The initial roll-out of the learning management system (LMS) includes several of the basic tools we are accustomed to seeing in other systems, including assignments and communications tools, along with a grade book.
Google is inviting partners to participate with the development of additional integration tools. Perhaps some of the features we have come to expect (e.g. plagiarism prevention, quizzes) will be made available as these partnerships evolve.
The trend over the past several years, has been for LMSs to become increasingly more complex with myriad connections / integrations behind the scenes and a never-ending stream of updates and patches that challenge both end-users and administrators time, skills, and patience.
Some of the initial criticism of Google Classroom is that it isn’t as sophisticated as the more established commercially available platforms. However, according to Clayton Christensen, disruptive innovation “takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market…”
Keeping in mind that Google already has a foot in the door for many educational institutions with Gmail serving as the primary email system for millions of students throughout the world – meaning students already have access – they’re already logged in.
Ready-or-not, Google Classrooms is scheduled to be rolled out in September of this year. If they can keep it simple, affordable, and accessible – who knows?