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Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a learning management system (LMS) that aims to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments and engaging students in learning online or remotely. Google Classroom is a free application designed to help students and teachers communicate, collaborate, organize and manage assignments, go paperless, and much more! It was introduced as a feature of Google Apps for Education following its public release on August 12, 2014. 

Check out this amazing overview of Google Classroom by Amy Flynn and Brandon Lutz.

Tool Snapshot

Price Free
Learning Behaviorism, Social Constructivism
Ease of Use ★★★★☆
Privacy ★★★★☆
Accessibility ★★★★★
Class Size Unlimited
ISTE*S Empowered Learner
COPPA/FERPA Yes with Google Apps for Education accounts

Google Classroom Overview

This is the only application that Google has developed specifically for students and teachers, and they want it to be your go-to assignment manager for Google Drive and beyond. Assignment creation and distribution is accomplished through Google Drive while Gmail is used to provide classroom communication. Students can be invited to classrooms through the institution’s database through a private code that can then be added in the student interface or automatically imported from a School Information Management System.

Front page of Google classroom

Google Classroom integrates with students’ and teachers’ Google Calendars. Each class created with Google Classroom creates a separate folder in the respective Google service where the student can submit work to be graded by a teacher. Communication through Gmail allows teachers to make announcements and ask questions to their students in each of their classes. Teachers can add students directly from the Google Apps directory or can provide a code that can be entered for access to the class by students.

In contrast to Google’s regular services, Google Classroom does not show any ads in its interface for students, faculty, and teachers, and user data is not scanned or used for advertising purposes.

Type of Learning

Allows for streamlined feedback and online collaboration. Boosts the social learning aspect of online education, enabling learners to benefit from the experience and skills of their peers. Allows teacher to design digital team based learning activities.

Ease of Use

Quick and convenient set up, easy to log in, easy to receive and turn in assignments.

Accessibility

Allows for the use of screen readers for low vision users. Google classroom Mobile app works with VoiceOver on iOS and TalkBack on Android.

Usability

Tool is accessible from all computers, mobile phones, and tablets.

Google Classroom Overview Video

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-fVyF

Google Classroom & the SAMR Model

Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model offers a lens for examining how technology is adopted in a classroom. As you strive to incorporate online tools into your classroom, we encourage you to use this model as an analytic tool.

Since Google Classroom is an LMS that integrates Google Apps for Education, it will tie in Google Docs, Google Slides and other Google apps along with other grading tools (exclusive to Google classroom only). Here are some examples of how using multiple Google Apps that might fit within the SAMR model:

Far too often, technology is used as a direct substitute for other low-tech tools (e.g., pencil and paper). While substitution has some benefits (e.g., students develop their technology skills and knowledge), we encourage you to think about how you might use Google Classroom to modify or redefine learning.

Learning Activities

For Teachers

Work on the same lesson plan at the same time with a colleague using Google Docs. Store your lesson plans in your school’s shared Google Drive so that anyone at your school can find and access them. Create a folder for your grade level to share resources.

For Students

Math

Science

Reading

Writing

Other

Resources

How to use Google Classroom (by Pocketful of Primary)

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Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-Rzm

Research

Izenstark, A., & Leahy, K. L. (2015). Google classroom for librarians: features and opportunities. Library Hi Tech News, 32(9), 1-3.

Adjunct, Brown, M.E., Hocutt, D.L., & Manager, W. (2015). Learning to Use, Useful for Learning: A Usability Study of Google Apps for Education. Journal of Usability Studies, 10(4), 160-181.

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