Supports for Parents and Guardians

Understanding Brightspace for Parents (Full Remote Learning)

Parents and guardians are invited to join us for a virtual introduction to the Brightspace learning platform.

This is a recording of the live event held September 23, 2020.

Please View: The Frequently Asked Questions from this session. 


Online sessions: Brightspace and Google Classroom

FAQs from Parent Engagement Session on Brightspace and Google Classroom

Why do my children have virtual classrooms that look different from each other?

Both Brightspace and Google Classroom are excellent learning platforms and teachers could be using either platform. Even when teachers are using the same platform, each child's classroom may look different depending on the activities being assigned, tools being used, and the platform selected.  This is very similar to the way in which classes inside a school can be organized differently.  As remote distance learning happened so quickly, teachers were encouraged to use the virtual learning platform with which they were the most familiar so that they could begin remote distance learning as quickly as possible for students. This allows teachers to maximize their past experiences with the online learning tools within each of these platforms and to collaborate with other teachers of the same grade and/or course to provide engaging materials for students.

What is the best way to access Brightspace as a parent?

Brightspace can be accessed through the staff and student login using the student’s, gotvdsb credentials. During Learn at Home we are encouraging parents to sign in as/with their child in order to have full access to all of the features and tools offered within the platform for learning.

For parents of K-8 students, there is an overview entry point through a Parent Login. This access will only notify you of Portfolio items and information posted in the activity feed.

Can you please review the website and passwords for the Virtual Library Learning Commons (vllc)?

You can access the TVDSB’s Virtual Learning Commons at  This is like an online version of each school’s Library Learning Commons.  Students will find resources on a variety of topics, including researching, maker spaces and collaboration.  The VLLC also contains links to a variety of online databases that students can access for free.  If you need the password into this section please ask your school’s teacher librarian or you can email

What is the difference between the Brightspace Pulse App and the Brightspace Portfolio App?

The Portfolio App can be used to quickly capture learning artifacts and upload them to the portfolio from a phone or tablet with current software installed. The Pulse App serves as a way to get notifications of course updates both in the announcements and content areas.  Since Brightspace is web hosted it is best accessed through the Chrome browser no matter what device is being used (phone, tablet, laptop etc.).

We have multiple Google users on one device, and it can be difficult to know which user is logged in. How can I switch between Google accounts on my devices?

There is an excellent Google Support Article that explains exactly how you can switch between multiple accounts on a device. There is information on Computer, iPad/iPhone, and Android. The article can be found at Google Support

Are there different ways to submit work to the Brightspace Platform?

The Brightspace platform is being used by K-12 educators within our board. A teacher may select different tools because some tools are better suited for different age groups and tasks.  A few of the tools are listed below.

Assignments Tool - Used as a Virtual Filing Cabinet to submit work for assessment and receive feedback.

Portfolio Tool - A simplified way to upload artifacts of learning (in the form of pictures, videos, audio recordings and written reflections). The portfolio stays with the student all the way from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Educators are able to add feedback and connect assessment tools to the artifacts.

Discussions Tool - A way to simulate conversation that may happen within a physical classroom in a virtual environment.  Be aware that anything posted in this tool could be viewed by other students in the classroom.

How do I submit assignments to Google Classroom?

Submitting work to Google Classroom can be done in a number of ways. On the following Google Support page, the site outlines how this can be accomplished on a computer, Android and iOS device.

Why do we not have daily classroom sessions using videoconferencing technology like Teams or Google Meet?

Both Brightspace & Google Classroom do have video-conferencing capabilities. Brightspace’s product is “Virtual Classroom” and Google Classroom is “Google Meet”. These tools are great opportunities for social connection: however, as a district we must remember that there is great diversity with respect to student access to the internet and regularity of device access. As a system we realize that educators cannot expect that all the students will be available at a consistent identified time every day for large class instruction. We will continue to look for ways to ensure that students have the opportunity for interaction with their teacher.

Is there a document I can turn to that has basic instructions for use of Google Classroom and Brightspace?

Support guides can be found on the TVDSB Technology Support Page at :

Please scroll to the Google Account and Brightspace sections for access to these guides. These documents include information about Logging In and Instructions on how to Submit Work.

Can my child access an eBook during this time?

eBooks can be accessed by using the Virtual Library Learning Commons

Orca Books, as well as BookFlix are great resources.

How do I add photos directly to Google Classroom from a mobile device? From a Chromebook/PC/Mac?

The easiest way to add photos directly to Google Classroom is using the Google Classroom app on a mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone, or Android device.  A YouTube video with instructions can be seen at For written instructions, please see the Google Support page at

Using a webcam on your laptop or Chromebook is another way to submit work to Google Classroom. An interesting way of integrating Google Slides and your webcam for work submission can be found on this website.

Does Google provide instructions on Google Classroom?
The Google Support site is

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