Virtual Learning @ RPCC

My name is Liz Bishop and I am a Head of Year at Regents Park Community College. I have worked at Regents Park for 11 years and absolutely love my job. I am a drama and more recently, Photography teacher. I am proud of the school’s innovative way of working and enjoy looking for new challenges within education.

Three years ago I was asked by the Headteacher to look at the way homework was set and to question whether we still wanted to keep up the tradition of school planners. I really enjoyed speaking to different schools and looking on the internet at what other settings use to set homework. Although I do miss the amazing PR marketing sent by the Planner Company (a loaf of bread was my best present- this meant staff got bacon butties for break one year), I wanted to look at engagement from students and what they could actually access. Gone are the days where students have big bags to carry all their books after all.

Fast forward three years and we have now fully embedded Google Classroom. We have started to branch out and use other platforms which work together with Google to ensure students are achieving their potential.

During lockdown we have continued to use Google as a platform for virtual learning, we have branched out and started to use new platforms as well (Mymaths, Tassomai) and we have been successful in creating a platform for all students to access their work and have opportunities to talk to their teachers individually if they need to.

We have over 700 students actively engaging with Google Classroom with only a small handful in each year choosing to complete their work via work packs.

I continue to send out CPD support for staff and parents and have been working alongside the lovely Mr Selfe who is looking at new ways of using Google Classroom throughout lockdown.

As a school we have started to set up year group classes, my Year 7s have a class where I can give out notices, shout outs, send them questionnaires, ‘get to know you’ quizzes and complete assemblies. The whole tutor team are on this class as well so that students can speak to their tutor if they need. We have recently been using this area to gain information from the students linked to our Cultural Capital research, more information on this coming soon…

Recently, I have created a transition classroom for our new Year 7’s- we have added their transition pack and the new Head of Year, Mr Sinclair is in the class to start to welcome his new year group into the Regents Park Team.

I aim to keep RPCC teachers and the wider education community inspired and up-to-date with all the latest Google Classroom news and changes as I learn them – please get in touch if you would like to contribute/comment.

So…Did you know?

On Monday 22nd June, Mr Selfe and I took part in the Google air summit. This was a virtual showcase of schools’ work with Google and Google Classroom platforms throughout the pandemic.

The RT Hon Nick Gibb, MP  gave his sincere thanks to schools for the support that they have given throughout these challenging times.  He spoke about how quickly schools adapted to the new challenges to support remote education on digital platforms.  He reminds us that platforms provide a sense of normality for students, maintaining connections between staff members, students and parents (via Google guardian).

Did you know?

“Over 12 million lessons have been viewed by students on Google Classroom”.

Kirri Gooch, the National Accounts Manager for Google ran the event from her infamous home office space that so many of us Google supporters have seen over the lockdown period whilst getting further CPD.

Did you know?

The  feedback from students indicates that they really appreciate the teachers’ own fingerprints on work – for example not a worksheet taken from the internet but planned by their teachers or with students’ names on or phrases that only the students would know eg. I call my students ‘legends’ all the time, this is something to think about as we move forward.

Did you know?

Google offer GoogleMeet to support with synchronous learning throughout the pandemic. It offers the opportunity to have live lessons with all students you need watching.

Alongside GoogleMeet is GoogleSlides – you can use closed captions and you can open up a Q&A section for students. There is also an ‘Explore’ option (bottom right), this is a handy tool which can help you make your slides look more professional and gives automated themes, streamlining your time.

 Did you know?

There are a variety of ways to record your screen whilst you are presenting to your class, three options are:

  • GoogleMeet https://meet.google.com/ Set up a meet for yourself and record whilst you present.
  • Screencastify  https://www.screencastify.com/ Record whatever is on your screen along with your voice.
  • Jamboard: A digital whiteboard to draw write and paste onto. What is especially good about Jamboard is the option to point at things on your screen, this is something I really miss when sharing my screen with colleagues.

Did you know?

There are these CPD opportunities:

Did you know?

RPCC will be looking at third party platforms such as Classroom Toolbox and Little SIS for Classroom, we will let you know how we get on – watch this space!

Did you know?

All staff have individual access to their own classrooms, alongside monitor and the Curriculum Leaders. Curriculum leaders and Heads of Year have admin access and they can look at reports, change information and reset passwords (a thankless job!). ELT and RPCC Google gurus have access to the monitoring account alongside the admin rights.

 

 

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