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Google unveils Classroom, a tool designed to help teachers

Looking to support educators and simplify their workload, the tech giant announces a new, free, classroom-friendly tool that integrates Google Docs, Drive, and Gmail.

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Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr

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An example of what Google's Classroom can look like. Google

Google looks to be making the grade with a new tool it unveiled Tuesday that aims to help teachers easily organize assignments and communicate with their students.

Dubbed Classroom, the free tool integrates Google Docs, Drive, and Gmail so that teachers can assign and collect homework paperlessly, communicate with students in and out of class, and organize their curriculum. Classroom will be offered in the Google Apps for Education suite, which provides the usual lineup of email, calendar, and document creation apps but is geared toward students and teachers.

"As a former high school math teacher, I know all too well that teachers spend a ton of valuable time doing things other than teaching -- waking up early to grade quizzes, collecting and returning piles of paper assignments, and battling copy machine paper jams," Google's Classroom product manager Zach Yeskel wrote in a blog post. "But with today's technology it doesn't have to be this way."

"We spent the past year working closely with many educators to understand the systems they use to simplify their workloads, so they can get back to doing what they love --teaching," Yeskel continued.

Google has tested Classroom in a handful of schools and universities and is now accepting requests from teachers and professors to give the tool a whirl. Classroom will be rolled out to all schools that use Google Apps for Education in September.