As schools continue to move to cloud-based learning platforms, recommendations on what to kick off first (and what not to do at all!) can help make this transition so much smoother for everyone. Share your top tips here to celebrate what you’ve learned and help thousands of school leaders across the country.

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Upskill your staff with online training videos, decide on how many tasks to set pupils each day, and adapt as you go

Added 17 April 2020

If you don’t have time to watch Paul’s video below (although it’s really worth a watch!), here are his top tips:

  1. Show your staff online training videos so they can build confidence with Google Classroom (there are plenty available online)
  2. Set expectations on how much you want your teachers to post each day (e.g. 1 video, 3 activities, and respond to at least 1 piece of work), to make sure it isn’t flooded with content
  3. Have an SLT member monitor all of the content your staff upload to make sure the quality is consistent (especially when your school’s getting used to the platform)
  4. Make sure there’s a mix of prompt-based and device-based activities to complete, so pupils don’t rely on a device all day
  5. Make a call on what kinds of comments you’ll allow (e.g. pupils can only comment on their own assignments, to avoid Classroom becoming a social media feed)
  6. Make an acceptable use policy for Classroom and share it with parents. Remind them that Classroom should only be used for completing work, and make sure they’re aware of e-safety and digital citizenship
  7. You won’t get it right all the time, so make sure to adapt as you go!

Shared by Paul Beeton, assistant headteacher and Key Stage 2 leader, Hanover Primary School

Great idea

Nominate ‘Google Champions’ to encourage and support all your staff to get set up

Added 24 April 2020

Set up some ‘Google Champions’ among the younger members of staff. Not only will they enthuse among their peers and act as a support resource, they’ll actively encourage the more nervous members of staff.

Shared by Andy Shepheard, data manager at St Ambrose Barlow Roman Catholic High School

Great idea

Create Google Chat rooms for staff to collaborate and share ideas

Added 26 April 2020

If you’re using G Suite for Education, ask your administrator to turn on the chat function for staff (see instructions). Create specific rooms such as Staff room, Top-Tips, Wellbeing, Pedagogy. This will provide a secure platform for staff to share ideas and enable them to answer each others' questions quickly.

Shared by Deesh Grewal, computing, The Richmond upon Thames School

Great idea

Register attendance by asking pupils to say ‘Hi’ on joining a Meet, and organise weekly reviews for staff to share learnings

Added 25 April 2020

When teaching live lessons using Google Meets, even assemblies of 200 students, we always record and ask students to say 'hello, hi, good morning' in the chat. It gives us a register of who attended. 

Create a Google Meet at the end of the week for staff to share what has worked well and any pitfalls.

Shared by Martyn Cox, headteacher, Scott Medical and Healthcare College

Twitter: @scottcollegeply

Great idea

Practise with a colleague, decide on microphone and camera rules and tag-team with other teachers to answer questions quickly in the chat function

Added 24 April 2020

1. Practise using Google Meets with a colleague first - get used to sharing your screen
2. Download the ‘Google Meet Grid View’ from the Chrome Store so you can see everyone in your class
3. As a teacher make sure you’re the last to leave the meeting as pupils can hang around and turn it into a social contact
4. Use the first 5 minutes to help pupils with the emotional and social side of being in "lockdown". It also allows stragglers to arrive
5. Decide on your rules for having a pupil's microphone and camera on/off - make sure they know how to mute/unmute themselves.
6. For big groups I recommend turning the microphone and camera off as this helps to make the Meet more stable - i.e. better quality sound/video and less glitchy.

I had a Google Meet with 60 pupils/parents and asked them to turn off their microphone and camera. When they had a question, they typed it into the chat area. Two other teachers were also online answering questions directly in the chat and this worked really well.

Shared by Mike Henderson, head of seniors, Campion School

Great idea
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