Wednesday, January 14, 2015
(Cross-posted on the Google for Work Blog)
While it’s a new year on the calendar, many teachers and students are just midway through the school year. They’ve clearly been hard at work, turning in more than 30 million assignments with Classroom since it launched six months ago. If those assignments had been on paper instead of Google Docs, they would stretch from New York to Los Angeles when laid end to end. If every assignment had taken just one minute to print out, Classroom saved 57 years that would have otherwise been spent waiting for the printer.
Today we’re launching a native Classroom mobile app for both Android and iOS (also available in Google Play for Education) to help teachers and students connect from wherever they are, and save even more paper and time. We’re also launching two new features to help teachers stay organized as they head into the second half of the year: a teacher assignments page and the ability to archive classes.
With the mobile app, students and teachers can:
- Snap a photo: Right from the assignment page in the mobile app, students can snap a photo and attach it to their assignment — whether it’s the experiment they just did for a science class, or a drawing they made of their family tree. And if they’ve forgotten their homework, they can ask someone at home to snap a photo, text it and then turn it in with the app. Of course, if the dog has actually eaten it, Classroom can’t help you.
- Share from other apps: Students can also easily attach images, PDFs and web pages from other apps to their assignments. For example, when you’re in a drawing app, you can create a graphic for an assignment. When you click “share” in that app, Classroom will come up as an option, and you can attach the graphic to an assignment.
- Offline caching: Even when Internet access isn’t available, students and teachers can get information about their assignments in the Classroom mobile app. Class streams and assignment information are automatically cached every time you open the app with an Internet connection, so that you can see them when you don’t have a connection.
For the best experience using the Classroom app, make sure you (or your students) also have the Google Docs, Drive and Slides apps. We’re looking forward to adding new features to the app on both iOS and Android in the coming months, so that students and teachers can get more done from any device they have.
Teacher Assignments Page
We’ve heard from many teachers that they want one place to keep track of all the work they assign across all of their classes. On Classroom for desktop, we’re launching a teacher assignments page. Teachers will have quick access to any assignment, track which ones they’ve reviewed and see how many students have completed their assignments.
We also know that classes don’t go on forever. You don’t want to have to scroll through old classes to get to the ones you’re teaching or attending now, but you’ll likely want access to the valuable information in previous classes and work from them. That’s why today we’re launching the ability to archive classes. Archiving a class will remove it from the home page and make it read-only — teachers and class members can still view archived classes, but can’t make any changes or turn in assignments. We hope the new mobile apps and features for teachers will save you some time and paper this semester. Please keep sharing your feedback with us, and stay tuned for more new Classroom goodies before the school year is over.