With Google announcing its entrance into the education market a year ago, it is an exciting time for Android as the company presents new ways to learn through Google Play for Education.
Creative Tools, Paperless Classroom, Adaptive Apps and Flexible Reading were created by Google developers hand-in-hand with school teachers and university professors in order to allow the educators spend more time on what they love the most – teaching. Great teachers find countless ways to inspire their students every day. With Google Play for Education, they have even more resources at their disposal.
Powerful browsing tools allow the educators to quickly discover the right apps, books, videos and other content for their classes, sort them by subject and grade level and cater to students' unique needs and interests. Teachers can choose from thousands of educator-approved tools, assign books that students can’t wait to pick up and add new dimensions to creative projects. All of these help to reinforce the key concepts, make lessons more flexible and classrooms more engaging.
Google Classroom is the most recent app in the Google Apps for Education suit, planned to be released in September. The tool aims to automate classroom organization, freeing up lots of precious time for learning.
Classroom integrates already familiar Google tools - Docs, Sheets, Hangouts, Drive, Maps, YouTube and Gmail - to help teachers create and organize assignments efficiently, provide timely feedback, and communicate with their students with ease.
Teachers can create, distribute and collect paperless assignments effortlessly. They can choose either to share the same assignment in a single document with an entire class or to make separate assignments with variations for each student. They have a view of who has and who hasn't completed the work assigned, and can provide direct real-time feedback to each student. Teachers can instantly make announcements or start discussions, thus improving communication inside and outside of class.
Classroom enables students to organize, complete and turn in their assignments and communicate directly with their teachers and peers. The app automatically creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student. Students can easily find what’s due on their Assignments page and stay on top of their work.
To summarize, the key benefits of Classroom are:
- Easy set up. Teachers can add students directly or share a code with their class to join. It takes just minutes to set it up.
- Time saving and better organization thanks to paperless assignment workflow. Teachers create and grade assignments in one place, while students get them on the Assignment page and class materials are filed into Google Drive folders.
- Enhanced communication. Teachers can send announcements and start class discussions instantly, while students can post to the stream and help out their classmates.
- Affordability and security. Like the rest of Google Apps for Education, Classroom is free for schools, contains no ads and never uses personal content or student data for advertising purposes.
Schools can use either Chromebooks or Android tablets, taking advantage of the special institutional rates. Chromebooks, starting at only $ 249, are fast, secure and portable. They are easy to set up and manage from web-based management console, made for a classroom, a school, or a whole school district.
Google Play for Education has so many recommended apps to choose from. Listed below are a few of the most popular ones.
Creative Tools is for teaching new skills, by sparkling imagination through exploration of visual arts:
- Explain Everything (Android) – to make multimedia presentations
- Book Creator (Android) – to make beautiful ebooks
- Comic Strip It! Pro (Android) – to design comics and storyboards
- Sketchbook Pro (Android) – to use a tablet for digital sketching
- WeVideo (Android & Chrome) – to make slideshows and edit videos
- Mindmeister (Chrome) – to build mindmaps
Paperless Classroom provides fun and flexible tools for class participation:
- Socrative (Android & the web) – to set up quizzes, polls, and exit tickets
- ClassDojo (Android) – to give instant feedback to class
- Nearpod (Android) – to make interactive presentations and facilitate peer learning
- GoClass (Android) – to broadcast content to class
- Quizlet (Android) – to make and store lecture notes and flashcards
Adaptable Apps cater to a variety of skills of any levels:
- Booksy (Android) – leveled books to help beginners improve their reading skills
- BrainPOP Featured Movie (Android) – short educational videos with concepts tests and interactive quizzes
- Math Workout Pro (Android) – to enhance arithmetic skills
- DragonBox Algebra 5+ (Android) – fun games for learning basic algebra
- MeeGenius! Children’s Books (Android & Chrome) – illustrated books with audio playback and highlighted vocabulary
Flexible Reading is a collection of tens of thousands of books for each grade level, free of charge or for an affordable rental fee.
The new school year is just around the corner. Starting in August, school teachers are strongly encouraged to preview Google Classroom test version and get in touch with a Google consultant in order to get themselves thoroughly familiarized with Google Play for Education suit.