updated 07:41 am EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Classroom uses Google Drive, Docs, Gmail for assignment management
Google has a previewed a new tool for educators to communicate with their students. Launching in a limited beta, Classroom is being billed as a way for teachers to create and organize assignments from students quickly, which Google hopes will give teachers more time to work with the students instead of dealing with marking and other paperwork.
Classroom uses Google Docs, Google Drive, and Gmail, tools already available through Google Apps for Education. Assignments can be created and collected paperlessly, with Drive automatically creating folders for each assignment, allowing students to see what assignments are due, and for teachers to check who has done the work and provide direct feedback on submitted work. Teachers can also make announcements, ask questions, and talk with students in real time, both inside and outside the class.
Teachers and professors are being invited to apply for the preview, with a number being granted access in the next month. The advertising-free tool will be available to all schools and colleges using Google Apps for Education in September.