The coronavirus is affecting all manner of things across Australia, teaching included. How can we protect ourselves against the virus by self-isolating, while continuing to train students?
Virtual classrooms are the answer, and Google might have the solution, with two free apps that when used together, form a basic solution for distance learning.
Google Meet is video conferencing software that allows you to deliver online classes. You can schedule “hangouts,” invite your students to them by sending a simple link, and teach them the desired material. Once live, you can also message your students using the chat feature.
In the wake of the coronavirus, Google are also offering free advanced features for G-Suite customers, such as recording sessions, allowing 250 people per hangout, and livestreaming for up to 100,000 people. Google’s beneficence can help training organisations get through these tough times.
Google Classroom is a tool designed for distance learning. You can quickly create classes, add worksheets/resources or classwork, schedule announcements, and a whole lot more. You could already do this in your SMS of course, but Google’s apps are built to work seamlessly, so you might this app valuable when combined with Google Meet.
Google’s software tends to be incredibly user-friendly and quick to set up, and Google Classroom is no exception.
To be clear, this isn’t a sneaky paid promotion. The combination of Google Meet and Google Classroom just happens to be one of the quickest ways for you set up virtual classrooms, with some great basic features to see you through these desperate times. Give them a try by heading over to Google Classroom and Google Hangouts, and creating a free account. If you need support, Google has top class documentation that includes articles, imagery and video.
If you’d like to learn more about how Google’s G-Suite of products can help with distance learning, check out this official blog from Google, or watch this video on how to host a virtual classroom using Google’s tools.
Alternatively, if you want something simpler that just allows a video stream, you might consider some popular video conferencing apps such as Zoom, or Skype.
While virtual classrooms have their challenges, with the right attitude and apps, you’ll be able to deliver your lessons without missing a beat.
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