Best New Apps: Google Classroom

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Google is hoping to make education easier with the release of its Google Classroom mobile app, which literally turns education on its ear and gives students with smartphones the ability to put their homework on their phones.

Google Classroom app

Google Classroom app

This latest development comes just a few months after the release of the web-based Google Classroom productivity suite, which ties together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to give teachers and students the tools to manage their workloads without having to worry about leaving an enormous paper trail behind. With Classroom, teachers can post assignments and students can complete them simply by hopping online and checking out a few shared files.

The new mobile app makes all that a little more convenient by giving it on the go. Now, it allows students to snap photos of assignment-related subjects, record and upload videos, attach PDF documents, and import a number of other file types from various apps into the platform. So, if a student genuinely did leave last night’s homework in her kitchen, she could have a parent snap and upload a pic of it to Classroom as proof. Additionally, students can share resources and participate in class discussions through online chat.

For teachers, Classroom makes dishing out announcements and copies of assignments more user-friendly, and allows them to follow their students’ progress and give feedback in real time. Perhaps the most crucial addition, however, is a caching feature that gives them the opportunity to view a pupil’s submissions without having to rely on a steady internet connection.

The Google Classroom app is made to work with the existing desktop suite, so you’ll first need a Google Apps for Education account to get it up and running on your phone. This is the portal that pulls everything together, enabling students to turn in assignments – and allowing teachers to grade them — without the need to physically exchange paper.

With mobile devices becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the classroom, the new and improved Classroom apps gives Google a helpful and organized way into the still fertile education sector. Teachers who’d consider taking their classes to the cloud can give the free Android and iOS versions of Google Classroom a look today.

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