This is the 21st century when everything and anything has the potential to be taken up on the virtual platform. Technology has defined and re-defined our lives in a way that could only have been a figment of fantastical imagination for our early ancestors. Today, we can do anything: from ordering groceries to practicing driving skills in a simulated environment. So, unsurprisingly, contemporary education reforms have embodied digitalization to keep up with the changing times.
The numbers are great so far as digital tools for education are concerned, so there may be a chance that we might miss out on many major ones. That being said, we are going to cover those which are definite choices among teachers from across the world. You are free to try out more tools available but cannot certainly pass by the ones mentioned below without trying.
Here are 5 tools to use while teaching students online.
One of the keys to engagement during online classes is assignments. In the virtual world, there are so many tools for experimenting with assignments and their types. Socrative is an innovative solution. It allows teachers to develop exercises, which may take up all kinds of forms from quizzes to games. Moreover, one can access these assignments from desktop or smartphones, and these can be submitted from anywhere you are. Teachers will be routinely updated with the submission details. So, for continuous engagement with and evaluation of the performances of students, Socrative is a great tool to use.
The lack of a whiteboard can be a real bummer, especially when you are teaching technical subjects that cannot be explained in words. However, there are many virtual whiteboards available, and one of them is Idroo. It comes with a free and a paid version, with the latter offering extra features of course. As a virtual whiteboard, it offers plentiful features to take advantage of such as real-time interaction with students, simultaneous edits, the addition of images to the board, compatibility with many platforms, and storage of whiteboard sessions. While many features are available for free, it is advised you pick the paid version for an enhanced experience.
- Google Docs
Collaborative work is the backbone of teamwork. You as a teacher must consider the interests of all students, and students must take into consideration the interests of one another. Uploading, sharing, and editing of class notes, supplementary materials, important notices, and what not has been made easier with Google Docs. Moreover, it allows teachers to bring students to a platform, discuss ideas, and provide feedback on the content uploaded or shared. The easy-to-use interface of Google Docs makes it easier for students as well as teachers to comprehend the utility of the same. So, if you want to strengthen the collaborative skills of your students but do not want to start with complicated software, then Google Docs is an absolute first choice.
Screen recording is an essential element of digital education. While there are many software that offer this service (many of them are embedded in e-learning platforms such as Zoom), Screen-o-Matic can offer the ‘extra’ we all need. It is a wonderful software that enables users to create videos via a screen recorder, and the video can be later customized with the help of many editing features already provided. Moreover, you can conveniently share these videos with your students. If you are looking for a hassle-free, seamless video recorder and editor, then Screencast-O-Matic is an excellent choice.
Teachers have to start with a plan: a layout that will cover the entire span of the semester or just a module. Whatever the requirement may be, Planboard can be of great use. But, it is not just that. It also allows teachers to track the performance of students, create color-coded subjects which can be further organized under various subsets, use many templates provided for planning lessons, and enjoy compatibility with other Apps to enhance the teaching experience. There are additional features available to those who are willing to pay the extra costs: you can copy the curriculum and share the same with other teachers teaching the subject, allow other teachers to comment on the same, and whatnot.
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