In today’s digital age, the education sector is going through a significant transformation. Technology platforms designed to enhance the teaching and learning experience are driving this change.
Google Classroom stands out as a trailblazer among these platforms. Whether you’re an educator, a student, or a curious parent, understanding the ins and outs of Google Classroom can offer a deeper appreciation of its capabilities and potential in the K–12 education setting.
An overview of Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a free, web-based platform that Google developed as part of its G Suite for Education offering. Designed with the needs of teachers and students in mind, it simplifies the process of creating, distributing, and grading assignments through an online approach. But it’s not just a digital assignment board; it’s a comprehensive classroom management tool.
With a user-friendly interface, Google Classroom seamlessly integrates with other Google products like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, making it easier for teachers to share resources, assignments, and feedback with students. It also provides a platform for real-time collaboration, allowing students to work on group projects and engage in class discussions online.
Main features of Google Classroom
Here’s what Google Classroom delivers for teachers:
- Class management capabilities: Set up an online space for classes, invite students, and even co-teach with other educators.
- Assignment distribution and collection capabilities: Create and distribute assignments to students, set deadlines, and receive submissions — all in one place.
- Integrated grading system: Provide feedback, grade assignments, log grades in a centralized gradebook, and return completed assignments to students.
- Real-time communication: Foster communication through class announcements, individual comments, and a dedicated space for questions.
- Google Drive integration: Automatically save all assignments and resources in Google Drive, which ensures your data is stored securely and you can access it from anywhere.
Benefits to K–12 education
Digital classroom tools are an essential part of modern education. Paper notebooks and physical textbooks are shifting to digital formats, so the teacher’s tool set must evolve as well. Apart from helping educators keep up with technology trends, digital classrooms offer them tangible benefits. Consider these advantages of Google Classroom for K–12 education:
- Collaborative learning: Students can work together on projects, share resources, and engage in peer reviews.
- Organized workflows: The platform keeps everything organized, from assignment creation to grading, ensuring that both teachers and students have a clear overview of tasks and deadlines.
- Accessibility: The cloud-based platform allows students and teachers to access Google Classroom from any device, whether it’s a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
- Environmentally friendly: The paperless nature of Google Classroom means everyone uses fewer resources, promoting a greener approach to education.
- Customization and flexibility: Teachers can tailor the platform to fit their teaching style and the specific needs of their students.
A tour of Google Classroom pricing plans
A big concern for educators is budget. Google Classroom has four pricing tiers, starting with a free basic plan for qualifying institutions. The pricing for their premium plans is either per student or per license, depending on the package. Here’s an overview of the plans:
- Education Fundamentals: Free version
- Target users: This could be the solution for qualifying institutions that are on a tight budget or don’t need the more advanced features.
- Benefits: The free version provides core features that can significantly enhance the virtual learning experience. It’s a great starting point for educators to get a feel for the platform without any financial commitment.
- Education Standard: $3 per student per year
- Target users: This plan is well suited for individual educators, freelance tutors, small educational institutions, or educational institutions that need BigQuery features.
- Benefits: This edition offers everything in the fundamentals package and the ability to export classroom logs to BigQuery, Google’s analytics service for large datasets.
- Teaching and Learning Upgrade: $4 per license per month
- Target users: This plan works well for educational institutions that are looking for advanced tools to enhance classroom interactivity, boost engagement, and provide enriched learning experiences.
- Benefits: This upgrade is especially beneficial for institutions that want to elevate their digital classroom experience, prioritize active student participation, and streamline administrative tasks for educators.
- Education Plus: $5 per student per year
- Target users: Individual educators, institutions, or districts seeking advanced features, enhanced security, and premium tools may be interested in this plan.
- Benefits: This edition offers all the features of the Education Fundamentals and Teaching and Learning Upgrade plans, plus premium functionalities like syncing with your student information system, advanced personalized learning, deeper analytics, and no-code, custom-built apps.
For a comprehensive breakdown of Google Classroom features, visit the compare editions page under the Google Workspace for Education Overview.
Jotform: Another way to take your virtual classroom to the next level
Jotform is a valuable tool for educators who want to incorporate digital tools into their classrooms. It allows teachers to create customizable forms for everything, from homework submissions and feedback collection to permission slips and event registrations. Additionally, its intuitive drag-and-drop interface promotes ease of use, even for those unfamiliar with digital tools.
Jotform’s plans start with a free option and scale to fit your individual classroom needs. For example, while the free plan has a five-form, 100 MB limit, the Gold plan provides 100 forms per month and 100 GB in available space. It also offers a 50 percent discount for qualifying users and up to 30 percent off the Enterprise edition.
Another great feature for the classroom is Jotform’s free online survey tool for students. Students can get the answers they need for their projects with unlimited student survey submissions. It’s easy to create custom surveys in just a few clicks. If your students are currently enrolled in a school and have a valid student ID and an email address with an .edu, .ac, .uv.es, or .k12 extension, then they’re eligible for the student survey program.
Google Classroom and Jotform: Better together
In just a few easy steps, you can share Jotform’s forms and surveys with students through Google Classroom to collect the data you need. Just follow these steps:
- Create your form in Jotform.
- In the Jotform Form Builder, click on the Publish tab in the orange bar at the top.
- You’ll now see a link to your form. Click on Copy Link.
- In Google Classroom, click Classwork, then Create, then Assignment to create a new assignment.
- In the assignment screen, click Add, then click the link icon.
- Paste the link to your form to add it to your assignment.
That’s all you need to use the powerhouse duo of Google Classroom and Jotform. But don’t take our word for it. Try Jotform for free today and experience how it can meet your classroom data-collection needs.
Photo by Julia M Cameron
Thank you for helping improve the Jotform Blog. 🎉