Teacher Tools for COVID-19 Closure

These videos have been re-organized into a 5-day virtual training site found here:

The brief video mini PD videos were made to introduce teachers to everything they need to get started with some of the best free tools for school closure. They are different from other videos in that they are all super short. If you have any questions, you can reach out to Chris Chiang, email: chiangwork AT gmail.com
All videos are short, fast to watch one or divide among a group.
Video playback can be slowed in YouTube.

Not covered here are content specific blended learning tools like
Khan (Khan Kids) IXL, MangaMath (free during closure) or Tynker Coding (free during closure). Full list of subscription-based content made free for closed schools. List of Amazing Kids YouTube Chs (nicely paired with EdPuzzle)! Common Sense Media's OpenWorldSchool provided outstanding curated daily e-learning content and schedules.

What to do in an elementary school?

Beyond blended tools you may already be using in your classroom (Lexia, etc), my recommendation is focusing on tools to allow you to hold virtual gatherings like: Google Meet or Zoom.us. It runs without constant parent support, Google Meet or Zoom.us can even phone dial students to join by phone, no computer needed. If you need a non-live tool, FlipGrid is well suited and for students without email accounts, you can register students by a FlipGrid student ID (like their telephone #). Need a LMS designed for elem. school, consider SeeSaw. Link to SeeSaw closure enrollment steps for younger children, no email accounts required. Sharing on Youtube is also an option.

Tips on the Digital Gap
For students with Internet challenges, we teachers don't utilize audio enough: phone-in to Meets+Zooms, delivering lesson instructions/feedback via audio recordings, playing audio of existing videos+podcast, and having students create their own podcasts with no-wifi tools (like standard phone rec apps). Audio projects maximize creativity all without requiring expensive resources, and no one's home is on background display (sample student podcast project).

Video Conferencing/Virtual Classes, you have two built-in free Google tools:
1) Zoom.us: Give Live Lectures with Chat/Breakout Room/Whiteboard/Recording Options. I recommend Zoom over Google Meet given Zoom's better classroom management controls.
2) Google Meet Hangout: Give Live Lectures with Chat Options/Schedule Meetings via Calendar (Google's remote learning resources).


Pro Tip: Teach kids the space bar is a shortcut to mute/unmute.

Fast PD on Zoom

Mini PD on Zoom.us & Google Meet Video Conference (4min): Experience out of school closure in Asia is Zoom.us is better than Google Meet if you have the freedom to choose since it has better classroom management controls. Something fun, try Zoom virtual backgrounds. If you want to share your iPad/iPhone (like to virtually draw, here's how to AirPlay in Zoom. Definitely most useful are Zoom breakout rooms!

Videos below created by Zoom.

Safety Tips (More Info on Safety):
1) To prevent unwanted guests in your meeting rooms, do NOT share your room code or link on the public Internet.

2) If using Zoom, strongly suggests setting a Zoom meeting room password.

3) Do not video conference with just one student, unless a parent is in the room with them.

4) Seek family consent before recording meetings. Consider asking students to turn off their cameras if seeing their homes create issues of equity or safety. Remember kids can also phone in to live meetings or watch meeting recordings later.

Fast PD on Google Meet

Mini PD on Meet Live Virtual Meetings (4min) and Student-Facing Orientation Video on Accessing Meet on Their Phone/iPad (1min)

3 Google Tips:
1) Google Meet doesn't have breakout rooms like Zoom but this is a clever workaround for students or teachers (creating multiple Meets via Google Calendar, published in Google Docs). See the video to the right.

2) You can open multiple meets with the same account in different tabs. Optionally: Meet record each group so you don't miss anything. See the same video to the right on how to record.

3) 4 (Zoom-like) Chrome extensions (note: only works for the person that installs it):
Allows you to see more than 4 default faces, video below shows how this works.
(Tip: while this only shows on the screen with the extension, you can present your screen so that everyone can see the multiple panels).
ii) 2nd extension allows viewers to raise their hands virtually.
iii) 3rd extension sets everyone to mute requiring students to press to unmute.
iv) 4th extension creates video filters including green screen (Snap is an alternative).

4) Having two computers (or a computer and a phone/tablet) is helpful, one to share slides/virtual whiteboard, and another observing (phone/tablet or 2nd laptop) to pay attention to the chatbox (***or use 2nd user/phone/tablet as a doc camera, a locker divider as a stand***). I also always wear earphones tied to the non-presenting observing phone/tablet/2nd computer, so I can hear what the kids hear, especially if I am playing videos. Also helpful if the main computer crashes. Meet+Zoom let you login with the same account to multiple places (or even multiple Meets on the same computer in different tabs) all at once.

5) If you do have a document camera, know that Meet will auto correct inverse for you, so you may not see text displayed correctly, but your kids will see it correct on their end. Odd quirk.

6) Meet does not have green screen or mirror phone/tablet (like Zoom), but if you have a Mac, you can go into Present mode in Meet, then launch Quicktime Movie recording to Airplay your phone or Photobooth Effects to add a green screen.

Google Meet Tip Sheet for Students & Google Doc Hyper Docs

If you adopt Google Classroom or are learning a lot about Google Tools during school closure, I encourage you to take the online Google Teacher Certification test to get acknowledgement of your skills!

What is a hyperdocs: putting interactive links in Google Docs or Slides..
Elementary School Teacher Nadine Gilkinson (above) makes exemplary use of hyperdocs. To learn how to make a Hyperdoc/Google Doc (link here).

