Best Tools for Virtual and Distance Learning
Nowadays, our planet faces the issue of a new pandemic known as Covid-19. It’s not safe to conduct the standard campus-based lessons and so, educators and learners develop alternative ways to learn online. Fortunately, technological progress has already provided them with all kinds of learning tools. Besides, new inventions appear almost every week. We’d like to review the best tools, which ensure effective virtual and distance learning.
It must be mentioned that these tools are important for students, as well as for their teachers and professors. Students cannot receive tasks without their teachers who will create those tasks and will control the process of learning. Therefore, most tools we’ll review are created for educators who create assignments and likewise can actively communicate with their students.
Helpful Options to Ensure Productive E-Learning
As there are multiple smart applications for e-learning, it’s sometimes difficult to choose the best ones. Therefore, we offer several options that can perfectly suit educators and students. Consider the following tools for distance learning:
This application ensures great communication between teachers and students. It’s similar to a social network. The application helps to create collaborative groups, distribute educational materials, assess the progress of students, keep in touch with parents, and so on. It’s a very popular application (over 34 million users) and it perfectly combines learning and technology.
Using Socrative, students and teachers can collaborate using any device (laptop, tablet, mobile phone, etc.). The application is easy to manage and comprehend. Teachers can create different exercises and educational games. Once their students accomplish them, teachers instantly see the results and can quickly adjust the upcoming lessons if necessary. It’s a very productive application, which enhances personalized learning.
This tool serves for the creation of multimedia presentations. It’s possible to embed interactive maps, quizzes, puzzles, videos, and something of the kind. This tool helps teachers to deliver new materials quickly and conveniently. Every lesson can be supported by the necessary visuals.
Another resourceful tool is called Thinglink. This tool enables the creation of interactive images, which can be supported by music, different sounds, texts, etc. Thanks to the visual effects available in this tool, teachers can awaken the curiosity of learners and so, engage them in learning online. It’s possible to share posts on different websites and social media platforms for the faster spreading of information.
Using this great online tool, educators can sufficiently increase the collaborative skills of students, as well as their own skills. TED-Ed helps to collaborate with students in large groups to meet common objectives. Besides, teachers can collaborate with other teachers conducting lessons, webinars, and conferences online (applying visuals).
Thanks to ClassDojo, it’s possible to improve the behavior of students, which is extremely important in virtual and distance learning. It enables instant accessing to the results and instantly rewarding. This method affects the perception of education in students. When they receive instant feedback, they become more concentrated on the results. The application enables real-time notifications.
This is a very resourceful platform, which can be used by students and educators. Using it, users can access different references and educational materials. It’s very important for students because they will always have some trustworthy sources close at hand. Educators can make their lessons more interactive and informative thanks to useful links available on the Internet.
Amongst other great online learning tools are Storybird, Animoto, Kahoot, and others.
Free Resources for Students
Students should constantly try to improve their results on their own. Self-education is utterly important to be a successful student. Therefore, we propose several great platforms that offer free learning resources for students:
- Unite for Literacy. This resource offers a rich choice of online books for elementary students. Students can either read or listen to them. Audiobooks are available.
- NewsEla. Using this online resource, students will access up-to-date news articles. Thus, they’ll enlarge their knowledge in almost any academic direction. Quizzes and writing assignments are included.
- Khan Academy. This is a famous online learning platform that offers a rich choice of courses for students. Youngsters can pass any discipline to check their current level and enhance skills.
- Peardeck. Thanks to this resource, students can enhance their creative skills. They’ll deal with different quizzes, presentations, slide creations, and something of the kind.
- StoryBoardThat. This platform helps to create visual support of different kinds. Thus, students will be able to divide everything they read into logical sections to comprehend and memorize it faster. Teachers can likewise use it to prepare for reading classes.
- cK-12. This website helps to reduce the cost of academic textbooks. It offers free sharing of educational materials among teachers and students. You can access and download different educational materials for free.
Prompts for Teachers to Engage Students
It may be very difficult to engage some students in the process of learning even via the traditional way of learning. Virtual education complicates this task because there’s no control in person. Virtual classes take place rarely. Thus, many youngsters tend to play hooky. Fortunately, there are some great methods to engage the most inattentive students. Consider the following methods:
- Be interested in your students;
- Understand the possibilities of every student;
- Simplify the process of e-learning;
- Try to organize online communication as frequently as possible;
- Create tasks in the form of games;
- Let your students use different apps to complete their assignments;
- Ensure the privacy of every student;
- Plan ahead;
- Constantly encourage your students;
- Personalize the learning process;
- Control your time;
- Encourage online collaboration;
- Reward your students.
These prompts will help to make virtual and distance learning more interactive and engaging. If you’re a student and your virtual lessons lack enthusiasm and productivity, show this article to your teacher/professor. Perhaps he/she will adopt the prompts and will also use the tools we have offered.
Although we’ve mentioned really effective learning tools, you shouldn’t limit your choice. There are many other variants for students and their teachers. You’ll easily find tools to develop math, language, writing, reading, expand your scientific and technological skills, and so on.