Teachers Get Useful Addons With Google Classroom

EdTech has come a long way in the last decade, from rudimentary tools like Google Docs to more comprehensive learning platforms like Canvas. But one common issue has remained: how do you keep students engaged in remote learning? Google hopes to address this issue with a new set of “add-ons” for its Classroom app.

The set of new EdTech tools aimed at helping teachers find, add, use and grade content from EdTech tools, all within Google Classroom. The add-ons are expected to help teachers save time and improve students’ experience in digital classrooms.

“Add-ons provide a better end-to-end experience to not only save time for educators but also simplify the digital classroom experience for students, too,” Dave Messer, product manager of Google for Education, said in a blog post.

“While many classes currently use external EdTech tools, one of the biggest challenges of truly integrating them into lessons remains the busy work of trying to manage content and grading outside of Classroom. With add-ons, educators and students can easily access content by simply logging in to their Classroom account,” Messer added.

These new EdTech tools help users manage their accounts on different websites, assist students in navigating external websites and help teachers grade assignments across other platforms.

Google has partnered with 18 companies, including Kahoot! (a trivia game), IXL (a subscription-based learning site) and Pear Deck (a presentation creator) to offer add-ons within Google Classroom.

Meanwhile, Google also has the CK12 ETech add-on that lets users create interactive assignments, track class performance across assignments, see auto-graded results and view insights that show concept-level performance patterns and actionable recommendations for each student.

Another feature of Google Classroom is Nearpod, an add-on that enables teachers to assign lessons to their class or individual students, review student engagement and activity reports, and record grades directly within the tool.

A useful add-on is the Edpuzzle. It enables educators to easily create or find video lessons, measure student engagement, and comprehension with real-time information, and save time by auto-grading certain question types.

Other partners are Adobe Express for Education, BookWidgets, CK-12, Edpuzzle, Formative, Genially, Google Arts & Culture, Google Play Books, Nearpod, Newsela, PBS LearningMedia, SAFARI Montage, Sora from OverDrive Education, WeVideo, and Wordwall. Google also allows its users to request new add-on partners through the feedback forum within Classroom.

The use of technology in the study of online education has been a growing trend, with Google’s Chromebooks enjoying a surge in popularity as the number of online classes rose.

Image credit: iStockphoto/gorodenkoff

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