That was welcome news for a few staff members who were already experimenting with the Doctopus script to make it easier to wrangle and access all the shared documents in their Google Drive. Doctopus did the job, but it had an intimidating interface and could be a little quirky.
The summer days went by and a few educators started sharing reviews of the beta version, but it wasn't clear that the official version would be released in time for the beginning of the school year. Fortunately for SCSD, the announcement for open access came on August 12 and a number of teachers have put Classroom into their Google toolkit.
Setting up Classrooms is easy and can be done with student emails (which pop right up as you start to enter the student name) or with a code that can be shared with your students.
(My alter ego, Junie Jones is a member of each of the 3rd grade classes)
Once your classroom is set up, you can create assignments and distribute them in a variety of ways and then edit and grade them. Best of all, the files are organized in a special Classroom folder in your Google Drive. No more hoping that students share properly or searching around for oddly named files on your Drive.
If you are interested in learning more about Google Classroom, visit the main site. There are also a growing testimonials and tutorials online. And of course, Jan, Maria, Stephanie or I would be happy to answer any of your questions.
In the video below the demonstrator toggles between the teacher and student view. The student view is hard to visualize without a "dummy" student account to play with, so this is very helpful.
Here is another good one.