Virtual Communication Tools
Check your email often to keep abreast of information and guidance from the superintendent, the members of the leadership team, your principal, and curriculum leaders. If you are unsure of the district's or your department's expectations, please seek clarification.
Below are some district-wide tools for communication, many of which you are familiar with. BPS District Educational Technology Department members are committed to provide support to you, our colleagues, and to our families and students in these unusual and unprecedented times. Know that we are developing a plan of support, and creating resources to assit the community for continued learning. Check back often, as these pages are a work in progress.
First and foremost, it is our hope that all of our members of our community stay safe and healthy.
Sending Email through Aspen
Google Classroom is used primarily in grades 3-7. Google Classroom can be utilized on an iPad; however, the apps have to be downloaded individually.
We encourage grades K to 2 to utilize this online tool in these extrodinary times.
Every staff member can create a Google Classroom very quickly and easily. Google Classroom is a recommended tool to connect families, students and teachers under school closures as it makes communication efficient. Under normal circumstances, it makes teaching more productive and meaningful by boosting collaboration and fostering communication. Educators can create classes, distribute content, send feedback, and see everything in one place. Classroom seamlessly integrates Google Drive and all of the GSuite Apps including Docs, Slides, Sheets Draw and Calendar.
- Using Google Classroom's Stream feature is the best way to post links to videos, or to provide links to scheduled Google Meets.
- Using Google Classroom's Classwork feature is a good way to share "materials" to your students.
- *NEW Google Resource: Teach From Home: https://teachfromhome.google/intl/en/
- To learn about Google Classroom features check out this Quick Start Guide.
- Kasey Bell's Shake Up Learning (new) Google Classroom Cheat Sheet (for both teachers and students)
Schoology* is a 'learning management system', AKA "online learning platform", recommeneded to teachers at Barnstable High School for use with students in grades 8-12 and is used district wide for professional development for staff. As a benefit to the teachers at BHS, all scheduled classes at BHS are automatically created in Schoology through the connection to Aspen X2. Schoology supports the goals of connections, communication, and materials distribution, very similar to Google Classroom, but offers more robust features that high school students need for their academics, (technology skills) and to prepare for their college careers.
Teachers who select Schoology as the online platform of choice, can seamlessly incorporate Google Drive and its G Suite apps directly into Schoology.
To learn more about Schoology visit Getting Started With Schoology.
*Teachers may voluntarily use either Schoology or Google Classroom.
- Powerschool has purchased Schoology. Your will see their brand on Schoology pages now.
- Covid-19 discussions, if interested, "distance learning" articles and discussions.
- Join the Educators Group: You must be signed into your Schoology account.
- BPS/BHS Schoology site: barnstable.schoology.com
- If you have forgotten your log in credentials: Self Retrieve "Forgot My Password" (Use your @mybps.us email)
Using Clever Teacher Pages (grades K-8) - One way to get information to your students is to create a Teacher Page in Clever. Once your page is created, your students will see your communication when they log into Clever. This is where you can post links to videos, websites, etc.
Google Meet is an easy way for teachers to communicate online for free with video chat, text and presentations. The Enterprise version is available to use until the end of June: we now have available to our staff premium features such as larger meetings (up to 250 participants), live streaming, and recordings features. At this time, there is no recording available (due to technical issues).
BPS Educators can easily start up a live chat with their collegues "on the fly". This feature makes it very easy to collaborate with their colleagues.
We suggest when working with families and students, a GOOGLE MEET be created through the Google Calendar. All information about the Google MEET is created by the calendar, and then can be shared via Google Classroom, or Schoology. Individuals can be invited via email.
NOTE that any documents or important links can be attached to this Google Meet through the calendar feature in order to be most efficient. Also note that anyone with a join code can participate in a Google Meet.
- Google Meet is available on most platforms: Chromebooks, Windows and Apple laptops, iPhones, and Android phones.
- The Educational Technology Department will be hosting Virtual Office Hours with Goolge Meet.
- The district offers both Google Meet and Zoom as a district supported tool; we offer support for both.
- If you are first starting out with live video chat, it is reccommended that you use Google Meet, which is by far, an easier tool to acquire the skills for.
