Earlier this year, Google announced that the company would finally make significant updates to their Google Classroom platform. Most of the announced updates primarily provide new functions for teachers and administrators, such as the ability to sync rosters in Google Classroom through Clever. However, one of the most important parts of the update for EdTech developers is the addition of Google Classroom add-ons. Here's what we currently know about Google Classroom add-ons.

What are Google Classroom Add-ons?

Google Classroom add-ons will be applications that more tightly integrate with the platform. The add-ons will appear natively within Google Classroom so users won't have to navigate to a new window. Administrators will be able to pre-install add-ons for their users and can even grant access to only a subset of specific teachers or groups of classes. Interestingly, these apps are only available to schools and teachers that have purchased the premium versions of Google Workspace for Education (i.e. the Teaching and Learning Upgrade or the Education Plus package).

Although these apps share some similarities with LTI® apps (such as the ability to launch directly within the learning management system), the add-ons appear to use a different mechanism to integrate with Google Classroom. These add-ons will also have the ability to send student submissions to teachers and to provide grade passback to the Google Classroom gradebook.

As of July 2021, there will be nine partners with add-ons available for Google Classroom. Some of the big names announced as partners include Edpuzzle, IXL, Nearpod, Kahoot!, and Newsela. It's still unclear exactly when these add-ons will be available or how other developers can create new Google Classroom add-ons. Based on Google's announcement, a beta release of the Google Classroom add-ons will be available later in 2021.

If you're looking for a partner who can help guide you through developing Google Classroom integrations, then you should check out Edlink! We're staying on top of all of the developments coming out of Google for Education to make sure that our integrations are up to date.

Our platform not only lets Edtech apps integrate with Google Classroom, but the Edlink Unified API also integrates your product with other major LMSs. In addition to Google Classroom, our API gives your app the ability to integrate with Canvas, Schoology, Blackboard, and more. If you would like to learn more, please reach out to us at our support page or email us at accounts@ed.link.

Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®) is a trademark of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. (www.imsglobal.org).