This is a season of lasts. The last Greek 3 class has come and gone, today is the last day of exams, this afternoon will be my last private Greek lesson with two particularly amazing students, and yesterday was the last online lesson with a student I have been teaching Classical Greek.
Two apps have helped make this a successful year of online teaching — GoodNotes and Zoom. Zoom is simply the best online classroom environment I can imagine, and GoodNotes is my favorite digital writing platform.
Neither you nor the student nor the student's family have to be tech savvy. It is as simple as sharing a link and following the instructions. If you meet with a student at a set time every week, Zoom allows you to schedule individual online meeting rooms. If, however, you meet at different times every week, you can just use the personal room you are given when you sign up.
My favorite feature of Zoom is how easily I can use it with my iPad Pro as a digital whiteboard. I normally run the meeting through the Zoom app on my MacBook. When I need a whiteboard, I click a share screen button, choose share iPad screen, and then connect my iPad to the MacBook via AirPlay. It has worked seamlessly throughout the entire school year.
At times I have been without my laptop, and I simply ran my meetings via the Zoom iPad app. This worked smoothly, as well.
GoodNotes is the digital hub that connects me, the student, and any writing or assessments that are transferred between us. For whiteboard purposes I created a notebook called Greek Scribbles. This is where all our in-class, random notes go. I also have a notebook to keep up with assessments. The assessment workflow goes like this:
- Quizzes and tests are sent to me as PDFs.
- I drop them into our GoodNotes assessment notebook.
- I grade the assessments with an Apple Pencil in GoodNotes.
- GoodNotes automatically backs up the notebooks as PDFs to Google Drive (or Dropbox or others).
- I share the assessments notebook PDF via a Google Drive link.
Now the student and the student's family always have digital access to all of their assessments as soon as I finish grading them.
This is the method I have used all year for three weekly online lessons, and I recommend these apps without hesitation. More on GoodNotes later, but for now, back to wrapping up what is left of this year's lasts.