This year, teachers have gone the distance
This year, students have learned from everywhere. And even without the comforts and structure of their classrooms, educators have—like always—risen to the occasion to ensure that students keep learning, no matter where they are.
As teachers adjusted to distance learning, so did our products. 50 new updates across Meet, Classroom and G Suite make it easy and safe for teachers to engage with students, and Teach from Anywhere is one place teachers can go to find all of our resources for distance learning.
While these tools are built to support teaching and learning, the teachers who use them make the real magic happen. On this World Teachers' Day, we’re sharing stories of how they do it, using Google products along the way.
Minchul Shin, South Korea, Elementary School Teacher
Minchul and the Hakgyogaja team collaborate through Google Meet
When school reopenings were postponed in Korea, Minchul, an elementary school teacher, united 100 teachers from across the country and used Google Sites to create an e-learning content hub called Hakgyogaja (“Let’s go to school”). Within two months, their site achieved over 20 million views and was serving 100,000 daily users. The Hakgyogaja team is still running live broadcasts at 11:00 AM every morning, with hundreds of students tuning in each day.
It was challenging to work with such a large team, but with a shared Google Drive and regular meetings over Google Meet , Minchul and his team were able to stay organized. As the Hakgyogaja team continues to deliver new materials and lessons to students and teachers, Minchul says, “teachers' passion and sincere heart for students were a great driving force to make a better site for students. We will find a way. We always have.”
Jennifer Scott, California, Junior High School Teacher
Prior to COVID-19, Jennifer and her student yearbook team regularly traveled to train teachers to create their own Slides Yearbooks
Yearbooks are treasured mementos for students and teachers, but many aren’t affordable. Jennifer Scott wanted to fix that, so in 2014, she and her students created and printed their own. Since then, Jennifer and her student yearbook team have created Compton Junior High School’s annual yearbooks in Google Slides, printing them on their own for just $10, a fraction of traditional costs. This year they offered digital yearbooks for free to every student, complete with students’ photos from home collected through Google Forms.
In addition to creating more affordable yearbooks, Jennifer is proud of how her initiative has helped her students gain confidence. In developing their own yearbooks, students have learned valuable skills in graphic design and collaboration that will prepare them for future jobs, and they have even helped Jennifer train thousands of teachers around the world to create their own Slides Yearbooks.
Cynthia Evers & Roberto Barles, Argentina, Middle School Teacher and Techno-pedagogical School Coordinator
Cynthia and Roberto helped students livestream on air with Google Meet
When Argentinian schools closed in March, the Armonía School temporarily paused their beloved community radio show, “On Air Values.” But when the school closure period was extended, Cynthia Evers and Roberto Barles, teacher sponsors for the program, decided they needed to find a way for the show to go on.
Cynthia and Roberto helped students set up broadcasts from home with Google Meet’s livestream feature, and they were able to quickly bring their radio show back on air—without the physical production room and special equipment they used before. With Google Meet, “On Air Values” is now reaching more families than ever before—not only in Campana City but across Argentina. The team is also running special programming on topics that feel especially relevant during the pandemic, like resilience and well-being.
Jan Nyberg, Vantaa, Finland, High School Music Teacher
In addition to his work in the classroom, Jan is a passionate musician himself; one of his songs, Nuoriso (‘Youth’), has even climbed the ranks to top 50 viral songs for Spotify Finland.
When Finland schools went virtual for COVID-19, Jan Nyberg, a music teacher at Ylästö school, had to figure out how to keep teaching music to students without musical instruments at home. Jan created a Google Site to post creative, remote-friendly assignments to keep his students engaged and learning.
For one assignment, students called their grandparents to learn about intergenerational experiences with music, and shared their findings with the rest of the class. This was a welcome call for many of the elderly who were isolated during lockdown. What was once a site for his own class has since evolved into a resource for schools across the country; other Finnish music teachers are also using Jan’s site to find inspiration.
Hearing stories like these every day is easily the best part of my job. While each story is unique, all of them embody an important truth: while technology can be a powerful tool in education, no technology can ever replace a great teacher. Thank you to every educator who brings their creativity and passion to their students every day. Today—and every day—we are thankful for what you do.