Google just announced a set of updates to Google Classroom, its integrated platform for Apps for Education, Gmail, Calendar and more. These new functions will greatly increase parent engagement and 24/7 learning — just in time for the new school year.

Keeping Parents Informed

How many times have parents heard this: “But I really need X tonight. It’s due tomorrow.” That conversation will be a thing of the past with Google Classroom’s new summaries.

Once teachers set students up in the system, parents and guardians can get daily or weekly summaries of student progress, class announcements and upcoming due dates. Not only can this prevent the last-minute rush to get necessary materials for an important assignment, it can also help parents be more involved with their child’s progress so they can intervene early if they see an issue. For example, if a parent can see that their child isn’t doing as well as they could in science, they could begin a conversation with the teacher about how to better support learning at home. Or they could plan some fun science-based activities, such as a trip to the local museum of natural history or aquarium to help their child become more engaged and excited about work in that subject.

Ready for Digital Transformation?

White Paper

Now get the buy-in. Learn from successful digital learning initiatives with our white paper. Download Now

Helping Students Learn Anytime, Anywhere

Google Classroom has also enhanced its mobile experience so students and teachers can annotate and collaborate on their schoolwork no matter where they are. This is a huge boon for 1:1 programs, where students and teachers have access to their devices and files at home as well as at school. The annotation tools allow for quick and easy edits and comments using a stylus on a tablet or smartphone — and students can get their teachers’ feedback and make adjustments that same day rather than waiting for assignments to be handed back in the classroom.

Making Learning More Interesting

A few more of the additions will also help create a more engaging learning experience. Teachers can now add images to their quizzes in Google Forms, making them more visually appealing and helping integrate visual learning into the curriculum. And both teachers and students can now group their emails by class with Inbox by Gmail, allowing them to stay informed quickly and easily.

The updates to Google Classroom are an important step in using technology to boost parent engagement, keep students interested and keep learning exciting in and out of the classroom.

In addition to helping parents get more involved, technology tools can also help teachers foster innovation in the classroom.

Posts By

Jennifer Roland

Jennifer Roland is an experienced ed tech writer, having worked on various ISTE publications for 12 years before striking out on her own. Her work has appeared in Ed Tech: Focus on K-12, NPR-affiliate KQED’s education blog MindShift and edCetera. Jennifer’s first book, "The Best of Learning & Leading with Technology," was published by ISTE in 2009. Follow her posts about ed tech and marketing at Follow her on Twitter: @jenroland

View more posts by Jennifer Roland