Google Classroom? Not Yet.

I have taken time to get acquainted with Google Classroom. It is a solid base to start from, but it lacks some needed features already present in other Course Management Systems (CMS).

Google Classroom is, not surprisingly, tightly integrated with Google Docs, Google Drive, and Gmail. An assignment can be saved in the teacher’s Google Drive and automatically saved in the correct class folder of the student’s Google Drive. A student may opt-in for emails about assignments or announcements. Students use Google Docs to complete assignments and then submit them back to Google Classroom to be graded by the teacher. The teacher can offer feedback on the assignment and include a grade. There are APIs already available for 3rd party apps. These are all solid features.

There is, however, plenty of room to grow. Google Calendar is oddly missing. There is an option to integrate YouTube videos, however many districts block YouTube. There is no way to test students, which is a huge drawback comparative to other CMS. The timing could have been a little sooner to give teachers some time to ready their Google Classroom before school started.

All in all, Google Classroom is a good start. With the power of Google behind Google Classroom, it will get better. I think it is a good entry point for teachers who are comfortable with the Google universe and are looking to get their feet wet with a paperless classroom. Teachers looking to for more will quickly outgrow Google Classroom.

If you are really looking to get started with a paperless classroom, look elsewhere for now.