This post originally appeared on the blog Sailing into Second.

Teachers, students, and parents across the nation (and world) are beginning to implement distance learning due to coronavirus. The uncertainty of when schools will re-open or remain closed is stressful for everyone. Luckily, educators can keep teaching remotely using Google™ tools and digital devices. While I know that this is not a complete replacement for in-person learning at schools, and that some student populations won’t have access to digital devices, these tips can be helpful to teachers who need digital learning tools and lesson plans. Devices such as Chromebooks, iPads, or tablets can be great tools for e-learning while students are at home. I know it can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to teaching with tech. Below are some of my favorite Google™ tools that can help you with setting up for distance learning.

Tool #1: Google™ Classroom

Google™ Classroom is a quick and easy way to send out assignments to students, and they can complete it and turn it in without any paperwork. A great collaboration feature is the ability for students to comment and post on the main classroom page. I leave that feature on so students can post questions about assignments and other classmates can chime in and help. What a great collaboration tool for everyone! Another way to keep your students engaged during e-learning days is to open up “virtual discussions” about what they’re currently learning. You can have students chime in on a specific discussion thread created for that assignment or lesson.

Tool #2: Google™ Docs and Slides

Good old Google™ Docs and Google™ Slides are some of my favorite tools to use for e-learning. Teachers can assign them for students to do individual classwork and can be used to collaborate with others within a classroom or even somewhere across the country! I also like that teachers can leave comments and feedback on student work. Which is helpful for remote learning.

Tool #3: Google™ Forms

Google™ Forms are a quick way to create an online survey. The responses are then collected in an online spreadsheet (Google Sheets). Teachers can use Forms in a variety of ways. They can use them to assess student knowledge, give quick quizzes, create exit tickets, and even receive feedback from students and parents. This would be a great way to check in with your students and offer additional support to your students (and parents), if needed.

Tool #4: Google™ Hangouts Meet

Google™ Hangouts Meet is also free to anyone who uses G Suite. You can have your entire class on a Hangouts call, so that you can lead a virtual classroom lesson or facilitate a discussion. Imagine unpacking and discussing the area and perimeter lesson you just assigned the previous day on a Hangout? Better yet, you can even record that session and upload them to your Google™ Classroom feed! That way students and families will be able to access the content at a later time if needed. It’s really a great way to feel connected to your students and vice-versa.

Setting up to become a more digital or completely paperless distance learning classroom will take time, patience, and a whole lot of practice! So breathe, show yourself (and your students) some grace during this huge transitional time. What tools are you using or want to use during distance learning? Share your tips with us below.

Google Classroom Recommended Activities:

Need a few more tips on how to start Google™ Apps? Click here for more in depth tutorials and ideas to use with your students.

Click here for resources that will pair perfectly with Google™ Apps and are completely paperless!


About Sailing into Second

Aris Rossi is the author behind the educational website Sailing into Second and the course creator of The New Teacher Masterclass. She loves to collaborate and share ideas with teachers all over the world through her educational websites and social media. With over 10 years of experience teaching in the classroom and 15 years in education, she’s created courses and classroom resources to help teachers everywhere save time and learn how to set themselves up for a successful school year. They’ll help you learn how to use your teaching time efficiently to make the biggest impact in your classroom. Her tried-and-true teaching and organizational strategies are easy to implement. Whether you are a first year or a seasoned teacher, her teacher tips will help you year after year! Connect with her on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and her blog.