So, it's been a while since I last addressed the idea of using Google Classroom. I have been transferring my Moodle to Google Classroom for next year. There are several reasons for this decision. First, I've been hosting my own Moodle site for the past eight years. I did this because my school never updated Moodle. Before going into the classroom, I was the district technology coordinator. In this position, I could access the server and update Moodle anytime. As well as updates, I was able to add various plug-ins to enhance Moodle. When I returned to the classroom, requests to update were often met with some resistance. After waiting for updates for over two years, I decided to host my own Moodle through a web hosting service. This worked well because I could efficiently complete security updates and add plug-ins as needed.
Next school year (2018-19) will be my last year of teaching, and I have decided to cut back on my out-of-pocket expenses. Since the school Moodle is still several generations behind (2.5.x) and has limited plug-ins, I decided to go with Google Classroom. Also, I use several third-party programs that are easily integrated into Google Classroom (Sutori, ClassCraft, and BookWidgets); it is always nice to have one login for multiple websites. With students having Google accounts, it sure is nice not having to keep track of numerous logins per student.
I finally got most things set up for Google Classroom for the fall. However, the process was frustrating for numerous reasons. Some I've mentioned previously, i.e., no drag and drop feature or importing of tests. The other frustrating piece was that there is no way to set up a calendar feature unless it is an assignment. This is very different than the calendar feature in Moodle. On my Moodle, I can add global, course, group, and individual events to the calendar. With Google Classroom, the calendar is restrictive. I usually like to have a calendar with important dates (end of marking period or early dismissal day - a global event or what we are doing in class on a particular day - course event). Google Classroom offers no such option. The closest way to do this is to add a post with a specific date. Even this idea won't show up on the classroom calendar.
I know that Google (apps, classroom) is the main topic when traveling the country and presenting at various conferences. Still, I guess the rebel in me tends to resist getting swept up in the fascination with Google. Don't get me wrong, I think the advent of Chrome books, and Google has allowed school districts to put technology in the hands of many more students. I use chrome books just about every day in my classroom. However, I would suggest not to get so blinded by the craze that you don't open yourself up to alternatives that might suit your purpose better than what you are currently using. Once you start using a particular piece of technology, in my case, using Moodle, you get comfortable and don't want to reinvent the wheel. Yet, if there are alternatives that offer more options and better solutions, then I suggest you don't limit your students or yourself.