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Remote Teaching Support

The world has shifted dramatically over the past weeks with Covid-19 sending the country into rahui, causing routines to be disrupted and an uncertainty of when they will return to normal.

The way we approach teaching and the routines for Kaiako and ākonga' has also been affected with a shift towards remote teaching. But if we remember that all the resources needed are available, it is just a matter of knowing where to look and how to set them up for remote teaching.

We wanted to ensure both Schools and Educators that there are solutions to supporting them in creating a solid foundation to remote teaching and on-line learning, as well as ways to keep students engaged with activities, so as when they return to school there is little gap as possible for teachers to catch up on.

We have written some guidelines, shared some apps and pulled together resources to support you with any needed remote teaching needs that you may require.

Best remote teaching practice

Educators tend to be people to give and give some more. During this time be patient and take care of yourself first while sorting out a remote teaching practice for yourself, your class and school.

Start simple - remote teaching and learning will be a new experience for many teachers and students alike. Keep the first week simple and focused on a few topics to help yourself get used to the technology and students used to learning from home. Focus on pedagogy - there are a lot of resources for educators to use and teach their lessons. Select 1-2 main platforms for sharing information and communication. Then be selective about what other apps are used to keep students up-to-date. Use as many apps as needed to educate, like Flipgrid, Minecraft, other website and resources, but use 1-2 platforms to communicate with students what you are teaching.

Be understanding of yourself - this is a first for all schools in Aotearoa to turn to remote learning. And as always, firsts have mistakes and errors. It won't be done perfect first time, so use them as opportunities to keep learning how to improve the process and way educators communicate with students. Online Teaching in the Time of Coronavirus by EDTech Emma

Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Mārama from the Ministry of Education

Communication apps

There are many communication apps available for remote teaching. When selecting the best one for you and your school/class think about ākonga needs, age group, ease of use and what they will likely best respond to using.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams uses 365 to help teachers communicate both with each other and their students. There are video chat and meeting features and it allows for a collaboration of work in One Drive, plus access to multiple apps.

To receive support for setting up Microsoft Teams contact GCSN Committee Member Arnika at impactED.

Google Hangouts Many kura in New Zealand use GSuite to communicate and share information with their students. Google Chat has a feature called 'rooms' where groups can come together to chat and learn. Access to other Google Apps is also possible while using Google Hangouts, keeping everything in one place. Google has release advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities for free through to July 1, 2020 to all G Suite customers globally.


Zoom is a video calling platform mostly used for meetings in the past, but now with teaching it is being used as a remote classroom. Lucy Gray has written a fantastic Zoom setup guide for schools.


Video call platform similar to zoom. Webex lets you easily connect to One Drive or Google Drive.

Social networks

For the older students who have accounts on Social networks like Facebook, setting up class groups and sharing activities, chats and videos relating to the subject can engage learning and keep a more current conversation taking place.

Flip grid

Flip grid lets you create and share your lesson with students who then respond with a video of the work they have done or are doing

Resources for Teaching

There are many resources available to educators to help with remote teaching and learning. Here are some of the best resources available for remote teaching right now.

Google has released a Teach from Home webpage that if full of how their apps can be used as teaching resources. There is also a page Learn @ Home to support teachers and parents with students education at home.

Online support and resources during a lock down this is a developing document created by Niki Davis, currently being added to by Cheryl Brown, Olatz López Fernández, Arnika Macphail, and Derek Wenmouth

14 Ideas on Remote Learning by Jennifer Serravallo and Friends – this is a great checklist/action article that gives advice on what to do and what’s needed to help remote teaching setup easy.

Closed for COVID19?! – is a collection on apps and technology that are being offered for free or heavily discounted during lock down in support of teachers and students.

Educator Temporary School Closure for Online Learning - A Facebook group to support teachers with remote teaching. Search #remotelearning on any social network to find out what is being posted on the social networks.

Ākonga and whānau

At home learning can be different and sometimes challenging to implement until things are settled. Here are some resources that can be shared with your ākonga and their whānau to help.

Learning at home: start with relationships - Core Education are releasing a series of articles to support Ākonga and whānau during this time of change. Going the Distance: supporting student learning at home – a selection of apps for students to use at home. Helping children and young people while they are learning at home - Great article that gives guidance on daily structure and how to cope with distance learning and isolation.

Acknowledging student effort.

Help keep students motivated by acknowledging their work while studying from home.

Digital Badges A great way to motivate your remote learners is with Digital Badges for doing activities.

Printable Sheets Canva is a great tool for creating printable reward sheets or certificates. This would give students something tangible to see and hold, especially younger students who like to carry their rewards around with them.

Students without internet access

Not all students will have access to the same amount of technology to help them with the studies. If you find that students do have limited or no access to the internet, then there are a few options that can be taken to support them.

GCSN has implemented ConnectED Aranui in Christchurch which connects ākonga and their whanau to the internet at no cost. Contact Arnika for information and support about how students can be connected in this area during this time.

Due to Covid-19, both Chorus and Enable are helping to bridge the digital divide by connecting ākonga to free wifi so they can continue their studies at home. Chorus are offering to connect upto 50,000 homes, and Enable have at least 2,000 connections currently not being used that would be able to support ākonga. Whanau will need to meet The Ministry of Education's guidelines for them to receive internet access. Chorus and Enable will waive wholesale broadband charges to make this happen. For those outside of Christchurch, Spark has a programme called the Skinny Jump. The programme offers low cost broadband to households who fit a criteria across New Zealand. To help a family sign up to this service, you will need to contact a Skinny Jump Partner. All the details are on their website here. In some cases the printing of worksheets and delivery of books to the students home may be the best option.

If possible talk to the families as see if they need any assistance and what the best option for them is.

This list is by no means exhaustive and we will be adding to it when new valuable resources and information come to our attention. If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of information, remember to keep things simple and focused.

For quick updates, follow us on Twitter for more resources, apps and educational articles that support teachers, students and schools.

GCSN team


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