Google Classroom will not be going away on the 17th! We have official word from GRPS that while they had planned to take away Classroom in December, “they have extended access through the end of this school year.”
As a senior, I can personally say I’m grateful to GRPS for granting us a reprieve. I was dreading the idea of trying to save old materials and assignments from the first year of DP to my hard drive, fearing the inevitable day that I started studying for IB exams only to discover that some vital answer had long since gone to the digital grave.
As Meg and I wrote at the beginning of the year, Google Classroom has served us well for years, and it’s a relief to know that we won’t be trying for the IB Diploma with one hand tied.
However, on behalf of our younger readers who aren’t graduating, I hope that GRPS maintains their commitment to G-Suite. As Mr. Hastings in the GRPS tech department confirmed, Google Classroom isn’t a product on its own, it’s an integral part of Google Workspace for Education, the same bundle of products that provides Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets, and everything else Google.
Buying Workspace without Classroom would be like buying a car and then refusing to accept delivery of the front left tire. You can take it off if you really want to, but you’re still paying for it.
So if GRPS is planning to break with Classroom in June, what will be the fate of Google Workspace? Will students have to start the 2022-23 school year without Gmail? Without Docs? Without any of the tools Chromebooks were built for?
GRPS tech confirms that the district is “committed to continuing our use of Google Workspace for the foreseeable future,” which is a good sign. But if Google Classroom is on the way out, nothing is certain for Workspace.
Nevertheless, I trust that GRPS will pick the best tools for students as we all continue to adapt to the shifting demands of the pandemic. Stay safe everyone, and have a great winter break!