Why it matters to you
A month after the web giant opened the platform to learners with nothing more than a Google account, the company said on Thursday it’s extending the same availability to anyone that wants to teach, too. Up until now, Classroom was only available to teachers working at an educational organization who signed up via Google’s G Suite for Education service.
For those not in the know, Google Classroom is an education-focused tool that helps educators set up and manage classes. It incorporates Google’s own collection of online software, including Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Hangouts.
Students using the system can view their assignments on Classroom’s Work page, in the class stream, or on the class calendar, and also use it to submit completed work. All class materials are automatically filed into Google Drive folders.
Notably, the platform recently started to incorporate various intelligent features to improve the efficiency of the system for teachers.
Google said this week that it’s been trialing the new, open-to-all format over the last few weeks, with teachers creating “some great new classes for adult education, hobbies, and after-school programs.”
In a post announcing the change, Google highlighted the work of educator Tony Vincent to demonstrate how the management tool can now be used. The Iowa resident tweeted out an invitation at the end of last month to gauge interest in his free online course teaching graphic design. After receiving positive responses from people around the world, he quickly filled all 75 places for his six-week class, which kicked off at the start of April.
Explaining why the system was an improvement on, say, simply posting an instructional piece on YouTube, Vincent said, “I didn’t want to just publish a video tutorial and never see the end results.” He added that when he heard Google Classroom was open for personal accounts, he thought it’d be a great chance to gather a group of like-minded folks to “learn, create, and share.”
If you fancy creating and giving lessons and are looking for an easy way to manage the process, Classroom is an option worth checking out. And all you need to do it is a Google account.