Google Classroom is a digital tool that works on all browsers and devices, giving teachers the ability to interact with students while they are online.
It also enables students to participate in threaded discussions with peers as well as submit and respond to assignments – all in one place. Google Classroom is one of the most exciting products available to educators today. It is free and available to anyone with a Gmail account and an active Google account.
However, despite being able to assist teachers, some teachers are still unaware of this new resource and aren’t looking to switch over from their current management system. If you’re skeptical about whether you should use it, then consider this article is written for you.
Beyond all the excellent features of this web-based app, I’m going to show you how it works, its advantages and disadvantages so you can make an informed decision if it’s good for you or now.
But before going into detail, let’s start with what Google Classroom is.
What is Google Classroom?
Google Classroom is an online learning environment where teachers can create assignments, send feedback and manage students quickly, securely, and properly. It’s ideal for access from multiple locations and can be helpful for teachers whose classes are always on-the-go.
While it has its limitations, Google Classroom is known as Google’s learning management system. It makes teaching and learning easier by streamlining assignments, boosting collaboration, and fostering communication.
With this online tool, students can easily organize their work in Google Drive, complete and hand it in and communicate directly with their teachers and peers.
How Does Google Classroom Work?
To get started, you will have to create a Google account which if not all, I believe almost everyone who uses the internet already has one. Especially if you’re already using Gmail, then you are just an app (Google Classroom app) away from using this efficient tool.
Google Classroom is built on the principle that learning can be more efficient, productive, and meaningful when technology gets out of the way. With the tool, teachers invite their students to join a class, where they can post announcements, assignments, and materials
The teacher first creates a “classroom” in order to post work online, send instant messages, give announcements, and more. Once a classroom has been created within the system, students can then be invited by email or by entering their codes.
The teacher will select an assignment to set for the class, and students will then be able to see this on their home screen. Students can electronically turn in their assignments and have comments from the teacher returned in real-time.
In some ways, Google Classroom acts like a traditional classroom bulletin board, combining all of its functions into one virtual space.
Why Use Google Classroom?
1. It’s completely free
With most schools having already spent thousands on computers and software, it’s great to know that you have access to this powerful tool without having to pay anything extra. It’s easy to use, and your content lives safely in Google Drive so students can easily access their files from any device.
You can invite anyone with a Google Account—students, co-teachers, or substitutes to join your class.
2. It saves time
From a teacher’s perspective, Google Classroom also helps you save time. You can post announcements, assign tasks and create small groups or whole classes in a matter of minutes, with students receiving notifications directly through their Gmail account so they never miss anything important.
3. Easy and quick access
Google Classroom allows for quick access to all your classes, teaching materials, and roster data. Import existing resources from Google Drive folders, or go paperless by creating new assignments directly on the platform. Easily share announcements and private feedback with students.
You can even start a Hangout to get students involved in discussions or assignment feedback during class time. It’s easy to stay organized when keeping track of assignments and student work through Google Classroom.
4. Setting it up is straightforward
Like every other Google product/tool, getting started with Google Classroom is a breeze once you have a Google Account. It’s simple to set up a Classroom with easy-to-follow steps and pre-populated classroom materials. Add students directly or share a code with them to join.
5. Widely used by many organizations and schools
Google Classroom is widely used by many organizations and schools, therefore you never go wrong using it. There are tons of free resources online to help with any problem you might run into. It is an easy way to share relevant documents with your students and to receive their assignments.
6. Seamless integration with other Google tools
Google Classroom integrates directly with Google Docs, Sheets and Slides (document creation tools), Gmail for communication, Google Calendar for scheduling, and Google Drive (a cloud-based file storage service).
By integrating with all these apps, students are able to receive assignments from their teachers, make necessary edits using Google Docs and submit the completed assignment all from within the same application.
7. Has communication, collaboration and sharing tools
Google Classroom fosters collaboration between teachers and students as well as between students themselves. Teachers can create group assignments that enable students to work together in small groups. They can also post questions and enable discussions among their students by allowing comments on posts.
8. Feature great commenting system
Commenting is a huge part of Google Classroom. Whether it is feedback for an assignment or a question for the Teacher, students can comment and discuss directly on the class stream. Likewise, you have the option of commenting privately on a student’s work or publicly that everyone can see.
When you leave a comment on a student’s work privately, they’ll get an email notification. These comments are also threaded making it easy to follow a conversation. And because it’s Google, all of this communication is searchable making Google Classroom a great resource for reference.
