Google have taken on board feedback from teachers about using Google Apps and have created a tool to tidy up sharing with your classes and administering assignments and marking online.
Here are a selection of posts, videos and links that provide you with everything you need to know to use Classroom effectively in your schools.
Setup for GAfE Admins:
Resources for Training and Supporting Teachers to get started.
This is a pretty comprehensive video that guides you through creating classes and adding assignments.
Appsevent’s Sarah Wood has created a six part blog to guide you through Classroom.
Carolyn Wendell was part of the Google Classroom team and she shared some training materials to help deliver training to teachers.
Kasey Bell has contributed a number of resources to a Pinterest board on Google Classroom
What it doesn’t do…yet
All users have to be on the same domain. (teachers.domain.com and students.domain.com would not currently work but this seems to be something Google are looking into)
Adding groups via their email address (I have not been able to add students in one go using firstname.lastname@example.org but hopefully this will be resolved soon.
Grading is only summative but formative grading can be applied in other ways. I tried to summarise this in a video but I think it might be a bit too swift. The idea is that is tracks an assignment transferring from teacher to students and vice versa.
Comparisons to other LMS (Learning Management Systems)
Google Apps for Education is free so that gives it a significant advantage to start with even if you haven’t realised that the tools provide a fabric for learning better than other technology available to schools. However, to make the process of using GAfE seamless there are a range of free and paid for additions you can add to Google Apps to make it work even better. On the initial announcement of Google Classroom questions were asked about whether it was the end for these tools. The developers and users of these tools have been quick to dispell this idea. Here are a couple of posts to help you get an idea of the arguments.
Andrew Stillman explains his view for Classroom and Doctopus etc. here.
Hapara’s Teacherdashboard is an impressive management system for Google Drive. Here is their own take on Google Classroom.
As I get the chance to work with my colleagues I hope to feedback on the impact of using Google Classroom in our school and add it to the “Going Google at my school” series.