Is there any benefits of using Google Classroom for students?

Feb 01, 2023

Hey E-Leaning Heroes,
I'm new here and I want to talk about classroom software for student. Can students take advantage of the Google Classroom platform for free? Can it provide students with access to class materials, assignments, and grades, as well as the ability to communicate with their classmates and teacher in real-time?
What other classroom software could be used in place of Google Classroom, which can be a great option for students looking to enhance their online learning experience?
Can anyone check out these resources and explain?
4 Replies
Bianca Woods

Hi Molly and welcome to the community!

There are TONS of useful tools for enhancing online learning experiences for students. A lot of what will narrow down your choices is the scope of what you're trying to cover. 

The free version of Google Classrooms actually sounds like covers a lot of what you mentioned (the only thing I'm not sure of is if messaging is embedded in it or if they count on you using other Google messaging options). And there's simple documentation for helping you get started. The biggest challenges I've heard teachers mention about it are getting used to the platform quirks, getting students used to checking the platform regularly, and student confusion if different teachers are using different online platforms.

It does look like the free option is currently available at the school level, not the individual teacher level. So if you're an individual teacher looking to experiment on your own, this might not work. Or you may need to get your administration to apply for you. But if you're looking at adopting an online learning platform for an entire school or entire district, though, it looks easy to move forward with.

If you have minimal to no budget, there are some other inexpensive online learning platforms to check out, like Moodle LMS. And I've known some teachers who have just made their own websites or leveraged existing social media platforms to do some of the resource sharing and live conversation you mentioned. They aren't all-in-one solutions, but they're easy to set up and simple for an individual teacher to get going on their own.

If you have budget for paid platforms, that opens things up a lot. For instance, there are higher levels of Google Classroom that give you access to additional features. And while I'm not personally familiar with the LanSchool product you linked to, there are lots of online learning platforms like it on the market now that are specifically designed for K-12 or higher ed and only have paid versions. If that's the direction you want to go, you can shop around and be picky—there are lots of different user interfaces and price points.

Whatever direction you go, though, typically all these solutions are free from a student perspective. If costs are involved, they're usually handled by the school or school district, not the students themselves.

Phezulu Dhlodhlo

Hi Molly, 

Students can take advantage of Google. Here is a typical Google Classroom setup which may answer your questions. The class code is bhheoo6. Another classroom that I used many years back is Edmodo. I have not kept up with its updates though. 

You can also use MS Teams to host your classroom and integrate it with other MS Office 365 apps to increase productivity and streamline your productivity. 

Beth Barber

I taught with Google Classroom for a while and I recommend Google's courses they offer for free as a teacher to learn Google Classroom.

What I like: student collaboration for projects and presentations/docs, date/timestamps, grading even on my Classroom app, ease of use (free for K12 public school educators), and everything gets saved to Google Drive. 

I prefer using Google Classroom to other options out there (I am an instructional designer first, then taught K12).

Each of Googles options for Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms for assessment and how I could assign out different students to things with ease. Also, now they have a @ tagging name in the discussions with rocks. I would say age appropriate is 5th grade and up, younger kids there's other solutions that are better out there for the kiddos.

Source: I had a proven track record for having ALL my juniors and seniors in high school on Google Classroom. If I can do it, you can and again, it's completely free for public K12 schools. 

Good luck.

Carlos Kiyan Tsunami

Hi Molly

Google Classroom is an excellent solution. Did you have the chance to check the learning activities that it has? Will those activities help you with the course alignment?
Do you need some analytics for quality assurance?
I think that by answering these questions. You will be able to choose a suitable alternative for you.