Google Classroom

Google Docs has always been a great way to do collaborative work– the abstraction of the filesystem, simultaneous editing, and easy permissions are all godsends for helping students produce complex and creative work. Every second counts in classrooms, and anything that saves time and/or makes process easier for teachers creates a real improvement in students’ quality of life.

That’s why this has me really excited:

Today, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, we’re announcing a preview of Classroom, a new, free tool in the Google Apps for Education suite. It helps teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and communicate with their classes with ease. Classroom is based on the principle that educational tools should be simple and easy to use, and is designed to give teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn.

I particularly like that their product manager for it is a former high school math teacher. I haven’t gotten a chance to play with it yet, but this feels like a problem-first attack on real teacher pain points, not just some tech company tacking “for EDU” on the end of an existing product.

(The Google blog via Edsurge)