Most of us focus on the consumer or enterprise-facing products released by Google, but it actually has another big customer we often forget about: education. And to kick of 2019, Google is announcing a handful of new features for its Google Classroom product.
In case you're unfamiliar, Google Classroom (at its very simplest) is a web service that allows teachers to hand out, review, grade, and return digital assignments for their classroom. Paired with heavy Google Drive/G Suite integration, it can save time for both students and teachers. It's not quite as complex as something like Blackboard/CourseInfo — the effective college monopoly many of you may remember actively avoiding using if you went to school in the last decade — but for schools already invested in Chromebooks for education and G Suite for services, Google Classroom is a natural, drop-in solution.
Speaking of "drop-in," Google has announced that the Classwork page, rolled out last year, now supports drag and drop for rearranging items and topics. By far the most noticeable change, though, is the new UI, which is more consistently Material themed.
Google is also providing more training resources to help teachers and their students use the tools provided. That, paired with an updated Help Center, which should make moving the classroom online a bit easier for everyone involved. Finally, Google is rolling out 78 new custom themes for classes, giving students an easy means of telling them apart.
Since Google Classroom is also available to all G Suite customers, those using it for enterprise can also take advantage of the changes.