In order to get Google Classroom for your school, your school (or district) will need to sign up for GSuite for Education. Even though Google Classroom is now available to personal accounts, Classrooms created with personal accounts cannot be used in K-12 schools for several reasons:
- It is not compliant with federal law for use in schools- namely COPPA and FERPA
- Students under 13 are not eligible for personal Google accounts, which must be used to join Classrooms created with personal accounts
- It is against the Classroom TOU for personal accounts to use Google Classroom with children
GSuite for Education is free to qualifying institutions. Individual teachers do not qualify for GSuite for Education- it must be a whole school, district, or educational institution. Depending on where you live, eligibility requirements vary. For schools in the US, you have to provide documentation of the following:
- Formal accreditation
- Tax exempt status
- K-12 school or university
Depending on local laws or district policies, your IT department may not let just one school sign up for GSuite for Education- it may have to be a district-wide migration, which can be harder to swing. To support your case, you can use the Google for Education Directory to find a local Google Trainer to come talk to your district administration and IT about the benefits of being a GSuite for Education school or district.
The school or district will need to have (or purchase) a domain on which to host GSuite. Many schools do this through their existing domain host. Your organization will also need to choose a Google Administrator. Your Google Administrator is the one who will administer GSuite according to district policies, provision accounts for users, and more.
Google Classroom is part of GSuite for Education, among many other tools that will then be available to users in your school or district!
If you're trying to go Google, I wish you luck! It makes my professional life so much easier. Please feel free to comment with any questions you have!