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Teaching HS co-op class using remote teaching, video, Google classroom, etc.?


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Our co-op has asked high school teachers to look into the possibility of teaching classes remotely. Wondering what options are out there. Any suggestions?

Looking into Google classroom now. I think other options would include video or Skyping, but not exactly sure what is required with those. I don't see myself doing a lecture, it's more wanting options for group discussion, etc.

 

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We're using Google Meet. It's new to me but we're closed tomorrow for my class so we'll see how it goes. I already use Google Classroom to communicate with kids. We have G Suite already as a coop and Meet comes with it.

I do a lot of meetings online with clients. We use Google Hangouts because it's free, but I think it wouldn't work well for a class. It's okay for a meeting of 2-4 people, but when you get to more, it gets weird, though it does make it easy to share your screen so if you were going to be on a screen for most of it and everyone else is watching and listening and responding without seeing each other, then that could be a free option. Skype's free version has similar issues. Fine for a small meeting, not great for once you get more than 4 people in. 

The best system I've personally used is Zoom, but it costs money. I'm hoping Google Meet ends up with similar capabilities, but we'll see. I would put onto your co-op that they should take whatever money they have and invest in a month of Zoom or another similar service.

Edited by Farrar
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You might check out Canvas. It has a free-for-teachers option that is quite good; it includes file sharing, discussion boards, test writing software, etc. etc. I switched to it this year, and I've been quite pleased with it! Canvas also offers a free live meeting program (Big Blue Button...or something like that), but I didn't like it, so I do pay for a monthly subscription to Zoom for my live class meetings.

I hope Zoom will be able to handle its sudden burgeoning load!!

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So I did my first Google Meet based class today. It's not bad. There were a few tricks to it, but I'd say it's nearly as good as Zoom and if your co-op already has G-Suite, then you can use it for free. An administrator may need to set up some aspects and functionality.

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@MorningGlory / Jetta - Can you explain what you liked / didn't like about Big Blue Button in Canvas?

I use Canvas for my coop classes.  Right now, it is primarily an easy way to disseminate files.  And I also use the gradebook, and occasionally the online quizzes.  But if  class is canceled for more than one week, the time will be lost.  I am determined to find a solution this week and be prepared for some virtual  class sessions.

 

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11 hours ago, LJPPKGFGSC said:

@MorningGlory / Jetta - Can you explain what you liked / didn't like about Big Blue Button in Canvas?

I use Canvas for my coop classes.  Right now, it is primarily an easy way to disseminate files.  And I also use the gradebook, and occasionally the online quizzes.  But if  class is canceled for more than one week, the time will be lost.  I am determined to find a solution this week and be prepared for some virtual  class sessions.

 

I’m not an instructor, but my boys are in a local biology class that uses CANVAS.  The instructor uses it for assignments, quizzes, and unit tests.  One day a week she does a live component through CANVAS where she uses slides, but the kids can hear her speak, the kids type in answers and questions during the lecture, and she responds by voice.  It has worked well and is used for reinforcement of the weeks lesson.  There is a live lab component on Fridays, but the facility where that is held just closed for 2 weeks.  I’m assuming they will use CANVAS for their Friday labs now too.  Our other class uses ZOOM when classes are cancelled (Spanish) and Goggle classroom for assignments, etc.  

Edited by mlktwins
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Zoom and Google Meet are offering free trials through July 2020. I have today to learn how to use one. Probably picking Google Meet as I will start using Google Classroom more and more. I teach a 8 classes at two different schools and usually work 4 days a week. One school expects me to go to live from 10 -12 on the days that I would normally be there. I am not sure about the other school yet.  

Let us know any tricks or any tutorials that helped you learn. 

 

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Thank you for the suggestions. I set up Google classroom last night and it was pretty easy. Still want to incorporate a more live component, so will look into Zoom. Thank you for mentioning the free trial!

Can anyone compare Canvas to Google classroom? Are they pretty similar? I went with Google classroom since it meshes with other Google products (like Google Drive) and there do seem to be apps you can use to add quizzes, puzzles, etc.  But we're very flexible so interested in Canvas as well.

And any comparisons between Big Blue Button (Canvas) and Zoom would be helpful too.

I imagine quite a few of us are looking for information like this now.

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I use Canvas for my LMS (learning management system) and Zoom for my live online "office hour" sessions.  Zoom is incredibly user friendly, the sharing is smooth (even with my rural internet), and the functionality provides for pretty much everything you might need to teach online.  It does cost but it isn't prohibitively expensive and if they're offering an extended free trail, I'd say to go for it.  I, too, tried Big Blue Button when I first set up my courses on Canvas and it was very difficult to figure out.  I also wanted the ability to schedule meetings ahead of time and I don't believe you could do that with BBB.  I also remember not liking something about the recording feature but I can't remember now what I didn't like. 🙂

Here's the link to sign up for a free Canvas "Free For Teacher" account:

https://canvas.instructure.com/register_from_website

And here's the link to sign up for a free Zoom account:

https://zoom.us/signup

If anyone has questions about either of these platforms, you're welcome to message me.

