Thursday, March 16, 2017

Google Classroom is now available for consumer Gmail accounts

From the time Google Classroom launched, it's given teachers all over the world a tool to collaborate easily with their students in and out of the classroom. The only limitation was that it's only available to G Suite for Education users. Gmail users who wanted to conduct a small class in their community or attend one session in another school were not given access.

Yesterday, Google announced that it's opening Google Classroom to those who are using consumer Gmail accounts. This is a great opportunity for learners and teachers to join and conduct classes even without a G Suite for Education account. It's a big thing for us in Professional Development to open these doors to different learners and not have to create an account for them in our school domain.

What does it mean for G Suite for Education users?

G Suite for Education (GSFE) users continue to enjoy the benefits of Google Classroom within their domain. GSFE admins will find that there is now an additional option in their admin console to allow external users to join their classes, as well as allow their own users to join classes in other schools using G Suite for Education.

To access this setting, login to admin.google.com with your school's admin account. Go to Apps > G Suite > Classroom, then scroll to Class Settings to access these new options.





This opens a whole new set of opportunities for those who are offering courses online or in small events or seminars. Google's technology helps millions of people learn, and opening Google Classroom to consumer Gmail users only displays this commitment further.


For those who have not yet tried Google Classroom, just go to http://classroom.google.com. There are plenty of videos and tutorials to help you get started, but if you want the official support page just click on this link. You can also watch The G Suite Show on YouTube which features tips and tricks on how to use G Suite.

If you're a school who just wants to use Google Classroom within your domain, and are not yet on G Suite for Education, contact us to help you sign up.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Manzano is the Director of Bluekore Inc., a Google Cloud Partner and Google for Education Partner. She is a Google for Education Certified Innovator and Trainer. Her mission is to promote innovation and web-based learning for schools, extend educators' learning networks and help educators with their drive for a more student-focused curriculum. Visit bluekoreinc.com for more information.

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