What is Google Classroom?
Industry Specialties: Serves all industries.
Google Classroom is a free online learning platform that integrates with G Suite applications. As part of Google for Educators, it has a wide breadth of capabilities. Educators can create courses, assign homework, give grades and feedback, build exams, provide supplemental reading materials, share resources and more. Students can complete assignments, reach out to their instructors, ask questions, collaborate with others and more.
Used by over 100 million people and developed in collaboration with educators, it’s grown fast and can be used instead of or along an institution with a brick and mortar building. There is a paid version of the product that has more functionality, notably the ability to host many hundreds more in a web conference.
Product Screenshots and Videos
Benefits and Insights
Why use Google Classroom?
Key differentiators & advantages of Google Classroom
- More Efficient: It can save time through automation, the replacement of paper and manual processes. Grading is easy to do quickly through the Docs app, which allows teachers to comment, grade and return assignments quickly.
- Cut Down on Plagiarism: The platform has several capabilities to prevent plagiarism. This helps students stay honest. It scans for matching phrases or text online, finds missing citations, does a cross-reference of books, looks for paraphrasing and more. Students can also use this to check their work before they turn work in. Instructors can download originality reports and keep work so they can catch peer-to-peer copying.
- Engaged Students: The solution integrates with virtual reality allowing users to explore famous landmarks, natural events and more. Students can explore spaces made by instructors and use mobile technology, the Expeditions app, while in VR to get further instructions and navigate the world. It acts as a roadmap while they explore. The VR also pairs with mobile devices, offers 360 views of virtual landscapes, works with several content partners and has a free course to teach individuals how to use VR provided by partners.
- More Centralized Info: Teachers and students have access to the complete G Suite including Sheets, Meet, Drive, Docs, Forms, Calendar, Jamboard and more. Users can create and collaborate across several mediums while instructors can make various administrative processes more efficient.
Google for Classroom one of the top learning platforms worldwide. It has 100 million users, nearly double what it saw before the beginning of the coronavirus quarantine. As of April 2020, the app saw a spike of one-star reviews from frustrated students who dislike working from home under quarantine. They spammed the Google Classroom app to get it removed. The idea originated after Chinese students tried the same method to get the DingTalk app removed. Content creators on TikTok popularized “review bombing” the app.
The company also recently began a campaign to broaden internet access in California. It promised to set up the internet for 100,000 people and give away 4,000 Chromebooks to children in need, according to the article, “Google Classroom Users Doubled as Quarantines Spread,” from Bloomberg Quint.
- Different Roles: It can adjust access on the platform allowing administrators to create different roles for parents, students, educators and more.
- Web Conferencing: The solution creates a unique link for each video session for teachers to send out a private link for their classes. It uses the IETF security standards for Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol and Datagram Transport Layer Security. In the expanded paid product, it can record and live stream and hosts up to 250 participants by the end of 2020.
- Integration: The application integrates with many apps for school administration, curriculum building, communication, education enhancement and more. This includes Aeries, Aladdin Schools Connect, Classcraft, Pear Deck, Pearson Education, Quizizz, Squigl, Writable and a wide variety of others. Programmers can integrate their app with the platform and get access to technical support, company-wide initiatives and marketing support.
- Mobile: It comes with a mobile app that works on iOS and Android. Educators and students can access the program from multiple devices.
- Jamboard: The application provides a smart display for tablets, smartphones or smart boards. Users can pull in images, make notes with the stylus and handwriting and shape recognition tools and more. Jamboard can operate with Meet or during an in-person class.
- Enterprise Option: The Google for Educators paid version includes more control, better security, device management, data loss prevention, an S/MIME for Gmail, Gmail logs and admin reports in BigQuery, a security sandbox and more. Schools can set up a university-wide email system with Gmail.
- Stream: Users can see posts, comments and other materials when they log into the program. Teachers can post content and respond to comments while students can collaborate with their peers and comment on posted materials.
- Class Management: It has many functionalities for organization and facilitating classes. This includes a content library for assignments, slides, class papers, forms and other resources. Educators can lock due dates, set a timer on access for materials, reuse content, add YouTube videos and more.
- Accessibility: The platform comes with accommodations for students with impairments such as hearing, vision, physical disabilities and processing disorders. Some of these functions include voice access, screen readers, closed captioning and more. Users can access information in a way that helps them. Students can adjust the content to make it more visual, auditory and more to match their learning style. Instructors can also get an accessibility conformance report for the program.
- Security: It supports the standards and compliance for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Software & Information Industry Association, ISO/IEC 27018:2014, HIPPA, GDRP and more. The application has its own secure servers and lets administrators watch over data security. It was audited by a third-party to ensure data protection.
- Grading: The solution allows instructors to add comments, grade, enter commonly used feedback, apply rubrics and automatically notifies students when their assignment is ready for them.
- Educator Groups: The groups unite local educators so they can collaborate and help one another online and in-person. A local volunteer organizes the group and the members unite for teaching, workshops, advice and more.
LimitationsSome of the product limitations include:
- Only free to a point, more robust institutions will need the paid version
- Integrating with other apps can add up in terms of cost
- Size constraints mean that only a certain amount of students and instructors can use the system
Google Classroom Suite Support
Google Classroom has a help forum for free users and expanded support for paid subscribers. It offers online training and consulting with a professional development specialist. Everyone can use the forum for help and a teacher center with resources for instructors. Paid subscribers can contact support more directly.
mail_outlineEmail: There’s no specific general-purpose support email for the platform.
phonePhone: There isn’t a public support number for free users of the product. In the Enterprise version, the administrator receives a support number.
schoolTraining: For administrators, there’s a self-guided course to help them get acclimated to the process. It offers documentation and an online help center for issues, a forum and special support for IT admins.
local_offerTickets: Paid users can submit tickets and also have access to live chat. Information for using these tools is given after the purchase of the license.