Gateshead Council learningSkills
Gateshead Adult learning have developed the use of Google for Education for a few years to deliver courses to adult learners.
Driven by Carl Newbrook, we asked him some questions to create the case study below.
Case study video below
Carl presents how Google is enabling hybrid and blended learning
Why did you choose to go with Google as your learning platform?
We chose Google as it seemed the most user-friendly and versatile platform to meet the needs of our learners, our tutors and our business. We tried other learning platforms over the years but found it difficult to get the ‘buy-in’ from teachers and learners due to how complex they were to set up and manage.
Google Classroom is easy to set up and offers powerful assessment and learner management tools. Google Meet integrates seamlessly allowing for live video conferencing and Jamboard allows learners excellent opportunities to collaborate on group tasks while working remotely.
How did you deploy Google and embed it with your tutors?
We recognised the importance of using digital tools to enhance learning and in 2018 we launched our Digital Skills Strategy. Adopting Google Classroom was integral to this strategy.
However, it was not until the national lockdown was announced in March 2020 that we recognised just how important having a robust digital learning platform could be. We worked with Vitalize who provided advice and guidance and rolled out a series of workshops to get our teachers and learners started with Google Classroom.
The initial response was very effective and thanks to Google and Vitalize, we were able to engage our learners with minimal disruption to learning. We moved over 100 of our courses online within the first term.
Vitalize has continued to support by delivering online workshops to our full staff team on the basics, as well as providing more advanced training to a team of ‘champions’ who were able to provide further support to their colleagues.
What has the impact been for teaching and learning?
The impact has been a genuine game-changer for how we deliver our teaching and learning. Not only can we now provide a remote learning experience that matches our high-quality face-to-face provision, but we have also enhanced our in-classroom provision with engaging resources which can be taken outside of the classroom.
Learners are happy that they have increased support, more immediate feedback on their work, access to resources and session recordings to help with revision. If they are unable to attend a session, they can ‘dial in’ from home into our hybrid learning sessions on Google Meet. Thanks to Google Meet, Google Classroom and Jamboard, they can interact with the resources at the same time as their peers who are in the classroom.
How has Vitalize helped you to succeed with the project?
Vitalize has helped every step of the way. We have had high quality and timely support with any queries when setting up Google Workspace within our organisation. Vitalize are always happy to respond to and arrange a virtual meeting whenever we have had a question on how to implement and roll out new methods of delivery.
Vitalize have provided us with a comprehensive series of helpful online workshops that have contributed to a demonstrable increase in staff confidence using Google Workspace. After-course support is excellent with further opportunities to ask questions and signposting to useful resources.
Vitalize has also allowed us to network with other providers to share best practice. The ‘Virtual Staff Room’ each month is an opportunity to link with providers across the country who are using Google Workspace, discuss interesting new features and support with any queries.
Vitalize run a free virtual staff room for Adult ED and FE the first Friday of every month 2-3.00pm. To request to join please email
Some feedback from tutors and learners on using Google Workspace:
“Working smarter by uploading self-marking Google quizzes means marking time is dramatically reduced and more time can be spent providing quality feedback and identifying skills gaps” Gateshead learningSkills tutor
“I am finding engagement levels increasing on Google Classroom, and it allows for timely, two-way communication with learners” Gateshead learningSkills tutor
Learner feedback: “…it’s an amazing tool and perfect for those of us who are still working…you can fit it around your day or night perfectly at a time that’s convenient.”
“I’ve enjoyed everything on Google Classroom. It has made it easy to view and post stuff that I never thought possible.”
“Google Classroom has helped to reinforce what I learnt, and getting the score straight away boosted my morale no end and makes me want to keep on learning.”