Boy has a lot changed since our last newsletter! In fact, that might be the understatement of the year. Never before have educators dealt with a situation that has impacted our classrooms like COVID-19 has. Our world has been turned upside down. We had planned on spring break and then returning for state tests, field trips and end-of-the-year activities. Instead, we face a whole new world of delivering content online or remotely. So how do we make sense of it?
Lots of companies have offered free programs, software and access as resources we can incorporating into our distance learning plans. But where to begin? I would suggest the Google suite of products. Google has so many free educational resources, like Classroom, Docs, Forms and Slides. But what would that look like for an educator?
A brief introduction to Google Classroom
First off, Google is free. It's the #1 product used in schools across the nation. You can access Google Classroom from Chromebooks, all computer operating systems, handheld devices and even smartphones. Teachers only have to set up an email account if they don’t already have one. It would then be free for both parents and students to access. If someone isn’t familiar with the products, there are a lot of tutorials on the internet, and we can assist if necessary.
How teachers can use these Google tools for instruction
So how do teachers use Google to conduct class remotely for students have access to the internet? Once teachers create a Gmail address, they automatically get access to Google drive and their suite of productivity tools (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, etc). Here teachers can create, store and share all their educational content with the 30GB of free storage that comes with creating their email address. They can use their Gmail account for parent communication and feedback. Documents that teachers have already created can also be uploaded. Teachers can use Google Forms if they want to create a survey to find out where their students are and how to best serve them in the weeks ahead. After a few weeks, the teacher can send out another one for feedback to reassess students' progress. After the student feedback, teachers can create a Google Classroom where they can enter their students and create and assign work for the students to do while at home. Another way to present work in Classroom is to create a presentation in Google Slides. When comfortable, teachers could also use Google Sites to create a separate website that has pages for assignments, forms and presentations.
Hopefully, this helps teachers see that they don’t need to be overwhelmed when facing continuous learning from a distance. Using one product and incorporating a lot of existing material, they can assist students in a remote learning situation. If you have questions or need help please feel free to reach out to the Teaching & Learning team. We plan on doing whatever we can to help teachers navigate this new world that we all find ourselves in.
Chances are, you've read somewhere recently about the uptick in bullying, harassment and threats that many individuals, including students, are experiencing based on things like religion, ethnicity, political stance or sexual orientation.
When we released the June finance report last week, we included a positive set of numbers and facts in it. We see continued recovery in the revenue streams for education, and it does look like we may actually get out of this year without a revenue inconvenience.
This article will probably shock you in that it does not contain one single graph, calculation or any other kind of number. However, it does relate directly to them.
A collection of Oklahoma education-related news of the week.