The pandemic keeps spreading on, and it doesn’t look like our students will be going back to school any time soon. As teachers, though, it is our duty to understand their learning should go on in an uninterrupted and fruitful manner.
Recent studies by The Online Learning Consortium show that over 6 million Americans are pursuing an online education. The pandemic should not hamper the education and future prospects for our students at any cost, and to that end it is our duty to make sure we make use of the best tools available for distance learning. To this end, here is our roundup of the best tools for distance learning:
The virtual classroom isn’t complete without a collaborative website that allows you to put together videos as a group. This is what WeVideo allows you to do. It provides a platform to mash together videos of the entire group and create an atmosphere of togetherness – adding a little bit of a normalcy to distance learning.
Scribble is one of the most easily accessible tools that is very beneficial for distance learning. It is a platform that allows students to share notes, compare ideas and work collectively on projects. Here they can share their resources and plan their next research projects together, which will create the feeling of community and togetherness. At the end of the day, peer learning is also one highly effective source of learning.
A.nnotate is a platform which also provides collaboration features but has wider functionality. It is a great choice if you’re working with people who are a bit more internet savvy and can handle things that are a bit more complicated.
Go Guardian is a software designed to keep your students safe online and engaged virtually. It allows for seamless integration of multiple device types and platforms into your 1:1 deployment, provides mental health assistance to students as well as ensures good classroom management by eliminating distractions and connecting with students by using industry-leading classroom management software.
If you are a teacher who makes use of PowerPoint presentations, Prezi is a tool that will make life very easy for you. Prezi is a platform that is intuitive, looks fantastic, and allows you to create presentations with real oomph and character.
WordPress.org is a software that works with the minimum set up, so you can focus on sharing your stories, notes, or lectures freely. The basic WordPress software is simple and predictable so you can easily get started – and more features will let you grow better.
Dropbox is an essential and extremely popular tool. You can’t teach a class without the ability to share files easily. And that is something that Dropbox allows you to do. Create universal folders for your notes, and for students to upload their notes or research. Create links for all such folders and share them. Dropbox will allow learning and sharing to be truly mobile and virtual.
In these trying times, teaching our students social responsibility is of utmost importance. Every week DoSomething.org has a way that you and your class can help do something to make the world a little bit better, cleaner, safer, and nicer.
Source: Gadget Explorer
An amazing, easy to use, online timeline tool, Dipity is the way to organize when things happen in chronological order. It is great for subjects like social studies and history. The tool allows you to add videos, photos, texts, and more, to make your timeline more interesting a lively.
Grammarly is a free browser extension and a web app that detects tone, typos, and helps build cleaner writing skills. As teachers, you can use this for your notes and communication with students, and students can also be encouraged to use the tool for their submissions, research papers, and communications.
When studying online, the instructions aren’t always as clear. Therefore, to make projects and assignments easier and more consequential, Draftin is a wonderful solution. Draftin allows you to have students share drafts with easy version controls.
Quill is a platform that offers free writing and grammar activities for Kindergarten to the 12th grade and includes lessons for teachers to lead writing instruction as well as diagnostics. Quill classrooms are very easy to set up, just by inputting student names or providing students with a unique code. It comes with Google Classroom or Clever integrations, so you can automatically set up your classrooms with one click. It provides crisp, ten-minute activities as building blocks during your classroom instruction.
Mathletics is an adaptive, interactive math platform centered on math challenges and quizzes that allow students to engage in a healthy competition with one another. It encourages students to do well and outperform others.
Another very popular and accessible tool, Duolingo provides 100% free language learning, that can be personalized with immediate grading and gamification. This tool will help your students practice their additional languages by constant cue cards and quizzes.
Even though Discovery Education is the best-known source for science textbooks, it also supports other STEM subjects. The best part is that in the wake of the pandemic, they are providing free access to their materials for the remainder of the school year. Therefore, both students and teachers need to make the most of this platform.
Codecademy offers free basic courses in computer science – an extremely important skill in this digital age. Students can learn different programming languages. A paid subscription optional but it will unlock premium, members-only content, study-plans, real-world projects, and community support.
18. Google Classroom
Source: The New York Times
One very widely used tool for creating, distributing, and grading assignments, as well as general announcements, Google Classroom is a wonderful platform for organizing and coordinating teaching and learning online. In response to COVID-19, Google also launched Google Meet – its own video-conferencing tool.
Moodle is an open-source free learning management system that allows for calendar management, file management, and tracking of student progress. It allows teachers to control class and material flow, set reminders, send notes, and collect and grade assignments.
Flipgrid is a platform that helps create short videos with students with Grids. Grids serve as meeting places and allow for icebreakers, weekly reflections, and mini-presentations. Flipgrid is definitely a great tool for remote learning and community building.
With such a wide collection of tools to make distance learning more effective, we as teachers must continue to strive towards making the most of every opportunity we get to engage with our students.