Plenty of schools are returning to in-person learning in the fall, but remote classes are likely here to stay in some capacity. Google is working to improve how video conferencing works in both Classroom and Meet, with a massive boost in security and safety coming to each platform before another school semester kicks off.
When Google launched Classroom so that teachers and students would have a repository for the work they were doing, the goal was to create something as simple as possible. The app has proved popular, but Google has just announced a refresh that adds some much-needed functionality.
Google Classroom first showed up on the Play Store in 2015, as an organization tool for teachers and students. The YouTube for Android TV app is a bit older, as it first showed up in 2014, just one day after the Nexus Player went on sale. Now both apps have passed 10 million installs on the Play Store.
Google Classroom is a fantastic tool for collaboration in schools, but the requirement to use G Suite for Education was a barrier of entry for some teachers and schools. Now Google is opening up Classroom access to normal Google accounts.
Google Classroom for Android debuted just over a year ago as part of the free suite of software provided by Google for schools. The app, just like its browser-based counterpart, is a centralized place where students can access handouts, assignments, and news from all of their classes. On the instructor side, all of those same elements can be managed in addition to the convenience of teachers having the ability to work with all their classes at once. The app is now getting the v2.0 upgrade with a series of less-than-groundbreaking improvements.
There don't seem to be any big interface changes, but the app debuted with a nice material look.
In its ongoing effort to make classrooms, well, more Googley, Google has a new batch of updates for its Classroom program today.
In a post to its for Education blog, Google has announced a handful of new features for Classroom, the most notable being collaboration. Now, educators can invite other educators to collaborate on a class, so other teachers can give students feedback, create assignments, make announcements, and participate in student discussions.
In fact, Google says, invited teachers can do almost everything the main teacher can do - "everything except delete the class."
Additionally, Google announced the new ability to save announcements and assignments as drafts, which should streamline the workflow of planning classes.
Update: With the Google Classroom mobile app, teachers and students get some features that aren't available on a traditional computer. For starters, they can use their phone cameras to take photos and attach them directly to assignments.
Back in May, Google announced "a new classroom," powered by Google's own tools. Appropriately, the effort was dubbed Google Classroom and previewed to educators around the world. Today, Google Classroom will become available to all Google Apps for Education users in 42 languages, optimized for both desktop and mobile use.
For those unfamiliar, Google Classroom is basically a web platform for managing assignments and projects - educators can assign projects, dispense information (through announcements or real time discussions), and collect assignments using Google's tools to spend "a little less time at the photocopier and a little more time doing what you love—teaching."