With entire country under lockdown to fight against COVID19, school and colleges across the country are closed and most teachers and students are migrating to online learning. While online learning comes with its own set of challenges, this is the most suitable format of education in the current scenario and requires re-skilling of teachers and adjusting to the new ways of learning by the students. Lot of teachers are also challenged by their own comfort to use technology.
In this article, I am sharing how teachers can quickly migrate their entire curriculum, students and courseware online with Google Classroom. Google Classroom can be accessed online at classroom.google.com using simple steps as outline below:
# 1: Software & Hardware Needed: Both the instructor and the participants can access google classroom without having to purchase any software. All they need is a Gmail Account (which is free) an internet connection and a Mobile, Tablet or Laptop / Personal Computer. Teachers however need to sign up for Google Education Suite which is available for free. However, if school wants certain premium features, they can contact google for enterprise plans as well.
# 2: Tools Available: Google Classroom uses most of the tools available to Google Users as part of the Google Classroom suite. Some of the popular tools that are available as part of Google Education Suite are listed below along with the advantages they offer:
- Create Your Own Class – Google Classroom allows Teachers to create their own class and assign a group of students who are enrolled into the class. Teachers can upload prior reading material, Assignments and Videos here for students to access before joining the class online along with Class Access Code and link to access Google Meet Virtual Class.
- Class Access Code – Every time a teacher creates a class online a unique access code is created which students need to enter before they can access the class online. This is a safeguard measure so that only enrolled students join the class.
- Google Meet – This is a video conferencing tool that allows students and teachers to participate in a real-time environment. Students can see the teacher and other students who are online and can ask questions via text chat or simply by asking the question by speaking. Teachers use this tool to explain concepts as in a real class.
- Google Drive – This is a free storage space available to all Gmail users. Students can use this to upload their assignments, while teachers can use this storage space to upload reading material and conceptual learning material.
- YouTube – is an online video platform where teachers can host their own video lectures as well as share details of additional knowledge resources that are available online for students to deep dive and learn a topic. Teachers can also create Playlist according to the Topic to club similar topic videos available under a category.
- Google Site – This is an internal site which can be created by the teachers or the students jointly when they work on a concept or topic.
- Google Search – This is the most common tool used by almost everyone when they want to search about a particular topic. Search also allows users to search for different formats of documents like PDF, XLS, PPT, Image and so on.
- Google Scholar – Is a tool available online and had details about published authors, citations and reference scholarly material.
- Google Forms – Teachers use this tool to create assignments and students can answer it online. The responses can also be computed and analysed to track student performance over a period of time.
- Google Groups – Teachers can create google groups class wise to ensure each communication about the class reaches all students timely and no updates are missed out.
# 3: Training & Certification: While most tools are available for free to use by the teachers and participants, teachers if are interested in knowing more and certifying themselves, there are two level (Level 1 and Level 2) of Google Education Certifications available. The fees for each certification exam is $10 and all resources to take the certification exam and preparation are available online. For advanced learners there are Certified Innovators and Certified Trainers Certifications also available. You can find more information about certifications here.
Moving your classroom online is easy, free and doesn’t require any technical knowledge. It does require a shift in mindset and the way educational content is planned, delivered and evaluated. All the very best!
Author: Vineet Tandon, India’s First & Only Musical Motivational Speaker. Founder & CEO YAI Learning.