2020 was a watershed moment in history. Everything changed, even how children and students attend classes.
Most countries implemented social distance measures, hand-washing procedures, and public mask-wearing as a protective measure during the pandemic. To suggest that this impacted how instructors and students interacted would be an understatement.
Billions of students switched from traditional classrooms to virtual schooling at home in March.
Teachers had to hustle in the early months of the pandemic to figure out the best methods to put up a virtual classroom that would keep their pupils interested. There was a sudden rise in the demand for online classes, and tutoring jobs were at an all-time high. Educators tried different tools and programs to aid in virtual teaching and learning, with leading names in the industry registering new users in their millions. Preply, one of the leading online teaching and learning platforms globally, for example, grew its membership thanks to its combination of tutor-student attributed features, offering online tutoring jobs with flexible schedules.
But what exactly are we looking for in EdTech tools for online learning?
Tools for virtual learning
Understanding how the tool you’re using works is just as important as choosing the right tool.
Explore different tools and learn how to make the most of them to improve your overall teaching experience. Your pupils will expect you to teach them how to use the platform independently.
There is a wide range of remote teaching software available, and we’ve selected the finest and categorized them according to their primary use.
Online communication tools
Effective communication translates to successful teaching and learning, whether natural or virtual. Maintaining an online connection with not one but over twenty pupils is difficult.
Platforms designed for communication with bigger groups, including instant messaging, video conferencing, voice conferences, and virtual rooms, can be accessed from any device and from anywhere.
For the best experience using these tools, ensure the following;
- Make a schedule or a plan for each online session and share it with the class before it begins.
- Explain to learners what digital etiquette is all about before the commencement of the course.
- All microphones should be muted (except the one used by the teacher). This helps pupils maintain their attention by cancelling out distracting noises. Anyone who has to say anything can make a gesture to get the speaker’s attention without interrupting them.
- Allow pupils time to take notes, view, or look over them when presenting or sharing an image, document, or file.
Students can use online whiteboards or digital whiteboards to simulate the whiteboard/blackboard experience in the classroom. The majority of these tools provide an endless canvas with shape libraries for building various forms of diagrams, charts, graphs, and other types of visualizations (i.e., creating posters, graphic organizers, etc.).
Tools for work scheduling
Maintaining a work schedule is even more crucial while working from home; a consistent routine helps you utilize your time appropriately, especially during difficult times. To streamline, you can use time management and scheduling software:
- Making timetables for your online classes or your personal use
- Creating online class schedules and notifying everyone of the dates and hours
- Making appointments with parents and pupils
- Organizing online events for parents, students, or coworkers (i.e., webinars)
- Creating and sharing lesson plans with students, administrators, and coworkers.
Online video tools
For producing and sharing videos with your students, YouTube is an excellent online video tool. These tools can be used in a variety of ways.
- Make a video recording of your online lessons or lectures and share it with your students.
- If a student is missing or revising for a test, they can view the videos again. You can also record the video before the session and share it with the pupils while you are away
- You can utilize a pre-recorded lesson to avoid repeating yourself while giving the same course to several classes
- Use pre-recorded video lessons to encourage pupils to learn independently. When kids comprehend an idea on their own, they have a better chance of remembering it
- Share links to video content that are already available on the internet.
Document/File management tools
Teachers must keep various documents regularly, ranging from exam papers to lesson plans. It’s critical to have a single area to store, organize, and manage all of these papers to keep track of them effectively, especially if you’re teaching remotely. Tools make it easier for you to keep track of all your important documents.
Online homework platforms
Keeping track of pupils’ assignments is one of the most challenging yet essential aspects of teaching from home.
Homework can take several forms, including essays, presentations, and examinations. To get students to submit assignments, you can use any available platform.
Social media platforms
Teachers, learners, and parents can all remain in touch through social media outlets.
Teachers can take advantage of social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and WhatsApp to create exclusive forums or groups to communicate and maintain an online presence. They can also be used to share and save crucial lesson-related material, presentations, and resources, encouraging pupils to communicate with one another and interact while studying or completing assignments.