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COVID: Google releases new info hub for distance learning

23 Mar 2020

In a recent blog post, Google announced a new solution to aid teacher and students affected by the expanding global quarantine measures taken to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The solution, Teach From Home, is a central hub of information, tips, training and tools from across Google for Education.

“To start, we’re providing an overview of how to get started with distance learning – for example how to teach online, make lessons accessible to students, and collaborate with other educators,” says Google education vice president Avni Shah in the blog post.

“The resource will continue to evolve. We've built the hub with the support and cooperation of UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, who is also working with other education partners to respond to this emergency. As we continue receiving feedback from teachers and partners on what’s most helpful, we’ll continue to build and improve this. Teach From Home is currently available in English, with downloadable toolkits available in Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic and Polish, with additional languages coming soon.”

Teach From Home adds to other solutions that Google has rolled out over the last week, including the Learn@Home YouTube resource, a collection of training materials, a list of useful apps, plus more blog posts and seminars.

Google has also made its premium Meet features free for schools through to July 1, 2020, including the ability to have 250 people in a call together, record lessons and livestream, plus adding new educator controls for Hangouts Meet. 

The post also announced that US$10 million of Google’s $50 million COVID-19 response package will be allocated to a Distance Learning Fund to support remote learning globally.

The Google.org Distance Learning Fund’s first grant will be $1 million to help Khan Academy provide remote learning opportunities to students affected by COVID-19 related school closures.

Google volunteers are also planning to help Khan Academy provide educator resources in more than 15 languages to reach over 18 million learners a month from communities around the globe. We hope to announce additional organisations soon.

“We’re inspired by the ideas and resources educational leaders are sharing with each other during this time,” Shah’s post continues.

“To continue the conversation, join a Google Educator Group, share your distance learning tips and tricks, and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. We hope you’ll keep passing along your ideas and feedback so we can continue to evolve and build this together.