Google's Classroom is a hit with educators. But the search-engine giant is cooking up a few ways to improve its cloud-based classroom organizer.
The development team behind Google Classroom now has eight months under its belt since the app formally launched in August 2014. At the time, Classroom's product manager Zach Yeskel told EdTech there were a few missing options but that the team would continue to build on their product.
In a recent post on the official Google for Education blog, six of these updates were explained in detail and will be rolling out over the next several weeks to Google Apps for Education users. While many of these changes reflect updates made to Google Drive for Work, many directly enhance how Classroom functions.
1) Addition of trusted domains
Teachers operating in districts that use more than one domain will be able to share content between them, resolving a crucial weakness in earlier versions of Classroom.
2) Ability to reset passwords quickly and securely
Instead of waiting around for the IT team to respond to a standard password reset, Google is adding the ability to allow IT admins to “securely reset their passwords” themselves.
3) Disable downloads and printing of Google Drive content
New permission options give educators an additional layer of control over content they don’t want shared beyond the intended audience.
4) Manage sharing settings by organizational units
Custom settings per group are being added so that content can be shared with teachers in one way, students in another.
5) Easily share content outside the organization
One of the perks of Google Drive is the ability to share content using a link, allowing users outside the web-based app to view it. A new option being added ensures that whoever is receiving the file can view it, even if they aren’t logged in.
6) Ability to set custom admin alerts for changes
Some classrooms are busy, and Google Classroom is no different. Alerts, both mobile and in-app, are being added that let educators know when there is notable activity, including suspicious logins, or all functions within Google Drive.