Google announced yesterday that they are opening up Google Classroom to users without G Suite for Education accounts. You could only use Classroom with people from your own school so far, but from now on schools will be allowed to invite students and teachers that don’t necessarily are part of their organization. It means being able to increase the potential reach and impact of the current offer, but also hosting experts from the outside without having to create them a specific account. That’s a big change!
But it’s not the only change. Look at the following quote (bolds are mine):
Now, teachers and students in many different environments can teach or attend classes, manage assignments and instantly collaborate—all with their personal Google accounts. Starting today, these new Classroom users will be able to join existing classes and over the coming weeks, they’ll have the ability to create their own classes as well.
If the other change was big, this one is huge. What they say means that you, me or everyone else will own a personal learning management system (LMS) with no need to install, pay anything or teach new tools to the students (Classroom is the linchpin of Google tools for education.). Do you want to teach something to other people? Set your classroom, invite them and do it.
Of course, you can also use LMS like Moodle or Opigno for free. But you need a place to put them, and actually you will have to install and configure the programs. I haven’t used Opigno, but I know Moodle and it’s like the Ferrari of the LMS. It’s totally different and has so many features that you can’t know all them (unless you are Dr. Martin Dougiamas: I can assure you he does know everything). It’s a fantastic tool.
So if you are a big organization and need something very powerful, you will probably choose one of the classic LMS. But think about individuals or small companies, associations… which are looking for something simple that helps them teach. What would you do? Would you bother to install and learn to use a big LMS, or would you stick to the simplest solution?
My belief is that making Classroom more accessible Google just changed the market. They removed entry barriers and opened the door to a lot of people who wanted to teach others professionally and didn’t know where and how to start. Do you remember when they launched Adsense and suddenly every website owner could sell ads just by signing up and copying a Html code? They have done similar disruptive movements in the past (Gmail, Photos, etc.) and my guess is we are now facing a new one.
We will have to wait a little bit to see if I’m right or wrong, but… what do you think about this?