Digital tools to support Online Learning
If you’re in education, or if you’re not, you’ve probably been bombarded with ‘Use this‘ or ‘Use that‘ or ‘You should definitely‘, right? It’s difficult to know where to start, which tools to use and which to leave on the shelf for the time being.
In an ocean of ideas and digital, here’s a quick guide to help you choose which tools to use to be ready for Term 2 and /or teaching online.
Creating a lesson plan
There are great digital tools to create lesson plans that allow you to embed all the virtual resources into your lesson plan. Embed means to place the link into the document so someone can just click on it and it opens – like click here to view the most magnificent link. You can use tools like Microsoft’s Sway for online, and Word or PowerPoint then upload it for your lesson. Google Sites, Docs and Slides also make great lesson plans. If you clicked on that magnificent link above, you’ll see the incredible way that other teachers use the Google Suite docs. Remember to look under the Resources tab for all their free lesson plans!
Communicating with learners and parents
Getting a message out to parents and learners may be tricky. WhatsApp only goes that far then scrolling through 500 messages becomes a pain. Glip is a great alternate to WhatsApp but you can only share 500 videos on the free account. Edmodo and Google Classroom on the other hand are completely free and used by millions of teachers around the world. Edmodo is like Facebook for education, and allows for wonderful interaction between parents, learners and teachers. Google Classroom doesn’t allow this type of interaction but is more of a teacher-sharing-resources and learners-uploading-assignments or commenting platform.
Creating digital resources
Creating digital resources can be great fun and there are so many free tools available that you hardly ever have to pay to make these. You can use BookCreator to make online books, and use H5P, BookWidgets, Sutori and EdPuzzle to create the most incredible online games, timelines and activities embedded in videos. Audacity let’s you edit music and sound, while you can access music and podcasts in Spotify.You can make the most amazing videos with PowToons using all your PowerPoint skills and gamify the learning experience with Classcraft.
Join virtual Professional Learning Communities
If you’re battling to stay up to date and to find relevant information, find teacher groups on Facebook or follow prominent EdTech experts on social media. Just make sure you’re not getting into a ‘market my product‘ site or the TeachersPayTeachers marketing groups. It also helps if groups have a few thousand teachers as it increases the chances of getting more balanced views.
Don’t forget to leave comments or questions below. We’re happy to help where we can!