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Google Classroom goes mobile with Android, iOS app

Now students can use a native app on their phones and tablets to tap into Google's Classroom program, aimed at helping teachers and students easily track assignments.

When teachers create assignments, they can attach files from Google Drive -- everything from Docs to Word and Excel -- and automatically make a copy for each student. Google

Google is launching a new Classroom-branded mobile app aimed at boosting digital collaboration between teachers and students.

Google Apps for Education counts more than 40 million students, teachers and administrators among its user base, according to the Internet giant's estimates last fall. Classroom itself, which is part of the larger initiative, debuted roughly six months ago in an effort to make Google Apps for Education simpler for educators to use.

Some of the use cases and settings, according to the Mountain View, Calif.-headquarted corporation, range from a primary school in rural Australia to a school with no IT support in Mexico.

Among the available features for educators include helping students keep track of upcoming assignments followed by the ability for instructors to mark assignments as "done" upon completion.

Since launching, more than 30 million assignments have gone through Classroom, noted Jorge Lugo, a software engineer on the Google for Education Classroom team, in a blog post on Wednesday.

The mobile version of Classroom, Lugo explained, is designed to further facilitate communications between teachers and students, namely through the addition of a teacher assignments page and the ability to archive classes.

Students will also be able to attach files (i.e. PDFs) and use the mobile device's built-in camera to attach photos to their assignments, whether they be drawings for an art class, a family tree for social studies, or diagrams and results for science experiments.

"And if they've forgotten their homework, they can ask someone at home to snap a photo, text it and then turn it in with the app," Lugo remarked. "Of course, if the dog has actually eaten it, Classroom can't help you."

The Classroom mobile app is available for free on both Android and iOS devices now.

For a closer look at the Google Classroom app in action, check out the promo clip below:

This story was first published as "Google rolling out Classroom mobile app for students, teachers" on ZDNet.