It is not only in school that teaching takes place and education can be found in a variety of contexts.

One of the challenges for studying is communication. This is often managed through educational platforms that the school has purchased. For others, Google Classroom may be an interesting free solution.

The service was originally locked to the school system, but since 2017 it is open to everyone. The only requirement is that everyone who uses it has a free Google account - and, of course, a laptop or Chromebook on which to access it.

All in one place

The layout of Google Classroom is simple. As a teacher you can create a page for each class or group and then invite students. Via Google Classroom you can then send messages to all or selected students, and it is also possible to schedule these communications.

The most important function is creating learning materials. You can do this with the help of tools such as Documents, Presentations and Spreadsheets, Google's own alternative to Microsoft Office. The class also has a shared folder in Google Drive, so you can share all kinds of files.

To check that students have learned something, you can create homework and questions. Perhaps a quiz will make learning more fun.

Since everything is gathered in the Google Classroom, as a teacher, you can follow what a student is doing, making it easier to provide feedback.

However, as always with regard to Google services, it should be kept in mind that everything we do here is used by the company to collect information about its users.

How Google Classroom works

How to use Google Classroom

1. Menu

Calendar, to-do lists, class lists and more are gathered here.

2. Stream

Here the current flow is shown.

3. Classwork

Create materials, questions and assignments for the class.

4. People

All information about the students is collected here - and you can of course remove a student from the course.

5. Grades

Google Classroom can help you mark and grade assignments.

6. Settings

Change settings, and find shortcuts to other Google services.

7. Class code

This code allows students to become members of the course.

8. Theme

You can change the theme image here.

9. Future projects

Here is the material that is coming in from the students.

10. Posts

Share files, links and assignments with the class.

11. Messages

Send messages to the class; everyone is able to comment.

Google Classroom Q&A

Is registration required?

To use Google Classroom, only a Google account login (Gmail address) is required. If you want to create a new one, head to accounts.google.com, click Create Account, choose For Myself, then fill in the required information.

Now head to classroom.google.com, select Open Classroom and sign in.

How do I create a class?

As a teacher you can now create a class. To do this, press the plus icon at the top right and select Create Course. Accept the terms, name the course, fill in other information and confirm with Create. You now see the course name and course code.

How do I invite students?

A student can join your course by heading to Google Classroom, clicking the + link, and then choosing Join course rather than Create Course. Enter the class code and choose Join.

As you can see, the same service is used for both teachers and students - so you can take on both roles in different contexts.

Can I use my mobile phone?

Google Classroom is of course available as an app, for both Android and iPhone/iPad. To download it, search for Google Classroom on the Google Play Store or App Store.

Is it open to all teachers?

If you are a teacher at a school, you cannot use the free version of Google Classroom. Instead, the school must acquire something called G Suite for Education, and it is a decision that the school management must make. Among other reasons for this, GDPR has clear rules on how students' personal data may be handled.

This guide has been adapted from an original guide on our sister site PC For Alla.