Google Classroom gets updated before new school year

Google has released an update to its Classroom platform, just before the start of the new school year. It brings a couple of innovations for teachers and students, but more importantly – it’s bringing someone else into the fold, and I don’t think students are going to like this one very much.

But let’s get the formalities out of the way, first. The new version of the Classroom mobile app now allows both teachers and students to annotate documents, which makes collaboration outside the classroom somewhat easier and more seamless.

The way teachers manage activity streams has also been changed a bit. Google Forms now also allows adding images to questions, as well as multiple-choice answers.

But the main change is that teachers can now add parents and guardians to the app, allowing them to receive either daily, or weekly updates on their kids’ progress.

In other news, Google’s next-gen email platform, Inbox by Gmail, is now available to users of Google for Education.

Expeditions is also getting a bunch of new features. The virtual reality app now has more than 200 virtual reality experiences.

“As any teacher would tell you, the classroom isn’t the only place where learning happens — it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Google said in a blog post, announcing the changes.

“From parents who help students with homework, to extracurriculars, field trips and more, there are so many ways students can learn beyond the walls of the classroom. This is why today we’re announcing new features to help teachers inspire learning for students, regardless of place or time.”