Learn how new features can work for you and your students.

two high school students on chromebooks

Google Classroom is popular among teachers all over the country, and it's constantly being updated. That's why we wanted to share a current list of useful ways you can use the platform with your students. 

So, whether you're currently using Classroom or just exploring, read through the list below and consider how these features could work for you. Want to stay up to date on new feature releases and updates? Try this handy resource to track what's new in Classroom every month.  

1. Communicate with parents and guardians.

Use Classroom to keep parents and guardians in the loop. You can invite parents to sign up for a daily or weekly email summary about what's going on in their kids' classes. The emails include a student's upcoming or missing work, as well as announcements and questions posted by you in the class stream.

2. Help students stay organized with Google Calendar.

Classroom automatically creates a Google Calendar for each class and updates the calendar with students' upcoming work and due dates. Students can also see events like test dates and field trips. The calendar view makes it easier to stay on track, and since new assignments or altered due dates sync automatically, students are always seeing the most up-to-date information.

3. Assign work to a subset of students.

Teachers can assign work and post announcements to individual students or to a group of students within a class. This functionality allows teachers to differentiate instruction as needed, as well as support collaborative group work. Check out our video below to find out how this actually works.

4. Use annotations with the Classroom mobile app.

Students and teachers can use the Classroom app on Android, iOS, and Chrome mobile devices. You can provide real-time feedback by annotating student work in the app. Students can also annotate their assignments to more easily express an idea or concept.

5. Explore Classroom integrations with other tools.

Google Classroom uses an API to connect and share information with many of your favorite tools. Hundreds of apps and websites integrate, including Pear Deck, Actively Learn, Newsela, and many, many more. If you want to learn more, check out our post about apps and websites that integrate with Google Classroom.

6. Encourage administrators to use Classroom metrics.

Although this feature is for administrators -- not teachers -- it's still worth noting here. Administrators can use the Admin console to see stats such as how many classes have been created, how many posts have been assigned, and which teachers are using the tool. Access to this information can help tailor support for teachers.

Emily  M.

As a product manager at Common Sense, Emily works with the design, engineering, and editorial teams to develop new features and functionality to serve families and teachers. Prior to joining the product team, she was the associate managing editor for Common Sense Education and created content for Common Sense Education's Digital Classroom blog and What's New pages. Before joining Common Sense, she was the campaign and advancement manager at California College of the Arts, where she focused on raising money for student scholarships. Emily holds a master's degree in English from the University of Virginia.