Google Classroom has become mission control for teachers and students across the world. Now, the developers behind the product are helping integrate it with third-party platforms.
The Google Classroom application program interface (API) was first announced in June during ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia. A developer preview of the API toolset ended this month, and the API was made available to the general public Aug. 5.
The API makes it easier for developers and administrators to use Classroom's resources. With these tools, they can quickly manage and provision Google Classroom courses en masse, at the school or district level.
Now, anyone can begin syncing their Classroom roster and assignments with third-party platforms, including student information systems (SIS) and learning management systems (LMS).
"The end of the preview also means that all Google Apps for Education users can authorize third-party applications to access their Classroom data, unless their admin decides to restrict access in the Admin Console," wrote Google Classroom product manager Zach Yeskel on the Google for Education blog. "Admins can also restrict API access at the organization unit level."
In addition to the enhanced functionality, access to the API also helps teachers seamlessly integrate their apps with Google Classroom. The API is also now supported in Apps Script, which allows users to create add-ons and modification for Google Docs, Sheets or Forms.
In June, Pear Deck CEO Riley Eynon-Lynch demonstrated how his company was using the API to streamline student invites to Google Classroom — which had been a stumbling block for teachers everywhere. Using the toolset made by Pear Deck, teachers could send custom invites to groups of students, bypassing the time-consuming entry of six-character access codes.
“This is something that’s usually 60 seconds of frustration right at the beginning of class, that are now zero seconds,” said Eynon-Lynch.
Google developers prepared a back-to-school video to orient those new to the Classroom API: