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Online teaching in Google Workspace? — Let us Help!

According to UNESCO monitoring, over 160 countries have implemented nationwide school and university closures due to COVID-19, impacting over 87% of the world’s student population.

With that, online teaching continues to take the education world by storm, with teachers plunged into a whole new world of unexpected challenges — ‘’We feel you, Teachers!’’

Meanwhile, many parents feel at loss on how to help their young ones with the demands of online learning.

That said, teachers may find this transition to online teaching particularly daunting. Just like starting a whole new job. There’s a lot of unfamiliar bits to explore there. 

In an attempt to simplify things a bit, we compiled some of the most common challenges shared by teachers working in Google Workspace over the past few weeks. We then coupled them by 8 simple yet powerful tips to help you move forward easily.

Let’s warm up with a cup of tea and make online teaching simpler, shall we? ☕

1. Use Hangout Meet, Even with Low Bandwidth 

Hangouts Meet allows teachers to virtually deliver their classes via video. However, one common problem some teachers face is low bandwidth or slow internet speed, which can cause a lot of distortion. 

When that happens, here’s what you can do:

  1. Ask participants to turn off their cameras to improve video meeting quality. 
  2. Use a phone to improve audio quality.
  3. Limit Meet bandwidth. A Google Workspace admin can set the default video quality in the Admin console.

Remember, with Google extending its premium Meet features for free during the COVID-19 crisis, you now can:

  1. Live-stream to large groups, or host live meetings with up to 250 participants.
  2. Record lessons and share them with your students.

For more information on how to use Meet for online teaching check out Google’s Teach from Home Resource Center.

 

2. Google Slides: Live Q&A Sessions and Feedback Slides to Keep Students Engaged 

Another painful challenge many teachers face is the inability to achieve the same level of class engagement through online teaching. 

One particularly helpful Google Workspace tool here is Google Slides:

  1. You can use it to create presentations, share them with your students, and even boost student engagement by holding live Q&A sessions during presentations. Here’s how.
  2. Math Teacher and Google Certified Innovator, Alice Keeler, also shares a brilliant game-changer, Feedback Slides. Check out her recent piece here to know more.

 

3. Keep them Learning, Even Without Internet at Home

Did you know that you can continue using Chromebooks and Google Workspace for online learning without Internet access or on low connectivity?

To avail of this tip, you’ll want to advise your EdTech and IT teams to set up offline access for everyone. 

Check out this blog piece from Google to learn more.

8 Powerful Google Workspace Tips Every Teacher Needs for Online Teaching 1

4.Monitor Students’ Online Activity in Chrome

Monitoring students’ activity outside the classroom can be a real pickle. You don’t know how they’re actually using their school time. You also can’t control the content they view online or understand how much time they spend on each task.

That’s why powerful Google Workspace & Chromebook monitoring tools like GAT Shield for Education can be a real lifesaver. Using this extension you can:

  1. Protect your students by monitoring all activity and providing real-time alerting for inappropriate content in all locations and at all times using prepared lists or lists that you create for inappropriate words and phrases. 
  2. Block student access to unapproved websites, to ensure that they’re using their school time for school only.
  3. Get reports on where students are spending their time online.
  4. Chromebook Anti-Theft.

 

5.Preventing Cheating in Google Form Quizzes/ Assessments

Another puzzle for many teachers now is how to carry out exams and quizzes without in-class supervision to prevent cheating. 

To that, we stumbled upon this great piece by Tech & Learning with 5 great ways to prevent cheating on your Google Form Quiz. You’ll want to check it out for sure.

 

6. Ensuring Cybersecurity 

Cybersecurity is another grand headache for many teachers and school admins. As teachers continue to teach online and students do everything remotely, how to make sure they’re safe online? 

How to make sure they don’t fall for malicious threats like cyberbullying or phishing?

You can solve this riddle once and for all in two simple steps:

1.Tools: Cybersecurity tools are your eyes and ears all over your school domain. They not only protect your students but staff as well. 

With tools like GAT+ for Education, you get incredible oversight over all activities in your domain with alerts to spot and halt threats in their tracks.

2.Awareness: Cybersecurity awareness is pivotal for students at this age and time. You need to build it up at your school by regularly sharing useful creative content, study cases and fun activities to keep them engaged while teaching and protecting them.

 

7. Hangouts Control

Many teachers working in Hangouts feel the need to establish more control over how Hangouts are being used for online teaching. 

That includes wanting students to participate in Hangouts without being able to initiate the Hangouts themselves or remove, add, or mute participants.

To that, Google recently announced the following:

  • Only meeting creators and calendar owners can mute or remove other participants in a meeting.
  • Meeting participants will not be able to re-join nicknamed meetings once the final participant (the teacher) has left.

Check out this useful document to learn how to assign meeting creation privileges to teachers and staff members. It’s a very important step now.

 

8. Best Teleschool Devices? Chromebooks

Some schools feel at loss deciding which are the best devices to supply their students and teachers with during this online learning transition. Well, take it from us, Chromebooks are every school’s best bet. 

Why?

  1. Relatively inexpensive
  2. Easy to use
  3. Totally ‘remotely’ configurable
  4. Inherently secure & do not suffer viruses 
  5. Very low maintenance cost

Facing a different challenge while online teaching in Google Workspace? Drop us a message here  and let us help you find a solution and update the above list to help other fellow teachers worldwide.

Thanks for sharing and spreading the word!