In 2021, will you still be teaching remotely? Here are five tools to help you teach more effectively.
Any Digital Classroom Needs These 5 Smart Educational Tools
Since the pandemic shut down schools around the world, teachers have had to rely on a variety of online tools to keep their students’ education going. These services existed before the pandemic, but in this era of e-learning in education, they have become more popular and necessary. The efficacy, usefulness, and popularity of these tools varies depending on the educational level. Students in high school or university would not benefit from tools designed for a specific grade level, and vice versa. The tools’ emphasis varies as well. Some are intended to facilitate lively online discussions between students as well as recreational activities, while others are intended to facilitate lesson delivery or development. This article will cover all of the best online learning resources.
Every Online Teacher Requires These Five Tools
Teachers have access to a number of different types of educational resources. Digital learning systems, mobile-based apps, software designed for offline use, and even self-directed learning applications are among the teacher tools available. This article will look at one application from each of the following categories:
- Discussion in the Classroom
- Grading and Evaluation
- Student Self-Administration
- Capability to work offline
- Preparing Teachers
Each tool’s price and usability choices differ, which will be considered as well. Other considerations such as areas for development and future applications will be addressed in addition to a summary and overview of each method. The following is a list of the most effective remote teaching resources currently available:
Debates and communication on the internet
Getting People to Talk and Engage in Face-to-Face Discussions
Parlay is an online discussion platform that encourages students to think critically, listen actively, and engage in teacher-led discussions with their peers. Participants actively listen to anyone’s contributions and then express their opinions during an online (asynchronous) or live (synchronous) Roundtable discussion. The tool includes a number of pre-made discussion topics that cover a broad variety of topics. Instructors can also build their own discussion topics and save them in the library for other classrooms to use.
Parlay also has the following features:
- Two different discussion styles aid in the development of various skills (online discussions are for written responses, while live roundtables help students think creatively)
- Since students can use video modes and talk to each other face-to-face, there is a high level of interactivity.
- Teachers can tailor lesson plans to their needs thanks to the platform’s versatility.
- At the conclusion of and discussion or lecture, important data is created that allows teachers to assess students’ progress.
While there is a free version for individual teachers, Parlay is not a free tool. There is a price scale that goes up for versions with more functionality, such as unlimited access to the Roundtable option, as well as prices based on the number of people in the Roundtable.
The following are some of the tool’s drawbacks:
- Some students could be overwhelmed by the different components of the live and Roundtable discussion (listening, taking notes, reading responses).
- Teachers will face a steep learning curve in order to master the tool’s functions.
Annotations and feedback from the teachers
A Crucial Document Sharing and Editing Tool
Lumin PDF is an online PDF reader that makes it easier for teachers and students to exchange PDF annotations. Teachers and students can use Lumin PDF, a cloud-based platform, to add images, text, and notes to essential class files. With its annotation function, Lumin also allows teachers to offer evaluations directly into the file. The tool is also cross-platform compatible, making it simple for users to upload and import documents from a variety of devices. Teachers may also use Lumin’s software-specific Optical Character Recognition to digitize print materials and then change them as they see fit.
Lumin PDF also has the following essential features:
- To make file sharing and storage simpler, the software will sync with Google Drive and Dropbox.
- Users may group or break texts from different sizes to make them more concise and meaningful.
- Compression and conversion enable a variety of file types to be modified and manipulated to meet the needs of a teacher.
Lumin will boost in the following areas, according to users:
- Its design layout may be more dynamic and attractive to the eye.
- Some features are only available in premium models.
Extra-Curricular Study Tool that is Easy to Use
Quizlet is a smartphone and web-based learning platform that allows students to study on their own or work with their peers on assignments while they are not in class. The app modifies a traditional study aid – flashcards – for digital use by allowing students to create their own flashcards and teachers to add multimedia elements (audio and video files) to them. Teachers from all disciplines and subjects can use the flashcards as a blank slate to add their own content or choose approved content from the Quizlet library.
Quizlet also has the following excellent features:
A research-based tool aimed at assisting students in comprehending, remembering, and retrieving new knowledge.
Teachers may assign quizzes or tests that enable students to work together to solve problems, which encourages teamwork among students.
Quizlet Live allows students to compete against one another in order to put new information to the test.
Quizlet’s app is available for free, but there are also paid packages available for subjects such as preparing for entrance exams or higher-level degrees. The premium content has more functionality and gives you more access to Quizlet’s online database.
Quizlet has a few flaws:
- Memorization is prioritised over innovative or critical thought.
- Outside of training, teachers must ensure student use and participation.
Applications that can be used offline
All Students Will Benefit from Open Source Education
Kolibri is a learning application that overcomes the many barriers that stand in the way of students receiving a good education. Kolibri aims to bridge the gap by compressing multimedia lessons into tiny files that can be replayed on any playback unit, regardless of their technical capabilities, distance, or lack of a viable Internet link. The platform gathers and downloads as much information as possible in areas with Internet access, then makes those files accessible to students wherever they are, even if they do not have access to the Internet.Kolibri users have access to a large library of premium site content that includes everything from curriculum-based lessons to more leisure activities.
Kolibri also stands out in other ways:
- Since it works with almost any platform or operating system, it has a wide range of accessibility.
- It allows students to learn and study at their own speed while also allowing teachers to monitor and evaluate their progress.
- The app can easily sync with other Kolibri-enabled devices to share materials, but only when the Internet is accessible.
Kolibri is free to use because it supports learning equality. Users can install the programme on their device, laptop, Chromebook, tablet, or smartphone directly from the website. Kolibri has some apparent flaws, but since it is such an important tool for reaching underserved students in difficult-to-reach locations, there are few concerns about its nature and implementation.
Preparing the Lesson
Common Core State Standards
Teachers are at the core of Common Curriculum because it gives them the power and organisational tools to prepare an entire academic year, semester, or school day. The common Curriculum platform allows teachers to digitally organise entire lessons. It also provides them with a large number of models that relate to particular subjects and disciplines, allowing them to create lessons more quickly. Teachers may make changes to their lesson plans after they’ve been made, removing or adding elements as needed. Since Common Curriculum was created by teachers, it also offers help to new teachers and those who are just getting started with it.
Other noteworthy comments about the Common Curriculum include:
- The software helps teachers from different schools to collaborate and input ideas into each other’s lesson plans.
- There are a plethora of free tools available from a variety of reputable outlets that are aligned with universal teaching standards.
- Constant online help walks new users through the program’s ins and outs while also advising on best practises.
Individual teachers have access to a free version of Common Curriculum, while more feature-rich versions are reasonably priced or targeted at institutions and school districts.
Some teachers have concerns about the Common Curriculum:
- The software wastes time because new users must familiarise themselves with the platform.
- For seasoned, existing teachers, other platforms are preferable.