📖 4 mins read

Teacher Assist (TA)  is one of GAT Labs’ family of tools — and it allows Teachers working in Google Workspace to view and monitor students’ online activity (and screens) in real-time.

Using Teacher Assist, Google Workspace Admins and Teachers can set up the work environment for their Google Classrooms and deploy a set of rules, while having full visibility over every student’s online activity.

**Prerequisite: Teacher Assist works on top of GAT Shield.

Students must be signed into the Google Classroom using their Google Workspace accounts, and have Shield deployed.

**Availability: Teacher Assist can be enabled during Trial. It’s part of the Vigilant plan for Education.

Used by Google Classroom Teachers and Admins of the domain.


What is Teacher Assist?

A simple synchronous tool built for Google Classroom to help teachers manage the virtual behaviour of their online classes while interacting with their Classroom students in real-time.

With the Teacher Assist Dashboard, controlling the behavioural complex of the virtual class is narrowed down to the teacher’s fingertips.

Non Google Admin User

Teacher Assist can only be used by Google Classroom Teachers and Admins of the domain.


How does it work ?

Teacher Assist works on the backend of the GAT Shield Extension .

The Shield Extension allows Teachers working in Google Classroom to view and access to Students’ browsers in real-time.

The application consists of a frontend and backend — The frontend communicates by REST (HTTP with the backend GAT Shield). The backend is responsible for all business logic and has many modules that control the Teacher Assist tool. 


Sections of Teacher Assist 

The leftmost panel displays additional modes for the teacher to control the virtual teaching environment:

  • Teacher section
    1. Classrooms 
    2. Groups
    3. Classroom insights
  • Admin section
    1. Administration
  • Help section
    1. Teacher Assist Guide

Teacher Section

– Classrooms view

This view is where the teacher has access to their Classroom List, it can be filtered by Teacher/Owner.

Here, the Owner or teacher will see classrooms associated with the teacher denoted by:

    • Classroom Name: Name of the class.
    • Classroom description: Description of the class.
    • Number of Students: Number of students in each class.
    • Number of Teachers: Number of teachers associated with the class.
    • Current Owner: Class owner.

From the centre view on the right, next to each class, a teacher can:

    • Start a session for a virtual teaching class.
    • Prepare the virtual set-up with Classroom settings 
    • Access a modular view of the Classroom insight scope. 

– Groups view

This view is where teachers can be part of a teaching group ,whereby multiple teachers can launch a virtual class and manage the class simultaneously.

This adds particular value for substitute teachers, or teachers working in a dynamic teaching environment.

The same options are presented to teachers in this view:

    • Start a session for a virtual class teaching class
    • Prepare the virtual set-up with Classroom settings 
    • Access a modular view of the Classroom insight scope. 

– Classroom insights view

This view is accessed by selecting ‘classroom insights’ from the left side panel.

This will present you with a blank dashboard where you can enter the class name for insights.

Once the class is selected, insights will be displayed in a granular manner presenting both, teacher and student scopes.

Teachers can navigate through these insights using the following tabs:

    • People: People involved in this class, whether teachers or students.
    • Classwork: Summary of Classwork submissions with avg. class score.
    • Grades: Grades corresponding to each student, for each classwork.
    • Browsing activity: For each student, browsing is displayed in a granule representing websites visited and time spent on each website. You’ll also see a pie chart encapsulating the data. This data can be filtered for any specific day.

Admin Section

– Administration View

This view displays four tabs:

    • General: Set a default timer for all classes.
    • Teachers: Add teachers and toggle between edit rights for teaching groups.
    • Sessions: A log of all previous live sessions which can be filtered by teacher email.
    • Time limits: Set a time limit for Teacher Assist for any days/hours.

Start a session

When a teacher wants to begin a class they can start a session, this will launch the virtual classroom dashboard where the teacher is prompted to confirm the class time period.

Once the time is set, the virtual class will begin.

– Top view of virtual classroom

Teachers can toggle the below buttons:

    1. See the active timer for the class.
    2. Exit the classroom session.
    3. Lock all current tabs for all students.
    4. Display search panel to quickly pull up any student in class.
    5. Settings drop-down button which allows for:
      • Select All – Select all students in class.
      • Clear selection – Deselect all students in class.
      • Open tab – Open a tab for all students with toggle to lock tab or not.
      • Send a message – Push a message out to all students.
      • Session control – Site access control for allowing or blocking websites.
      • Reconnect – Refresh the connection of the session.
      • Display options – Toggle between how many students granules are displayed per row and students active tab and browsing stats.

– Center view of virtual classroom

This is the main visual of the class:

    • Displayed in a granular manner. 
    • Granules of connected students load up periodically as students connect to the application.
    • When a student is pulled up from the search panel, he/she will be displayed first.
    • Granules will display either the active tab, or active tab plus browsing stats (Display options).

Note: To successfully connect to the virtual class students must be signed into their Chrome account on the Chrome browser whilst being in synchronous mode.

Connected students are marked with a green icon in their respective granules, while the disconnected students are marked with a grey icon. 

For connected students, the Granule will automatically start streaming students’ screens in real-time, while the disconnected students’ granule will display info about when these students last attended a virtual class (previous teacher name, email and class of their virtual classroom).

To interact with a student, select the Green icon to the right of the student name:

    1. Student email displayed.
    2. Open Tab for the student.
    3. Distribute Current Page from this student to all other students.
    4. Block Current Page for this student and all other students.
    5. Browsing History displayed for this student in terms of title and time.
    6. Post Message pushes an announcement message students.
    7. Chat Message directly with a student through a chat box.
    8. View students’ browsers in terms of websites and open tabs. Tabs can also be closed.
    9. Gain direct access to the students Drive files.
    10. Set lock tab so that the students cannot open any other tab.
    11. Pin a Student to keep them at the top of the view.

5 Most useful things you can achieve with Teacher Assist

  1. How To Lock Students for Exams In Google Classrooms
  2. How To Block Students Selected URL’s
  3. Set Lock Tab in Google Classroom Session
  4. Preparing a Google Classroom session
  5. Teacher Assist Guide for Teachers
Thanks for sharing and spreading the word!