Google Introduces “Classroom” Educational Tool

June 27, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. time-saving /ˈtaɪmˌseɪɪŋ/ (adj.) – referring to anything that saves time or makes one do something more quickly
Example: Writing notes is a time-saving way of reviewing lessons.

2. simplify /ˈsɪməˌfaɪ/ (v.) – to make something clearer or easier to do
Example: The teacher simplified the difficult lesson.

3. preview /ˈpriˌvyu/ (n.) – an advance but incomplete version of something
Example: People can use the preview of the program for only three days.

4. merge /mɜrdʒ/ (v.) – to join things together to form a single unit
Example: The creators merged its past programs with the latest.

5. freeware /ˈfriˌwɛər/ (n.) – a computer program that is available for free
ExampleFreeware programs often have limited functions.


Read the text below.
In time for National Teacher Appreciation Day last May 6, Google revealed its new time-saving program that would help teachers manage their classes.

The program, called Google Classroom, will help teachers easily organize assignments and simplify teacher-student communication.

Classroom is a free tool currently available for preview in the Google Apps for Education. The tool merges Google Docs, Google Drive, and Gmail to promote paperless transactions. With this tool, teachers can be notified about students who did not submit their assignments. Using this tool will also allow teachers to give announcements and answer questions from students quickly.

Students can also benefit from the tool, as they can directly get detailed feedback from their teachers without the need of a scheduled one-on-one meeting. In addition, Google Classroom can help students organize school files and be updated about assignment deadlines.

Zach Yeskel [zak YES-kuhl], Classroom’s Project Manager, said the tool is designed as a simple and easy-to-use program that will give teachers more time to educate and give students more time to learn.

Despite being a freeware, Google said no advertisements will be placed on the tool. Displaying ads is common on free programs, as it helps companies generate income from the programs they created.

On another note, Google has already talked to various schools and universities to test the program. Interested schools can apply for the tool, although only limited slots will be available next month. Google will make the Classroom available to all schools this September.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were a teacher, would you use Google Classroom? Why or why not?
·         How else can teachers improve their teaching methods and their communication with students?

Discussion B

·         How do you think technology can influence how teachers conduct their lessons?
·         What could be the pros and cons of technology on education? Please discuss.

June 27, 2014