How to Use the Google Classroom Mobile App

By James T. Cains

Google Classroom has an app for both Android and iOS that you can download to your smartphone or tablet. With it, you can do some of the things you can do through a Web browser, but not everything. In fact, you, as a teacher, may find the app a bit limiting. Here’s the lowdown on what the app can and can’t do and getting started with it.

Get started with the mobile app

First, of course, you have to download and install the app from either Google Play for Android or the App Store for iOS. Then, launch the app and follow these steps:

  1. On the Welcome screen, tap Sign In at the bottom of the screen.

  2. If you have Google accounts already set up, you see those. However, your regular Google account won’t work with Google Classroom. You need to log in with your Google Apps for Education account. So, tap Add Another Account.

  3. Tap Existing.

  4. Type in your Google Apps for Education login credentials, and then tap the right triangle.

  5. Tap OK in the Terms of Service dialogue box.

  6. Google asks you to upgrade to Google+. For now, tap Not Now.

  7. Google then asks you if you want to stay up to date with news and offers from Google. Check or uncheck the box, depending on your preference, and tap the right triangle.

  8. Google tells you that it successfully signed in to your account. On that screen, you can choose what types of data are synced to your device. Best to leave them all checked. Tap the right triangle.

  9. You return to the list of Google accounts in Step 2. Tap the Google Apps for Education account you just added.

  10. Google shows you a few introductory slides showing the benefits of Classroom. Either tap through them or tap Skip.

Finally, you’re logged in and can access your Google Classroom account.

What can you do with the Google Classroom mobile app?

When you launch and sign in to the app, you see your list of classes just like you do in a Web browser. Here’s what you, the teacher, can do:

  • Create or join a class.

  • Make announcements and post comments to assignments.

  • Send e-mails to your students.

  • Access your class’s Google Drive.

  • View whether your students have completed assignments or not.

  • Reset or disable your class code.

What can’t you do with the mobile app?

Unfortunately, like many mobile app versions of web applications, the Google Classroom app doesn’t do many of the key things that you, as a teacher, need to do. Here’s a list of what you cannot do with the app:

  • Create an assignment — though students can complete and turn in assignments in the app.

  • Grade assignments.

  • Modify class settings.

  • Archive a class or view archived classes.

Google does say that they’re continually improving the app, so these features may show up at a later date. The best thing is to provide feedback for the app, requesting these features, to let Google know that you want them.