9. Comes with free training and learning opportunities
All the training and learning opportunities, such as virtual instructor training, teachers’ forums, videos for teachers, and getting started guides are some of the things that make this tool appealing. Get training and support from Google to learn how to best use the tool for your school. Join the Classroom Community for tips and best practices from other schools.
Downsides of Using Google Classroom
1. Students need their own Google account to participate
While Google Classroom saves a lot of time, unfortunately, all students need to have their own Google accounts to participate. If you’re using Google apps in your school though, students are probably set up with accounts already. But if not, then each student neet create a Google account for them to access your class.
2. Not a video-based learning solution
Like most learning management systems, Google Classroom is not a video-based learning solution. This means that you won’t be able to create high-quality courses using sections with in-depth video lessons like you can with LifterLMS.
3. Integration with third-party service is limited
Although it may be intuitive at first glance, you will quickly note that certain features are quite limited. To be able to use more features of Google Classroom, you need to integrate it with other G Suite apps. However, third-party service integration is quite limited: you cannot work with several valuable tools because they are not on the list of approved services.
What devices are compatible with Google Classroom?
Because Google Classroom is a web-based program, you can use it from almost any device that has a web browser and good internet connection. Because most processing takes place on Google’s end, even older devices can manage the majority of Google’s resources.
There are applications for iOS and Android devices, as well as Mac, PC, and Chromebooks. Google has the benefit of being able to function offline on most devices and upload when a connection is found. Therefore, this is an LMS that may be accessed from any personal device by both instructors and students.
Teachers can upload class materials and homework directly to the classroom, where students can access them at home or in the classroom before school, after school, or during breaks.
What are the Features of Google Classroom?
- Video meeting
- Add materials to your assignments
- Track classwork and submit assignments.
- Check originality, feedback, and grades.
- Share resources and interact in the class stream or by email
- Tool to give direct, real-time feedback
- Class stream to post announcements and engage students
- Protect data and set permissions for your users.
- Set up classes and rosters.
- Add or remove students and teachers from classes.
How Much Does Google Classroom Cost?
Google Classroom is a completely free LMS. All of the applications that operate with the service are already available for free on Google Play, and Classroom merely collects them all in one location.
To include all of its students and professors, an educational institution will need to join up for the service. This is to ensure that security is as strong as possible, ensuring that no outsiders have access to the data or pupils involved.
Google does not scan or utilize any of the data for advertising or marketing purposes. Within Google Classroom and the Google Workspace for Education platform as a whole, there are no adverts. This is one of the reasons I personally like the platform.
Google Classroom Alternatives
Is Google Classroom worth it?
Yes, Google Classroom is one tool among many that can be used to enhance instruction and learning. It is not a complete Learning Management System (LMS) such as Moodle or Blackboard. However, it can be integrated with other LMS like Tutor LMS to provide an easy means of sharing files and communicating with students.
How many students can be in a Google Classroom?
If the classroom is created with Google Workspace or a school account, it can accommodate 1000 members, including the teacher(s). However, if a class is created with a personal Google account, it can only take 250 members.
How do you join a Google Classroom?
As a student, you can join Google Classroom by clicking on the button at the bottom of this page and signing in with your Gmail Account. Then click on the “Join Class” button and enter the class code received from your teacher.
Is there a limit to the number of class you can create?
There’s no limit to the number of classes you can create on Google Classroom. You can create as many as 30 classrooms in a day.
Conclusion: Should you use Google Classroom?
Google Classroom is a handy way to keep students and teachers organized. It’s accessible on Google or by mobile app and allows students to collaborate on projects, upload files, and mark tasks as complete. Teachers can quickly send assignments, provide feedback, and connect with the class community.
There are plenty of features that make Google Classroom unique, including email notifications for assignments, the ability to limit who sees class materials and when they see them, organized grading results, shared calendars for events and assignments, and much more.
If you think the excellent line of features that the tool offer is all you need to meet your needs as an educator, then I will encourage you to give it try. After all, it’s doesn’t cost you a damn to use it (so you have nothing to lose) and it’s pretty simple to use.
Nevertheless, if you need a similar tool with a more advanced feature, you may want to read my in-depth review of Moodle or Blackboard. And perhaps you’re looking for more options, here are the best Learning Management Systems I will recommend that you check out.
I hope you found this article helpful. Thank you for reading.
Ready Try Google Classroom?
Simply click on the button below. You only need a Google Account to get started and it totally free to use.