Google Classroom Launches to Help Teachers Focus on Students
Changes have already been made in Classroom based on feedback from students and teachers who were using the preview version, according to Yeskel. "For example, we heard during the preview that educators don't want to wait until an assignment is turned in to collaborate with students. Now, with Classroom, teachers can view and comment on students' work to help them along the way. We've also heard that educators want a simple place to post information and materials about their classes, so we added an 'About' page for each course, as well." Google frequently adds new features and services to its Google Apps products. In May, Google Apps unveiled new mobile versions of its Docs and Sheets applications so that mobile users can create or edit documents on their devices while on the move. A mobile Slides app is also in the pipeline, but has not been released. Users will be able to see their most recently edited files when they open each app, making it easier to find files as needed. The apps also come with offline support built in, so users can view, edit and create files without an Internet connection. In addition, Google promotes a wide range of events aimed at getting K-12 students interested in computing and education. In January, Google announced that it has been organizing after-school programs to encourage young students to dive into technology and come out with useful skills and lucrative careers. Through a pilot program launched in July 2013 at Google's South Carolina data center, the company has been working with students to encourage their interest and show them some of the cool things they can do in the field of computer science.In October 2013, Google again launched its annual Google Code-in, which is for 13- to 17-year-old students, and its Summer of Code 2014 program, which is for college students. The fourth annual Google Code-in 2013 contest brought teen students together with open-source projects. Since 2005, Google has worked with more than 1,200 students from 71 nations through the Code-in programs.
In November 2013, Google created a new section of its Google Play store where teachers can find innovative apps that can help them teach their students and ease their administrative responsibilities. The new Google Play for Education section of the Play store was unveiled as an extension of Google Play that's designed for schools, simplifying discovery of educational apps and enabling developers and content providers to reach K-12 educators in the United States. The store also provided a place for Android app developers to market their own specialized education apps directly to teachers and administrators.