Google have decided to further embed themselves into the world of education with a new product called Classroom. I was given my preview account today to play around with and see what I can do with it and my first impressions are below.
The main thing that I noticed is that it looks like a hybrid between Google+ and Edmodo. It also seems to be very easy to use.
At the moment, Classroom works with Google Apps for Education and anyone with an email in the same domain as the teacher can sign up to join a class. Right now, it doesn’t look like people can join a class if they aren’t in the same domain, which is a huge pity. I’d really like to try out a class using my own email address and playing around with it but can’t use my personal address. I assume this will be something that will change very quickly or Classroom won’t get off the starting block.
As a teacher, there isn’t that much one can do except add announcements and assignments to one’s teacher feed. This allows you to add status updates, Google documents, links to web sites and YouTube videos. As I can’t add any students yet, I’m not sure how students can turn in these assignments but I’m hoping to be able to test that out soon.
I’m hoping that Google will allow “outsiders” join classes as I’d like to play around a lot more with Classroom before unleashing it on my staff in August but as it’s in preview mode, I’d imagine this is unlikely. However, it does look like it has potential and I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops over the coming months.