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9 hours ago, provenance61 said:

Can anyone compare Canvas to Google classroom? Are they pretty similar?

Google classroom is pretty intuitive.  When I tried to use Canvas I got totally frustrated and gave up.  From the students' perspective they should be pretty similar.  Canvas has a cleaner look.  

Edited by EKS
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Thanks so much for asking this.

Right now my class uses Google Classroom for homework, submissions, etc. but not for the class (which is normally live).   We don't own/have G-Suite (I use the free Google classroom).  

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm using Schoology, which is a free online platform that is similar to Blackboard and Canvas.  In these times when everyone's schedules are upended and some have more responsibilities and some have less, it is a great asynchronous delivery platform.  Not a lot of bells and whistles, but certainly has core functions and is user-friendly.

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I went with Zoom so that I can continue to run LIVE group discussion, and so students can see one another, to try and maintain some social contact and interactions.

As a homeschooler, I don't qualify for the free Zoom option -- Zoom requires a school email for the free account AND unrestricted time. (The normal free account limits you to 40 minutes, but Zoom is lifting that 40 minutes for K-12 educators -- but only if you have a school email address.) So, I'm paying the $14.99/month for the last 2 months of my co-op class. It was pretty simple to set up, with a variety of options. There is a "white board" we can use live, plus I can bring up slides or documents from my desktop as part of the group "share".

Last week was our first outing, and it went pretty smoothly -- I kept it very basic. This week I am going to try to include the "breakout room" feature to have students discuss and work on an aspect of the in-class Writing in small groups. 

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On 3/31/2020 at 8:55 PM, Lori D. said:

I went with Zoom so that I can continue to run LIVE group discussion, and so students can see one another, to try and maintain some social contact and interactions.

As a homeschooler, I don't qualify for the free Zoom option -- Zoom requires a school email for the free account AND unrestricted time. (The normal free account limits you to 40 minutes, but Zoom is lifting that 40 minutes for K-12 educators -- but only if you have a school email address.) So, I'm paying the $14.99/month for the last 2 months of my co-op class. It was pretty simple to set up, with a variety of options. There is a "white board" we can use live, plus I can bring up slides or documents from my desktop as part of the group "share".

Last week was our first outing, and it went pretty smoothly -- I kept it very basic. This week I am going to try to include the "breakout room" feature to have students discuss and work on an aspect of the in-class Writing in small groups. 

I have been tutoring using Zoom and had no time restrictions, all with my personal email. We even played D&D with dd over Zoom this past weekend (she's quarantined for two weeks because she got exposed at her hospital), and we played for about 4 hours. Of course, we didn't use slides or a white board. 

Edited by mom31257
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Zoom isn't the only option for live meetings. I really am liking Google Meet and how it integrates with Google Classroom more since I'm using both for different purposes these days. You really need to have some sort of classroom system. I can't imagine holding class only through Zoom - you need an accompanying class assignments and announcements platform like Classroom or Canvas or what have you. But, again, if your organization doesn't already have G-Suite, it doesn't really make sense to use.

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2 hours ago, mom31257 said:

I have been tutoring using Zoom and had no time restrictions, all with my personal email. We even played D&D with dd over Zoom this past weekend (she's quarantined for two weeks because she got exposed at her hospital), and we play for about 4 hours. Of course, we didn't use slides or a white board. 


I don't mind paying the $14.99/month for 1-2 months -- support of a great tool that is benefiting many people! Plus, it gives me a few additional options to use, if I want to. 😉 

Edited by Lori D.
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The free Zoom account only has a 40 minute time limit if you have more than 3 participants in a meeting.  If there is only 2 of you meeting, there is no time limit on the meeting - even in the free account. 🙂

Edited by Dicentra
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On 4/1/2020 at 5:45 AM, MamaSprout said:

We've been using free Zoom to finish out our co-op class. It's a small group, but more that the 3 for the limit, and it's never timed us out. We only meet once a week.

 

Same here. Yesterday was the first time it timed out for us. I only have three more weeks of class so I think I will just try doing back to back meetings in the free service.  

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On 4/2/2020 at 2:04 PM, Dicentra said:

The free Zoom account only has a 40 minute time limit if you have more than 3 participants in a meeting.  If there is only 2 of you meeting, there is no time limit on the meeting - even in the free account. 🙂

That's why then. I've only had 2-3 on at a time. 

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On 4/2/2020 at 11:04 AM, Dicentra said:

The free Zoom account only has a 40 minute time limit if you have more than 3 participants in a meeting.  If there is only 2 of you meeting, there is no time limit on the meeting - even in the free account. 🙂

 

5 hours ago, mom31257 said:

That's why then. I've only had 2-3 on at a time. 


Yes, I have classes that last an hour, with 10-20 students depending on the class, so free option is not a fit for me.

Edited by Lori D.
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