Technology

Google Classroom Platform Beefs Up Company's Education Offerings

By / May 12, 2014 (Google screenshot)

The search giant’s latest addition to its Apps for Education suite, coming this year, promises to lead the way to paperless classrooms. While it’s targeted at schools, the platform offers plenty of inspiration for association learning efforts as well.

A Chromebook in every classroom seems like a pretty good dream if you’re Google, which just launched a tool that might get the company there—and it’s called Classroom.

The app, the latest part of the search giant’s Apps for Education suite, represents something of a central organizational tool for both students and teachers, making it easier for teachers to collect and grade assignments without getting stuck with piles of paper in the process.

“It helps teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and communicate with their classes with ease,” the company’s Zach Yeskel wrote in a blog post. “Classroom is based on the principle that educational tools should be simple and easy to use, and is designed to give teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn.”

One thing the platform doesn’t do is collect user data. The free platform also doesn’t rely on ads and doesn’t use student data for advertising purposes—a big deal in the space, considering the questions raised by parents about data-reliant services like the just-shuttered inBloom.

Google Classroom, while targeted for K-12 schools, could inspire associations as well. With a style akin to a learning management system (LMS), such an approach could work for trade groups that have built education platforms for their members. The LMS space has plenty of competitors, such as Canvas, Litmos, and Blackboard, but Google holds an advantage in its direct integration with its Google Apps platform.

The system, still being rolled out on a preview basis, will be available to schools in the Apps for Education program by September. A dozen schools are piloting the system.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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