At Barton Peveril, we use a variety of technologies to make courses more engaging and improve access to learning for students. Online learning technologies like Google Classroom have brought exciting opportunities to reconsider how we teach, engage with or involve learners in different ways.
In this guide, we will look at some of the online learning technologies we have available that can be taken advantage of for distance learning in the event of a college closure due to Covid-19.
Live Online Lessons
Google Hangouts Meet is Google’s video conferencing tool that enables you to talk face to face with learners and engage with your class remotely. All your students need is Wi-Fi access and a device such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet.
Lesson content can be shared in a live video stream with groups ranging from a few people up to hundreds. Hangouts Meet includes the ability to share your screen, ideal for displaying a presentation or other content with the class.
Google has recently made it possible to record a lesson hosted in Hangouts Meet as a video in your Google Drive. All lessons must be recorded, and if you wish these recordings can be shared in Google Classroom afterwards for students who couldn’t make it.
To improve the remote learning experience for teachers and students using Hangouts Meet, Google have made several improvements:
- Only meeting creators can mute or remote other participants in a meeting;
- Students cannot start/stop a meeting being recorded.
Assignments and Feedback
Google Classroom is a well-established online learning tool at Barton Peveril that you can use to keep students engaged while they’re at home. For instance, start a virtual class discussion to explore lesson content and talk about what they’re learning. You can also give students feedback about their work in Classroom when marking an assignment.
Tracking student understanding and progress can be achieved through combining Classroom with Google Forms. Quizzes in Forms offer automatic marking and enable you to embed content such as images and videos. When you share a Google Forms quiz using Classroom, you can easily assign it as an automatically marked assignment.
Screencastify allows you to record your screen, perfect for creating recorded lessons for a flipped classroom or distance learning. It is available as an extension in Google Chrome that can be used from a Chromebook, PC, or Mac. In addition to recording your screen, it combines annotation tools, adds a voice over with your microphone, while also including a picture-in-picture overlay of your webcam. Everything you record is saved to Google Drive so you can easily share the video with students in Google Classroom.
Screencastify is giving educators a premium upgrade to increase from the 5 minute limit in the free version. Go to account.screencastify.com/user/subscribe and use “redeem coupon” with the code CAST_COVID.
Distance Learning Resources
Useful resources we’ve found from across the internet:
- myBarton Digital Learning Hub – Apps for teachers recommended by teachers that are great for distance learning.
- Remote Teaching with Google Classroom and Hangouts Meet – 15 minute video giving an overview of using Google Classroom and Hangouts Meet for remote teaching.
- Hangouts Meet Guide for Remote Learning – 10 minute video with some key Hangouts Meet tips and tricks for remote learning.
- Google Teach from Anywhere – Lessons to teach digital skills to engage students outside the classroom.
- Online Teaching in the time of Coronavirus – Article discussing synchronous and asynchronous digital tools for online learning.
Access to premium versions of educational apps made free during the Covid-19 school closures: