back to article Sir, sir, my cloud ate my homework: Google touts grading tool to teachers

Just in time for the back-to-school season, Google has made a schoolwork grading tool for teachers. The ad giant said it will move its Classroom tool from a closed trial into an open app available as part of the Google Apps for Education platform. The app will be made available in 42 different languages worldwide. First …

  1. jake Silver badge

    Bloody wonderful.

    The gootwats are targeting kids before the age of majority.

    Do not want. At all. Talk about creepy ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bad enough that teachers are increasingly using generic templates to write school reports, two of which I challenged and asked the teachers to explain who the child was that this report was written about. The report incidentally said nothing but was full of bland meaningless 'teach speak'.

      As a school governor I have become increasingly concerned that there is an over emphasis on the use of technology in schools. Whilst I see a benefit in using tablet computers in secondary schools a local primary has given every child in an iPad to use, but the understanding of how to use,when to use it and what for and the benefits of use are distinctly lacking.

      'Lets get everyone a computer' they cry yet it hasn't raised standards but it does attract parents to the school.

      While technology in the classroom is a good thing, first and foremost the children need to be able to write and add up without the reliance on technology and giving 5-6 year olds tablet computers in schools in what is an 'experiment' with the child used as a Test subject.

      Parents think they are getting a better deal from schools that promote this kind of thing and generally they are not.

      Now they want to use google?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        What exactly is the "benefit" of using tablets in secondary schools?

        Laptops yes, consumption devices why?

        The only real use case I have found for a tablet is where several alphabets are needed, and with the decline of language teaching in schools, Hebrew, Greek and Russian (not to mention Chinese) are not exactly mainstream.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Bloody wonderful.

      They've learned "get 'em young" from the religionists. You should see all the christian indoctrination schools around here. I went to one myself, but it didn't "take"

    3. ammabamma

      Oi! Google! Leave them kids alone!

      All in all, you're just another ad in the [cloud] wall...

  2. Any mouse Cow turd

    think about the children...

    ... who come from families that can't afford computers and internet, should they be excluded?

    It wouldn't surprise me if Google's next step is to give away chromebooks to schools and maybe some 3/4G dongles, thus gaining a few more people that it can promote as having "signed up for Google+".

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: think about the children...

      "can't afford computers"

      Its ok - they can use the local library.

      Which will be closing next year.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: think about the children...

        And, even if they can find a library, children will have to compete for computer time with benefit claimants who will soon be expected to submit their applications online.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: think about the children...

          ...if the Department of IDS Fail can find a way to get Internet Explorer 6 onto Windows 7.

  3. Decade

    Forget the students. Think of the teachers!

    "Now, with Classroom, teachers can view and comment on students’ work to help them along the way."

    Like the teachers don't work enough for pitiful pay. Now they get to work after school, too.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Forget the students. Think of the teachers!

      I was married to a teacher, and she was always bringing stacks of paper home.

      This idea is nothing new, there is a open source tool that's been around for years called Moodle, does the same thing pretty much as google classroom.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Forget the students. Think of the teachers!

        That's what they sign up for when they become teachers, the pay is generally quite good, every year an incremental pay rise, good career advancement, holidays, ability to strike when it pleases them.

        Incidentally, I joined the Army, shit pay, dangerous working conditions, separation from family, risk of redundancy, risk of things far greater than a paper cut or a difficult child....

        I knew what I was signing up for so no complaints from me.

        So stop your bleating.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: "the pay is generally quite good, [..], good career advancement, holidays, ..."

          Would you mind sourcing that ? You must be talking about university, or college at least. In elementary schools, the picture is quite different.

          My wife is teacher, and I have had the opportunity to be in a class of 26 young children for 2 hours at a time.

          Never again.

          Anyone who thinks that those holidays are a bonus, I challenge them to spend a week in a class, let alone a school year.

          As for career advancement, excuse me ? Your career is to be surrounded with screeching younglings all day long, for the entirety of your career. There are precious little positions that take you to a quiet office managing reports or computer files, and those are mostly obtained by judicious relations, rarely by any actual merit.

          And the pay rises, now you're simply delirious. In any case, you're not talking about any country I know of.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "the pay is generally quite good, [..], good career advancement, holidays, ..." @ Pascal Monett

            Exactly the kind of bleating we can do without.

      2. MrT

        Re: Moodle...

        ...and pretty good it is too - I've been using it since 2005. However, it does need a bit of skill to support - I've also been lucky to have excellent techs backing up my systems.

        What made me laugh about the article was Google's epiphany moment that teachers talk to students in between setting work and handing it in - what's known as 'formative marking', and absolutely expected in most courses on the way to the final grade. It's how many courses show students making progress - the dialogue between student and teacher that may otherwise have been marked in an exercise book where comments and interim grades have a direct response from the student in the next version submitted.

      3. RyokuMas

        Re: Forget the students. Think of the teachers!

        "there is a open source tool that's been around for years called Moodle, does the same thing pretty much as google classroom."

        Ah, but guess which one will be appearing at the top the first results page when you type "school grading tool" into Google internet search...

        ... and which one will conveniently end up somewhere on page 2 or 3...

  4. Kimo

    So they are getting around to introducing what every classroom management software on the market has had for years? Thanks.

    And I am pretty sure that at my University, I can't use it. We have our own system with pretty tough privacy protections for our students (and you have to go through our legal department if you want to see anything, instead of trusting Google to protect your students' privacy).

  5. Amorous Cowherder

    Oooh, a step too far Google. I don't mind if I willing submit my info to you but when my kids have no choice because the UK gov says it's alright for Google to spy on my kids abilities through their homework? Ooh, to much.

  6. Hargrove

    Horrific idea.

    I tutor 4th grade math. Between the push to market something novel in the way of instructional texts every year, and one size fits all standards and testing emphasizing superficial knowledge of buzz words rather than substantive understanding, the kids are in a world of hurt already.

    They do not need some other set of idiots deciding what they need to learn. They need someone to listen to them, figure out what they are missing, and teach them what they need to know.

    A true story. Halfway through the year, I got a new student. Quick and intelligent, coming in with good grades and great expectations. A train wreck in math. Much consternation amongst tutor and staff until she helped us figure it out. One day, struggling with long division, she commented, "This would be so much easier if I knew my times tables." Apparently that is one of those trivial rote memorization things that is out of vogue with the textbook and standards people. I made up a matrix of multiplications, worked with her a little, and she took them home and started to memorize them on her own.

    One of the other teachers who was also helping her off line offered to spend a half hour with her after school one day. This was one of my tutoring days, and she had already had close to two hours of math. She had done really well, but two hours of math is two hours of math no matter how you cut it. So we decided to leave it up to her whether she wanted to go another half hour. Her response was, "In my old school I tried to tell them I was really struggling, but nobody had any time to help me. This so different. I'll take all the help I can get."

    She, and we, were blown away by how well she did on the year-end baseline testing.

    Teachers who pay attention know what their students need. The kids can figure out what they need. Google, and the rest of the marching societies and chowder vendors need to butt out of areas that they have no need or business being involved in.

  7. kphair

    And in line with normal Google ToS...

    All class work submitted to the system automatically becomes the property of Google and can be used in marketing, promotions and shared with "selected partners" without notification to the teacher or originator of said work.

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