Google Classroom: a free learning management system (LMS) available today

If you are an Apps for Education user, Google is giving a free version of its Classroom service now that it is out of limited preview.

Google Classroom is now open for business, in the education sense. Educators, teachers, and students who are using Google Apps for Education can now get access to a number of new resources through its Help Center

Google Classroom is meant to help teachers manage the creation and  collection of student assignments in a paperless environment, basically leveraging the framework of Google Docs, Drive and other  Apps.

Teachers and students can see what assignments are on deck, what progress is being made on them, and give and receive real-time feedback and grades in Classroom. 

Essentially, almost all of the basics of a virtual classroom setting are here including teacher announcements and class discussions and shared resources between students.

The most useful feature: probably the fact that once a student turns in an assignment it cannot be changed unless the student cancels the submission. 

However, Classroom is really trying to facilitate direct feedback in the process so, it allows teachers to engage with students as they do their assignments and not just wait for the end result to be marked. So, teachers can view and comment on ongoing assignments and they can return submitted ones for revision.

The system is relatively simple and straightforward. Google expects that at some point in the future, it will allow Classroom to integrate with other third party applications and to satisfy developer interest.

In addition, Google is going out of its way to provide a number of resources for schools through its Help Center for Classroom.