You've already heard that there are so many resources out there to facilitate and enhance virtual teaching, but it can be tedious and too time-consuming sifting through each individual tool on your own. Let's explore together!
In this blog, we go over a suite of tools by Google that creates a solid foundation for your virtual classroom during COVID-19. Many of the tools are free but those under Google for Education such as Classroom can only be used if you're in a school or district that is already using G Suite for Education.
teach remotely with video call
The most popular virtual teaching method is with video call. Make sure you set up an area for a call with a strong WiFi signal, clear background, and plenty of natural light. You want to ensure that your video doesn't cut out and that there are minimal distractions behind you.
Meet lets you start a video call right away, but you can schedule it as a recurring calendar event and people you invite can accept the event to save it to their calendar as well. Google Meet also allows you to share your screen and record the call.
To check comprehension during a Meet session, you can utilize the chat feature or integrate a Slides Q&A.
This feature allows students to submit real-time questions during a Google Slides presentation. They can also vote on the ones that they want answered the most.
Q&A sessions are saved into your presentations so that you can come back to recent sessions.
This is a feature only available with the G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education. These are paid features but you can sign up for a free G Suite trial.
teach remotely without video call
You might've faced a lot of technical difficulties when virtually teaching with video call such as fuzzy audio or students having difficulty connecting. If calls aren't what's best for you, there are other great options to try.
You'll be able to set assignments, encourage collaboration, and support communication with students. This all-encompassing tool allows you to take most of your physical classroom activities online.
You can easily build a private class website to host lesson information, worksheets, videos, and more.
Set and automatically mark quizzes and assessments with Google Forms. Students can also submit documents through Forms if you need them to.
Google Docs encourages real-time collaboration with its comment feature that allows you to add, edit, reply, or delete comments. You can attach these comments right in the doc so students know exactly what you're referring to.
make lessons more accessible
The virtual classroom isn't easily accessible to everyone. Thankfully, there are tools that try to bridge that education gap.
If needed, students can enable subtitles on Google Meet. This feature is currently only available in English and if you record a video meeting, captions are not recorded.
On Chrome browsers, students can use voice typing to enter, edit, and format text in Docs and Slides, all without a keyboard.
If you have G Suite, then you have access to assistive technology such as voice typing and braille support.
As if student engagement wasn't already hard enough in the physical classroom! There are tools that facilitate student learning online. Who knows, maybe some quiet students may feel more comfortable contributing to online boards.
Classroom allows students to post questions and comments on boards so that they are actively engaging with class material together.
You can block out appointment times on your calendar that others can reserve. Students are free to view your calendar appointments and sign up for the one that works for them. You'll get a notification when someone signs up.
Demonstrate concepts and have students collaborate on mindmaps, diagrams, etc.
Teachers can invite guardians to receive regular emails about their students' work and classes. These emails, known as guardian email summaries, include information about missing work, upcoming work, and class activity.
keep in touch with other teachers
Let's face it. Even though we're protecting ourselves and each other by staying #SaferAtHome, it gets lonely or frustrating. That's why it's so important to keep in touch. Relive your high school days through long phone calls with your friends and keep up to date with other fellow teachers.
Take virtual coffee breaks on Google Meet
Create regular coffee break events in Calendar and invite others to join via a Google Meet video call. Brew your favorite cup of coffee or tea and just chat about how the day is going. Social interaction is vital during these times!
Sharing is caring! If you're creating resources other teachers can use, share them on Google Drive.
Set up chat groups with your colleagues!
Create a mailing list to keep all your colleagues informed. You can also host group discussions; collaborate on projects; organize meetings; and or just find people with similar hobbies and interests.
What resources are you using during COVID-19?
Shoot us a message on Instagram @scooteducation or email us your favorite resource at email@example.com! We'll share it on our social media with educators who might need extra help as they navigate being virtual teachers.