Google PH pitches free tools for e-learning during lockdown

With the current situation of the pandemic in the country, more schools are adapting to virtual learning. Thanks to availability of online resources and solutions, both educators and students are maximizing their remote learning experience and enjoying uninterrupted discussions online.

Google is making free tools and programs that teachers and learners alike can use to stay connected and productive at home.

Teach from Home information hub

The Google for Education team collaborated with Unesco’s Institute for Information Technologies in Education to develop an all-in-one hub that houses helpful information and tools to help educators during the Covid-19 crisis.

The site equips school teachers and university professors with tips to get started with distance learning. For starters, it provides instructions on setting up video calls for online classes using Hangout Meet and utilizing the live Audience Q&A feature on Google Slides so students can send questions for a more effective online discussion. It also presents options for teaching without video calls through online quizzes on Forms and real-time collaboration and feedback with Docs among others.

Access to free G Suite for Education

Since the beginning of the enhanced community quarantine, many schools have been able to continue their curriculum with the help of G Suite for Education. The service suite offers free productivity tools which are built for learning and teaching, including Hangouts (for video and audio conferencing), Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Google Classroom.

Specific paid features — such as advanced Hangouts Meet for larger meetings — have also been made available for free to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers in the Philippines.

Google is also extending its free access to the premium features until September 30, 2020 so more schools can enjoy the benefits of learning online.

Free webinars for teachers

Google Educator Group (GEG) has prepared a series of free webinars for educators about varying topics — from remote learning strategies and basics of G Suite, to advanced lessons on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) for learning and sustaining social-emotional learning with distance education among others.

Photo from LukeBeyondTheClassroom

The sessions were facilitated by experts from Google Education Group Philippines. These were streamed live last April 2 to 7 and April 17 to 19, but the sessions have been saved and can be accessed anytime. .

Free email domain

While email domains usually cost around $100, Google, together with Q Software Research Corp (QSR), is offering free .ph.education email domains to educational institutions so they can set up their G Suite accounts and continue with their curriculum amid the community quarantine. Interested schools and institutions may reach out to education@qsr.com.ph.

A fun and interactive learning resource

Google Earth Voyager can make geography and history lessons more fun and interactive through its collection of curated map-based stories. It features stories in various media including 360 videos and Street View to allow learning about Earth from various perspectives.

Students can explore and grow their knowledge about the world by taking virtual hikes in national parks, getting an up-close look at the stars, and even enjoying fun quizzes and facts about Earth. They can also create their own map and tell stories about places they have visited with Google Earth’s creation tools.

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