My own hyperdoc
template here (link here).

Very useful tool to strip backgrounds (transparent PNGs) to create usable props:

Not allowed to do live video conferencing or not all kids have computers? YouTube may be an option since it's accessible on TVs & game consoles. Especially for kids with no user accounts, like younger students watching non-live read alouds.

Four Great Free Non-Google Tools

1) EdPuzzle: Trim/Send Youtube Videos and Your Own Videos with Embedded Self-Grading Questions You Created
2) KamiPDF: Tool to Allow Students to Add Text/Annotate Any PDF/doc/image (Turn Anything into a Handout)
3) Screencastify: To do your own screen recordings to share with students. Got Apple? Use Quicktime or your iPhone!
4) FlipGrid: Deliver Non-Live Video Lectures/Receive Non-Live Video Discussions from Students

iPhone/iPads Tricks (Unsung Super Tool: Apple Clips! esp. Auto Captioning). Need to shrink the video file size, see this free tool.

DoInk: If teachers/students have iPhones/iPads, I'd send them home with a green table cloth!

Google Classroom First Time Users or Needing a Refresher (4min)

Fast PD on SeeSaw

SeeSaw Elem. LMS (4min) Link to SeeSaw Closure Enrollment Steps Note: MS/HS Google Classroom is great, Elem? SeeSaw was made for you!

Tip for Grade Level or School-Wide Use of Google Classroom: Create a class for each grade level and one for the entire school to serve as virtual townhalls (and place to pass and receive forms).

Tip Sheet on SeeSaw

ClassKick is an upcoming "virtual worksheet/student white board" tool that gives the teacher live views.

Video above created by UMass EDUC 592A

How to stay current with best remote teaching practices?

1) The educator I follow most to learn more about remote teaching is Jennifer Gonzales (Cult of Pedagogy), here's one of her best articles on 9 Ways of Remote Teaching.

Best 1 Stop Zoom Article
Best 1 Stop Remote Ice Breakers/Community Builders

2) Following your subject area specific Facebook Groups, by searching your-subject and remote or distance.

Who created this site?

Chris Chiang has taught students from kinder to high school over the past 16 years and currently teaches middle school . He has over a decade of experience as a national Google Apps school trainer as a member of one of the first Google Certified Teacher cohorts in 2007. Learn from the 19,000+ teachers who've been innovating through school closure the last three months around the world at: Facebook's Educator Temporary School Closure for Online Learning Community (link). If you plan to make a lot of tutorial videos for students, you deserve a pro-tool, TechSmith Camtasia is what I use. My most valuable home purchase for remote teaching is a green cloth from the fabric store for green screen work.

What will I do in my own middle school history classroom in case of a closure?

My 7th Gr. History Virtual Class Daily Schedule:
1) Watch brief video I record to orientate their day (I use DoInk Green Screen + Post to Google Classroom)
2) Read & annotate PDF (Google Classroom) + Take Reading quiz (Quiz Forms in Google Classroom) OR watch the 2nd video (lesson video) on EdPuzzle (that lets me embed questions in Youtube or personal videos and track which students haven't watched).
3) Live class 9:00 on Google Meet or watch the archive rec for today (Meet Rec > Upload to Google Classroom).
4) Students film their closing reflections on Flipgrid.

Week by Week Structure:
1) 2 Weeks of Research
(Virtual Meeting Direct Instruction & Discussion)
2) Unit Project Independent Work Week
(Virtual Meeting for Project Feedback via Google Meet via independent work time live on the air on Google Meet (no lecture)
3) Virtual Exhibition on FlipGrid
PBL Tip: Students upload their final unit project to FlipGrid for real community virtual feedback. Inviting outside experts is easy to do on FlipGrid.

My Google Meet Live Routine (30min session)
1) Pre-Meeting:
I login a 2nd computer/phone (on mute) to plug in my earphone to listen & read the chat window. I turn off speaker volume on the primary computer (you can login to multi-device w. same account).
2) 2min:
I give students a 2min notice that the class will start, so they can get talk in before muting, & I do 1-1 checkins. I click the record button so students can view the shared class video folder if they missed class.
3) 3min:
I tell class to mute, and to post their name in the chat box (upon entry and departure). I later copy & save the chat log so that I can track participation & attendance. I try to say everyone's name as they enter and answer any initial chat questions.
4) 20min:
I move over to share screen mode to show my slide deck. I encourage text chat to continue, and facilitate discussions for unmute/mute & chat responses. Any videos/music from my slides, I turn up presenting computer volume. I paste lesson links+text to the chat log.
5) 3min:
I take any last questions and review independent work.
6) 2min:
As they get last socializing in, before exiting, I turn off meeting recording and copy & save the chat log. I tally chat for participation.

Meet Tip: If kids mute each other/annotate inappropriately, it shows up on the bottom left briefly, I address that specific student ASAP, and I do ask some students to take a break to rejoin chats when ready for class.

Notes: If I am having them watch a video on YouTube, I’ll place those on EdPuzzle, where I trim and add questions to them. I place my own self-made lesson videos for students as unlisted on Youtube, so I can take advantage of embedding EdPuzzle questions in the content I create too. If I am having them mark up a reading or handout, I’ll have them use Kami or if iPads, Google Classroom's built in annotator. Follow up virtual HW discussion is hosted asynchronous (non-live) on FlipGrid. I teach a project based course, so their final projects will be exhibited also on FlipGrid, where I'll invite judges to give virtual feedback.