Google Classroom: tutorial, features, cost, app download

Google Classroom: tutorial, features, cost, app download

Google Classroom is the latest addition to the Google Suite for Education. Google Classroom allows teachers to create online classrooms, distribute workflow, and grade assignments. Students can access documents stored on Google Drive, with each class having a separate folder. During this period, where studying and working from home has become the norm, a comprehensive educational tool that allows educators to create a virtual classroom is necessary.

What are the main Google Classroom features?

There are many different features for Google Classroom. Certain features are unlocked with the standard and plus versions of Google Workplace for Education.

  • Assignments - Teachers can create assignments, give them to each student, and get them back for grading. You can schedule assignments for a specific date and time. Once the assignment has been submitted by the student, they will no longer be able to modify it.

  • Grading - Teachers can grade work, and give feedback in the form of a score, and or comments. There is also a color code for keeping track of assignments. Red = Missing work, Green = Submitted work, and Black = Returned work.

  • Publications - Announcements can be made in the classes home page. Students can ask questions, and teachers can upload posts.

  • Originality Report - Both teachers and students can use the built in originality report to check for uncited work and possible plagiarism. If a student uses the report, teachers won’t be able to see. Once a piece of work has been submitted, a further report is done automatically for the teacher.

  • Live Video - There is a live video feature that allows teachers to create a virtual classroom, with up to 250 participants and 1000000 viewers on a live stream. There is the possibility to record and watch the video back at a later stage.

How much does Google Classroom cost?

Google Classroom is part of the Google Workplace for Education. Google Workplace for Education is free for the following institutions:

  • K-12 schools, higher-education institutions globally, and homeschool co-ops in the U.S

  • K-12 and higher institutions must be government-recognized, formally-accredited education institutions that deliver nationally or internationally-approved certifications at primary, secondary, or third level.

There is also a free 30 day trial whilst waiting for validation of the proof of eligibility for the full free version.

There is also Google Workplace for Education Standard with an additional security center, advanced device management, Gmail and Classroom log analysis, and Audit logs. This version costs $3 per student per year.

Then there is the Teaching and Learning Upgrade at $4 per licence, per month. This gives meetings with 250 participants and 10000 viewers, interactive content for Google Meet, and unlimited originality reports.

Finally there is Google Workplace for Education Plus. This gives access to the full 100,000 in-domain viewers in Google Meet live streams, faster customer support times and the ability to sync rosters to Google Classroom from any student information system. This costs $5 per student, per year.

Is Google Classroom safe?

Google Classroom in principle is safe to use, there can be issues like cyberbullying, inappropriate language, the sharing of inappropriate photos, and others related to student behavior, however these can happen in real life too. There are Classroom monitoring tools to help facilitate the teacher’s task of monitoring the class.

A possible solution to eradicate this type of behavior would be to limit students' access to posting, sharing and live participation in videos, however this detracts from the classroom experience.

As for security risks, the biggest concern would be from hacked accounts and data loss, but this isn’t unique to Google Classroom.

Is Google Classroom available for mobile?

The Google Classroom App is also available to download for iOS and Android devices:

  • Google Classroom for Android
  • Google Classroom for iOS
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