It's the start of the school year. For students, that means reacquainting themselves with old friends, learning new names and diving into new subjects. Teachers have other challenges, like refreshing last year's coursework for the new class or pioneering new ways to engage the class with digital tools.
But both groups can benefit from some enhancements and tricks devised by Google. The company is constantly adding to its classroom management app, Classroom. Since the app’s launch in August, Google has added a mobile app, integrated an API allowing more control over classroom rosters and added a student response system.
This month, Google released the Share to Classroom extension for the platform, allowing educators to easily share a website with their classes, "pushing" the page to load on all of their students' devices.
"The new extension lets me engage my students and help them drive their own learning on 1:1 devices at our school," writes Catherine Davis, director of academic technology at Pilgrim School, in Los Angeles, Calif. "When our 3rd graders were studying Native American culture, I pushed a website to the class so they could research traditional clothing and food."
The extension doesn't force students to remain on the page, but it does direct their attention to it as soon as the teacher chooses to launch it.
Classroom works by integrating features across the Google Apps for Education suite of cloud-based apps. Other apps, including Docs and Sheets, also benefit from some schoolwork-focused extensions.
Google highlighted a few of these powerful add-ons in a recent blog post.