Concerns over the transmission of COVID-19 are closing schools across the globe, and millions of students are unable to physically attend school. To help with this, Google recently announced that advanced Hangouts Meet features are available for anyone who uses G Suite around the world. This means you’ll be able to put up to 250 people on a Hangouts Meet call—an entire class or group of classes can join a lesson simultaneously. You’ll get live-streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within your domain, so that you can do a virtual school assembly or stream a lecture. Plus, you can record meetings and save them to Google Drive. When students can’t join the lesson, they’ll be able to access the content later.
For educators preparing for potential school closures—or currently facing them—here are a few other ways to handle distance learning.
To keep students engaged while they’re at home, open up virtual discussions in Google Classroom (using the Stream) about what they’re learning. You can also use comments in Google Docs and Classroom to have a two-way discussion with students as you give feedback on their work—another great strategy to engage when you can’t see them in person.
Check for understanding during group instruction by asking a poll question in the middle of a lesson and showing the results in real time. This can also help you “take attendance” in a virtual setting.
Quizzes in Google Forms offer auto-grading features, allow you to embed videos, images, and as many answer choices as you want. You can also assign graded discussions in Google Classroom, and students can demonstrate their knowledge through project-based learning assignments using Slide presentations, Docs or Sites.
Using Calendar Appointment Slots, students who need extra help can sign up to meet 1:1 or in small groups with you.