Application Development

Back to school with enhancements to the Classroom API

Google Classroom makes it easy for teachers and students to use the edtech tools they love, and that’s not just limited to Google tools. With the Classroom API, hundreds of developers have built integrations with Classroom that make it easier for admins and teachers to manage classes, share content and more.

One popular way that applications integrate with Classroom is by re-using Classroom rosters—teachers can import their classes with a click and students don’t have to have a new login. Today, we’re making it easier for developers to keep rosters in-sync between their apps and Classroom by launching real-time notifications of changes.

Now, an application can now receive roster changes for a domain, or for an individual course. Powered by Google Cloud Pub/Sub, a state-of-the-art messaging service for passing information between applications, developers no longer have to poll various Classroom API endpoints for changes, which gives teachers and students a more seamless experience. If a new student joins or leaves a Classroom class, that roster change can be automatically applied across applications.

How Flat Education syncs rosters in real-time 

Flat Education, a collaborative music notation app, uses the new updates to instantly update class rosters. Before, when teachers and students accessed the Flat Education application, it would poll the Classroom API for changes and then make updates, delaying data. Now, roster data can be refreshed instantly.

With today's Classroom API update, applications can sync roster data instantly. When a new student joins Google Classroom (bottom left), the student is instantly added to the corresponding music class in Flat Education (top right).

We’re also making the Classroom API more comprehensive with additional enhancements so you can:

  • Create and update announcements. Last year, we launched the ability for external applications to access and create assignments and questions. This update gives applications access to all the posts in Classroom. 
  • Create and update individualized posts. Earlier this year, we made it possible for teachers to post to individual students in Classroom and now, applications can do the same programmatically. This is especially helpful for applications that help teachers differentiate and individualize learning.
For more details on what you can build with the Classroom API, check out the documentation. You can also ask questions (or answer them!) on StackOverflow using the google-classroom tag, and report bugs or feature requests via the issue tracker.

Lastly, let us know what you're building using the #withClassroom hashtag on Twitter or Google+.