Google Hangouts Meet Help Videos from Eric Curtis
- Google Meet: How to Start a Video Meeting (3 minutes) - YouTube link
- Google Meet: How to Invite People to a Video Meeting (5 minutes) - YouTube link
- Google Meet: How to Join a Video Meeting (4 minutes) - YouTube link
- Google Meet: Basic Use and Features (7 minutes) - YouTube link
- Google Meet: How to Record a Google Meet (7 minutes) - YouTube link
- Google Meet: Grid View Extension (6 minutes) - YouTube link *NEW
- Google Meet: How to Keep Students from Starting or Recording a Meet (5 minutes) - YouTube link
- Google Meet: How to keep Students from Joining or Rejoining a Meet without You (7 minutes) - YouTube link
- Google Meet: Whiteboard Tools for Google Meet (8 minutes) - YouTube link
- Google Meet Integration with Google Classroom (6 minutes) - YouTube link (NOTE BPS has has two domains (@mybps.us, @mybps.me, the students cannot see the Meet icon to click on, instead, BPS teachers who have a link to meet must post it in stream for teachers to see)
- Google Meet: 3 Ways to See Your Students when Presenting your Screen (7 minutes) - YouTube link
- Google Meet: How to Give Remote Control in Google Meet with One Click (11 minutes) - YouTube link
- Google Meet: How to Annotate PDF's Together in Google Meet with Kami (5 minutes) - YouTube link
Ditch That Textbook: Excellent Graphics for Teachers and Students: https://ditchthattextbook.com/google-meet-elearning/
Here is a Google Doc for Google Meet Etiquette that is already translated in Portuguese and Spanish that provides very easy rules for students.
Flipped Classroom: A Google Doc that teachers hand signals for students instead of chat or just calling out.
Zoom has fast become a very popular tool for the K -12 Educational community. Many teachers across Barnstable have a free account and recently the district has applied for an upgraded version that offers many other tools to our educators during the Covid-19 situation until the end of June. You can apply for an account, and Zoom will recognize our @mybps.us domain.
ATTENTION: It is imperative that you review this document from Zoom: Best Practices For Securing Your Virtual Classroom. Zoom has made several changes to its "default" settings for the K-12 environment. If you take the time to set up the proper security features, you will find that Zoom is a very useful tool once you gain the skills of its full features.
- Update: Starting March 31, the "Waiting Room" feature will be automatically turned on by default. Sharing privileges have been set to "HOST ONLY" .
- Be sure to know how to "Lock Down Chat" in order to prevent students privately messaging other students. Know how to "lock down a meeting" once all the participants have entered the room, and finally, know how to "remove a participant", if someone unknown to you does happen to join a meeting.
- Video: How to Manage your waiting room.
- You can find many resources posted by Zoom to learn more about Zoom while the district continues to build its own resources. Zoom is NEW to us, so please be patient while we hone our technology skills.
- Chromebook users will need the Zoom App.
Earlier Posts this week:
Recently, Zoom and its users had some difficulty with "Zoom-bombing", where hackers entered Zoom meetings un-invited. We are recommending proper settings found here as a summary, and the full article can be read below. Please be sure that you take a few minutes to review the settings on your Zoom account as the district cannot complete this for you. Each individual account must be reviewed for its own personal settings.
- Tips to deter Zoom Bombers:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o16M200ruwHCA3iBqg72yKo3vjxXCblmNGZeV38smUs/edit
- How to Keep the Party Crashers from Crashing Your Zoom Eventhttps://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/20/keep-the-party-crashers-from-crashing-your-zoom-event/
Compare Meet and Zoom
In comparing both Google Meet, and Zoom, both can provide connections and communications for online sychronous, live events, but Zoom has more tools, "bells and whistles", and will need additional skills and practice to fully utilize its features. We recommend in either case, when working with students in Google Meet or Zoom, NOT to record students at this time.
When in doubt, start with the easier tool, Google Meet. Our first recommendation is to practice with any tool before using it with your students. We will be holding some virtual meetings to be sure that your technology works, you are comfortable as a participant, and then, you and your colleagues can practice hosting each other.
EdTechTeacher has created a comparison chart for both Google Meet and and Zoom.
No matter what tool you choose to use with your staff, colleagues or students, it is best to follow our recoomended guidelines that we have put together from various resources.
- Establish a quiet place in the home, if possible.
- Background: Be sure the background is appropriate, professional, and lacking distracting objects, etc.
- Have appropriate attire, at least what will be viewed! (Pajama pants are appropriate below, as long as they cannot be seen!)
- Speak clearly and slowly.
- Keep good eye contact and do not become distracted with other tabs.
We are developing guidelines for your students. We recommend that you practice first (download instructions, and similar instructions as above for your students).
It is helpful to have students American Sign Language hand signals, as not to distrupt and call out over you while others are speaking.