In our district, we have been in person all year with our students. It has been nice that we have not had to have learning happen through virtual meetings all day, every day. I have however appreciated the fact that this resource is still available in the back pocket for when it makes sense.
There have been a couple of times now where I have needed to meet with a particular graduation class. Rather than having over 300 students all pile into the theater, ran a Google Meet session. Advisors of that particular class were sent a Google Meet link to join and projected me into their classrooms. Students then had the ability to follow along and complete the task at hand that I was demonstrating. What also helped was the fact that these students were spaced out throughout the school building. So, having 300 students complete tasks at the same time throughout the building is more successful than having 300 students in the theater accessing one access point.
I also appreciated the fact that I was able to record the sessions as well. Advisors were told ahead of time to mute their camera and their microphone. Once the session was completed, I was able to follow up with the link to the recording that could be shown again at a later time. This way if an advisor was absent and a group of students missed the message, that advisor could play it at a time that made sense for them.
While many of us want to forget some of the experiences that we were faced with the past few years, it is important to recognize that some of the tools that we used then can still be used in creative ways moving forward. This is one of them.
If you have any questions about this idea or process, you know how to find me.
One positive thing that has come out of our pandemic is the fact that both teachers and students are enhancing their skillset when it comes to technology. One such example happened last week with our students who are in the DECA club. Each year, students from the club participate in state competitions. It has always been a big deal to participate in a 2.5 day conference. Just like everything else, the conference had to be virtual this year. The conference competion had to be reimagined. Once the DECA advisors, Mrs. Wilczewski and Mrs. Doyle, learned the rules and guidelines for participating in this years conference, we got together to problem solve how students were going to meet the requirements in the most efficient way possible.
Here were the requirements/guidelines…
Students had submit a video of their competition
The video has been submitted via YouTube
The video could not be publicly listed
In team competitions, both students had to appear in the video at the same time
Students had to submit and create their video within a short period of time
We have made to it Day 10. I truly enjoy doing this each year. There is so much information out there. Lots of changes. My hope is that you were able to take some new knowledge back with you over the past two weeks from these bit sized learning opportunities.
Our district decided to go the route of Google Meets for all remote instruction. Meets sure has seen big changes over the past few months. While there is still room for improvement, teachers over all in our district has been happy with the enhancements that have been added.
Just this week, Google announced that they are adding Captions for languages beyond English. Students will have the ability to turn on captions under the settings gear of their Google Meet. There is also indication that once a setting is set, it will remember the language that was chosen. This is a user setting, so a teacher cannot force this on the student.
I was good at remembering how many weeks we have been teaching remotely, but once we hit the double digits, I started to loose track. I think we must either be on week 10 or 11 by now. Never did I expect to be out for this long. I remember joining in on a webinar, back in late March, listening to teachers from overseas and how they had already been teaching remotely for 10 weeks. At that time, it was only week 2 for me. I thought, “wow, hope we won’t be in that situation!” Well, here we are.
For this blog post, I wanted to highlight how you could kick it up a notch when welcoming attendees to a Google Meet. By now, we all have either been participants or attendees of virtual meetings, conversations, lessons or webinars. It has become our new normal whether we like it or not.
Well, two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to participate in a two part training series that Google put on for Google for Education Certified Trainers. Google had members of Future Design Schools deliver the training. We were exposed to ways in how we can support our colleagues using G-Suite tools with students in a remote setting in addition to how we could think about assessment differently. In a future blog post, I will address this more. However, what I really want to highlight right now is how I was welcomed in the Google Meet.