Being a teacher doesn’t end when the kids go home. After 3 p.m. you still have to develop the curriculum, grade assignments, and more.
This week, though, Google introduced a suite of education tools that aims to make it easier for teachers to collect homework as part of its Apps for Education initiative. It is called Google Classroom.
Now, it should be noted that Google is hardly the first software company to take a crack at removing paper from the messy logistical nightmare of collecting and grading homework. But unlike similar ed-tech platforms like Blackboard–which saw its command of the university market slip below 45% last year, purportedly leading to a round of layoffs–or fresh entrants like Moodle (which is quickly growing in popularity, even surpassing Blackboard in small colleges), Google’s main advantage might be that it is working with online tools educators may already be familiar with.
For example, Classroom “weaves together Google Docs, Drive, and Gmail to help teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and communicate with their classes.” In particular, these are tools students might one day find themselves using in the workforce.
Once students are added to the class, they can turn in paperless assignments for teachers to review. Teachers can also make announcements, and students can keep track of all of all their assignments online in one place. Nothing terribly new–but, then again, it’s Google.
The tool is emblematic of the company’s big education push, which has seen the company give away millions of Chromebooks for classrooms around the globe.