Being nearly 6 months pregnant, I’ve been forced to self-isolate since last Tuesday (17th March) Although it’s meant I’ve spent about 10-12 hours a day at the computer, it’s paid off as I’ve had a chance to try out all the Remote Teaching advice my school had already gathered together. I’d love to help you out if I can. Here’s the most important stuff I’ve found:
REMOTE TEACHING PLATFORMS/HELPERS
– we’ve got a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) which we use to set homework and promote individual learning. If you’ve got one, it should be your first port of call. Ours is Firefly and all the kids know how it works, so we are setting classes as usual for the day as Tasks using that. They all have to be up online by 9am so that kids can download/see what they need to do and not hog the computers in households where there may be more than one student and also parents working from home. It’s also has a smartphone app that students can use to see their work, which is a bonus (they just need their school code). Pupils have been asked to take a pic of their class work for the day and upload it to the Firefly task, or scan their work using the Office Lens app (see below) and upload written work as a PDF. If they have typed, this file can also be Uploaded. The bonus here is that teachers then can download all the work at once into a Zip drive (which DOES work on Mac), with each file already individually named for the student (bliss!)
– Our school has Microsoft Office365 which is suddenly proving invaluable. In addition to Outlook for email, the pupils have been taught how to use OneDrive and some of the teachers know how to use it, so some will be sharing work there, or doing collaborative work with students. We have also set up Microsoft Teams shich is included in Office 365, so that we have one Team for each class, as a place they can ask questions during regular lesson time, and chat, and get a bit of normality. It’s also a good place to put a link to the Firefly task for that day as a reminder, as they get an email too. If you have Office 365, I’d really recommend getting to grips with Teams. I knew *nothing* about it four days ago and now it’s my best friend. (I did have to ask our IT bods to set up the Teams as they’re the admins, but once that’s done it’s easy!)
– For teaching smaller 6th form classes, Google Meet has been my platform of choice. (Btw, if you have Office 365 that allows you to log-in to you VLE with the same email address, then it’s probably all integrated, which means you might be able to log into Google Gmail with your school email address and password – again, I didn’t know this til last week – and get the kids also to use their school email, which prevents GDPR/safeguarding issues about them using their own emails) Google Meet is an app on phone or just a window in your regular browser. You start a meeting once logged in and then can send the link to students (again, preferably using a Gmail-linked school email so not a GDPR/safeguarding nightmare) to join. One in the meeting, they can use chat or video or just voice to communicate. There’s also some (slightly ropey) automatic captions! And, best thing, is you can open a PowerPoint or word file or whatever and then share it with them (‘Present screen/window’) so they can see it. I have taught five 6th form Ancient History lessons like this already and it’s been great!
– This is the list of apps I’ve sent to my form group/teaching groups for them to download to help with remote learning and lessons:
Apps to Download for your phone/computer/laptop
– Firefly app for phone- which I’m sure you have already (don’t need an app for computer, just an internet browser)
– Google Meet app for phone- for virtual lessons, if your teacher is using these, and for Form time: we will have Form time every so often, just not every day. (Don’t need an app for computer, just an internet browser)
– Google Teams app for phone / desktop app – for contacting teachers, help with work. You can access your Teams on the computer by opening Firefly and using the link to Office 365 on the top of the Dashboard page, then selecting Teams (email)
– Office Lens app for phone – for scanning your prep to send to teachers if is not a typed document)
– Outlook app for phone – for getting your school email – v useful for getting updates and Google teams and Google Meet links. You can access your email on the computer by opening Firefly and using the link to Office 365 on the top of the Dashboard page, then selecting Outlook (email)
– OneDrive – for saving files/sharing with teachers. You can get the app for your phone or you can access your OneDrive on the computer by opening Firefly and using the link to Office 365 on the top of the Dashboard page, then selecting OneDrive (email)
MAKING TEACHING CONTENT USEFUL FOR REMOTE LEARNING
– In terms of what/how I’m actually teaching, my 5th form/Year 11 GCSE Classical Civilisation (OCR) class only had one section of Homeric World left to do, Tombs and Burial, and a bit more on the Prescribed Sources. I learned last week how to record a voiceover into each PowerPoint slide to put on the VLE, so they could download it and work through the note packs I’d already thought to give them, with my virtual help. For my 4th year GCSE set I’ve done the same – they’re doing Myth and Religion, Journeying to the Underworld, so I’ve also recorded myself giving notes on the PowerPoint, reading Odyssey 11 and bits of Aeneid 6 (for fun) as a bit fo extra reading about the Underworld, and scanned those pages from my texts for them to read, if preferred, using Office Lens, as well as the Homeric Hymn and Ovid Prescribed Sources (I’ve recorded me reading with annotation advice) for them to work through – I annotated one page and scanned it in as an example of how they should also work. Those classes are a bit big to have a Google Meet with, but I’ll be online on Teams in their lesson time in case they have any questions.
My 5ths haven’t done the Homeric World Mock yet, so will be sending that to their parents to get them to do in exam conditions over Easter/after Easter, and send back for marking. This will go as evidence towards their final subject grade, as per the government guidelines, and helpfully Will adds a feeling of importance to this last bit of the course.
– Lower school Latin and Classics I’ll probably do the same kind of lessons for, but with different tasks, with quizzes and creative tasks for a bit of a different activity. Thankfully, the Cambridge School Classics Project that does the Cambridge Latin Course that the Year 7s and 8s for Latin, has all the translations with helpers and Vocab online – brilliant! – and our 3rd Year Classics Course is currently covering War With Troy, using the Classic Tales resources also by CSCP. You could also use their Primary Ancient Greeks site for more resources and ideas aimed at younger pupils.
– If you haven’t tried out Quizlet, I highly recommend that. I have a ton of premade ones for GCSE Classics and lower school Latin, for self-testing and revision. They currently have a free premium account for teachers so you can add pictures and diagrams to your quizzes. My account is https://quizlet.com/lejenkinson and anyone can use all of them or even copy them over and edit them and save them as their own 👌
– Socrative is another really good quiz app that I’m yet to really utilise but which my colleague Sasha is really good at and swears by for Latin.
– GCSE Classical Civilisation Resources: I have a ton of these on another page of my site, covering the whole course for Myth and Religion and Homeric World, including some resources I’ve made for Remote Learning. You can find them here.
If you need more, we’ve got Greek Myth Comix resources at 50% off, some of them about 60p , such as Odyssey Book 1 (and other books) Comix, Odysseus and Gladiators paper dolls, the Olympians Colouring Book and The Trojan War Playset, all for download and print. And, a TON of FREE Myth comics at GreekMythComix.com
Please let me know if this info is useful and if you’d like to know more about anything else. I’ll update when I have more to add.
Useful tips TO Share:
Use Office Lens to turn written work into a PDF:
1. Choose ‘document’
2. Take a picture to ‘scan’ the page
3. Add the B/W1 filter by tapping ‘filters’, selecting, then < to go back to the document
4. If there’s another page, press ‘Add New’ in the bottom left-hand corner to do the same and add another page, etc. (Please don’t upload each page as a separate PDF!)
5. Finally, choose ‘Done’, then on the ‘Export to’ page choose ‘PDF’, save to phone or OneDrive, then upload it to teacher!