Could not download file: This paper is available to authorised users only.

TEACHING IN COVID TIMES: MICROSOFT TEAMS AND GSUITE, TWO BASIC TOOLS TO SUPPORT LEARNING

J.S. Artal-Sevil, M.S. Valero-Gracia

University of Zaragoza (SPAIN)
The presence of the COVID-19 virus has generated a before and after in world society. Simultaneously to many other areas, university education has caused the home confinement of students and teachers, leading to a radical change in the teaching-learning process. Students have been forced to continue their training through digital devices with the help of teachers. In this way, the education sector has had to face the challenge of incorporating technology into everyday teaching. A situation for which many teachers were not yet prepared. All this has led to the need to adapt content and new methodologies to virtual teaching imposed by the COVID, giving rise to a deep reflection on the urgent conditions. If this crisis has shown anything, it is the need for students and teachers to train, learn and adapt to an increasingly changing and unpredictable scientific and work environment.

Going from face-to-face to virtual education immediately has given rise to the so-called "emergency remote teaching-learning", which is not the same as online education itself. Online education stands out for developing planned and designed online learning experiences in an appropriate educational platform. Therefore, these terms should not be confused. COVID has brought with it the search for quick solutions, in order to organize an alternative teaching system that would allow teaching, guaranteeing the learning of students from their homes. In this way, teachers have been forced to adapt in a very short time to this new exceptional situation.

But do we have the right teaching tools? Online education requires a platform that serves as a virtual classroom. In addition, teachers must have the skills to develop different academic learning activities in a virtual way through existing digital platforms (Moodle, Blackboard Collaborate, Google Classroom, etc.). It is also important to focus on teaching online activities that are attractive to students. In this way, many teachers have had to reinvent themselves, not only changing their way of teaching but also developing new activities and academic tasks within digital environments, with the aim of imparting the contents of their subjects in an online format. Two resources that have been basic during this COVID period: Microsoft Teams and GSuite.

Microsoft Teams allows you to create an educational platform where you can concentrate virtual classes, meetings, internal chat, video conferences, etc. In this way, it can be the educational platform on which to develop all synchronous online teaching or blended teaching; since it is a learning and collaboration space that facilitates students and teachers to meet in the same place. The application also allows you to record teaching videos very easily, similar to small video-lessons. While GSuite is a platform with many Google services that is of great help for distance learning. This paper delves into the use of these tools in online teaching, showing their main characteristics as well as application examples.

Now technological advances have replaced the teacher's explanation in the classroom with other techniques such as video lessons, webinars, improved-content, theory-pills... improving the communication channel and achieving more ubiquitous learning. Thus, the current situation is a good opportunity to advance towards digital learning, no longer as an option imposed by circumstances, but as an educational need to adapt teaching to the immediate future.