Delivering instruction online is a difficult task, you can have the best tools available, but if your students don’t have equitable access to these, it is somewhat though to replicate your traditional in-person experience. However, there are some tools that are simple enough that don’t require students to sign up and/or download multiple apps to achieve an effective virtual learning environment. So, here’s a list of digital tools that will be more than helpful when teaching most students, as these will give you ways to replicate your content without having your students juggling between too many apps and services, especially if you’re not using a stablished Learning Management System.
• Powerpoint / Keynote / Google Slides
What’s better to leverage the student’s attention via interactive presentations? Using presentations will give you the opportunity to not just talk, but show pertinent information. It is also helpful for keeping discussions on screen during intefactive activities. At the end of the class, you can easily send students a link to download they presentation for their studies or archives.
• Word / Pages / Google Docs
It’s time to ditch your computer’s local files. Microsoft Word, Pages, and Google Docs all offer the ability to save your files online. Using these apps make sharing files easier, and if there is new information you need to add, you can just as easily add information to these documents on the fly.
• Screencastify / Loom
Do you need to create tutorials for your students? These apps will let you record your own screen, as well as record your voice so you can give your students step-by-step directions for apps, submitting homework, and the like. Loom will even let you use your webcam to capture you talking, making explanations more personal.
Creating videos is a tedious task for students. They have to record, save the file, edit, and upload them to a service. Flipgrid cuts through all of this by giving students the convenience of uploading the file right in the app, so you can just check their work later on. What’s more, students can also interact with other videos uploaded by the same class. Think of if like a video forum, and for those long activities where online class time just won’t cut it.
As the number of minutes per second added to youtube increases exponentially, there’s no doubt there’s a video for just about anything. Take advantage of this by collecting videos and making playlists of different topics, homework, explanations. You can also upload your own videos.
• Google Forms
Formative assessments don’t have to be hard. Getting quick answers shouldn’t be a hassle either. With Google Forms, you can create evaluations that can be automatically assessed, so you can have a visual overview on how much your students have grasped a lesson, a topic or the overall class.
• Quizziz / Kahoot! / Quizlet
I have covered some of these before, but I believe these apps are essential tools for making the class both fun and educational. Think of it as Google Forms but live. Students compete with each other for points and as a teacher, you can export the results for future evaluation. I have covered Quizizz before, so if you need more info check them out.
Email is the backbone of everything, so keeping tabs on an email account for essential information is also good.