Well, Google Classroom still seems to be the “topic du jour” at many school get-togethers at the moment. Its launch date of September fits nicely into New Zealand schools’ timeframe for a period of evaluation in Term 4, with a view to possible school-wide deployment at the start of the new school year in late January or early February 2015.
Discussion and feedback from teachers who have been trialling Classroom is widespread on the Internet now (here is Google’s own introduction, as well as one US teacher’s rundown) and feedback seems to be generally favourable. There was also good news recently for the many who haven’t been able to join the test program with the release of Classroom being brought forward to August, according to Emma Fish from the Google for Education team.
As New Zealand is the home of Hapara’s Teacher Dashboard, it’s also important to emphasise that the two products aren’t mutually exclusive and they can in fact work together. Hapara has taken a positive attitude to what might have been seen as Google “cutting their lunch” and, after a fairly muted initial public response back in May, Hapara now has a much more detailed response to Classroom.
– Rohan Meuli