I’ve been toying with Google Classroom since it came out last fall. And despite a brief breakup with Google due a serious lapse on their part to send me a beta invite, I really think that Classroom has a ton of uses and potential. Teachers apparently think the same thing – 30 million assignments have been uploaded to Classroom since it came out five months ago.
Much of my conversation with teachers concerning Classroom is that Google has a habit of releasing a tool and then upgrading as time goes along. they seem to be following the same pattern with Classroom. Yesterday they released mobile versions of Classroom for both iOS and Android and made a few minor adjustments to their web-based version.
There are some pretty sweet features that make the mobile app very handy, especially from the student side.
The one feature that I really like is that it lets students use the camera on their mobile devices to take photos and attach them to their assignments directly. They can also share other harvested images and videos that have been stored in their camera rolls. The app also allows kids to directly share pretty much anything in their Google Drive account and, using the Open in Another App feature, can share files from such apps as Dropbox and Evernote.
This obviously works best when Google Drive, Docs, and Slides apps are also downloaded. But start thinking about For example, when you’re in a drawing app, you can create a graphic for an assignment. When you click “share” in that app, Classroom will come up as an option, and you can attach the graphic to an assignment.
How to snap a photo:
How to share from other apps:
The mobile tools also provides offline caching so that they can work without a connection. So pretty sweet. One problem for teachers? The mobile app I tried allowed for the creation of new announcements only, not new assignments.
The web-based version is still the best place for teachers for tracking everything at once, especially with the addition of a new Teacher Assignments Page. Teachers have been saying since last fall that they want one place to keep track of all the work they assign across all of their classes and with this new feature, teachers will have quick access to any assignment, track which ones they’ve reviewed, and see how many students have completed their assignments.
Another new feature is the ability for teachers to archive classes once they’re through with them – this keeps these old classes out of the active stream and helps keeps things neat and clean. Archiving a class will remove it from the home page and make it read-only. Teachers and class members can still view archived classes, but can’t make any changes or turn in assignments.