I, like you, have been anxiously awaiting the coveted golden ticket (read: Classroom invitation from Google) and it finally happened. Dreams do come true! In my fit of excitement, I decided to use it for our Level 2 Google Apps Workshop this Tuesday (join us!). That’s when I hit the first bump:
Students must be in the same domain as the teacher. I tried using the subdomain – no luck either.
This is a known limitation (I learned from scouring Google Product Forums) for which they may be developing a solution. I can understand their thinking and so I will forgive them and be patient. On to the next feature when… the second bump:
One teacher per class. Rats.
Surely this is being worked on, so I will be patient and proceed to another feature I know teachers using GAFE will need: the ability to create assignments and schedule them (so they can batch add assignments for a unit and gradually release them to students). With this I flopped over bump the third.
Sharing video? Yay! YouTube only. Bump four.
I finally decided to reframe my thinking on this. Classroom is a tool to be used in real-time, by one teacher, to distribute and collect assignments that are based in Google Drive. If you were already using a tool like Doctopus, this may replace some* of that functionality.
*You may select from the following options when attaching a Google Doc to an assignment: view, edit, or 1 doc for each student. The differentiation and group features that Doctopus offer are missing.
It’s not an LMS, it won’t be the key to organizing your whole Google life, and it doesn’t seem to have much in the way of peer review possibilities, but (if they fix that pesky domain issue) then it will be a nice product for your edtech toolkit. Who doesn’t love a new hammer?