignment.
People allows the Class creator to see the participants who enrolled their Class. Class creators can select individual students or trainees and open a record of their assignments. They can also email participants directly from this list. Participants other than the creator and “co-teacher” cannot access a list of other participants. Co-teachers can be added by the original class Creator.
Google Classroom would be appropriate for faculty or trainers that are looking for additional ways to stay in touch with their learners. The tools can be used to foster social presence between the instructor and learners and it can help manage student engagement with their learning activities. The benefit of using this app would be to allow educators to push notifications out to students instead of requiring them to log into an LMS or email to receive announcements.