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Online Tools and Platforms for the Teaching Force

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For some, finding the right online teaching and learning tool is quite a task.

It’s true that there are numerous online platforms and resources that can be used however, no one size fits all when it comes to learning. What is easily available to you might be difficult to access for your students.

How do you know which tool works best for this type of course? Can everyone access this tool? Will this tool help boost the learning environment you are trying to establish?

That’s a lot of Qs, right? To establish a positive and learning-centered environment, there are a lot of things to consider and knowing what and which online tools to use can be the start of taking that extra mile to the next level.

Let’s start with taking a step back and evaluating your priorities. What should you consider when choosing the right online tool for your class?

Exactly! There’s so many that you don’t know where to start!

But… you don’t have to start big. Everything starts with the basic foundations and you build your way up. Assessment, Feedback and Communication are some of the significant factors that you consider.

Let us help you out with that!

Here are some platforms recommended not only to make online learning fun but to ease and help teachers deliver a quality learning experience. Grouped according to their features, the following online tools have been used and recommended by co-teachers in their journey with online teaching:

COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION TOOLS

Communication in an online learning environment has the same goals as that of face-to-face communication — to build relationships, exchange and collaborate.

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More than ever, communication plays the most significant role in online learning. Without a clear communication and collaboration channel, interaction between teachers and students will be difficult. Finding the right tool to communicate and collaborate is a must!

  1. Google Meet (Free) — Formerly known as Hangouts Meet, Google Meet allows teachers to create a unique Meet link for their classes. This allows easy access to students as the link acts as a dedicated meeting space for the class. Google Meet offers other features such as recording, live captions, and multiple adaptive layouts during video conferences

  2. Microsoft Teams (Free, Paid) — a live-video and communication application that offers features that brings the classroom to your home. Teams allows sharing of files, recording, live captions, setting breakout rooms and a space where students can share their work through sharing their screens. Teams also offers specific features for educators with their Class team type designed with classroom use.

  3. Zoom (Free, Paid) — a collaborative and communication application that offers several features that caters to teaching over video calls. It is a user-friendly video conference tool that offers features like recording lessons, annotation of the presenter’s screen through using their whiteboard feature and breakout rooms. Like Teams, Zoom also offers an Education plan that offers specific features that are designed to provide a classroom-like learning environment.

FEEDBACK & LEARNING MANAGEMENT TOOLS

Feedback, in any form, plays a significant role in improving students’ assessment performance and learning progress — more so now in the current setting of online learning.

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Not only does feedback serve as guidance to students, authentic and timely feedback empowers students and helps raise their confidence and enthusiasm for learning.

  1. Kaizena (Free) — A platform where students and teachers can interact and exchange feedback. Kaizena allows you to highlight sections of the document and provide your feedback in audio or text format. Students can even request feedback on a specific part of their work and an email will be sent to notify the teacher of the request. While teachers are providing feedback, students are also able to comment and respond to the teacher. Aside from accessing the tool in Kaizena’s website, you can also add this tool in Google Docs.

  2. Seesaw (Free, Paid) — A platform where teachers encourage their students to share their work and becomes a space where teachers and peers can provide encouragement, constructive criticism, and suggestions for improvement. Teachers use Seesaw as a learning space where individual reflection and peer feedback is encouraged.

  3. NowComment (Free) — A platform for engagement through online discussion and feedback. A group collaboration tool where discussion can simply start with a document. Teachers use this platform to encourage participation and collaboration with real time discussion and feedback between peers and instructors.

ASSESSMENT PLATFORMS

Assessment in online learning can come in different forms and types. Creating assessment and making sure that it is taken with all seriousness is surely a challenge itself.

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In an online learning environment, to identify what tool to use to facilitate an assessment is as important as identifying what type of assessment is implemented.

  1. Google Forms (Free) — The most popular tool by far when giving assessments and conducting surveys in a class. Google Forms is a widely accessible tool that allows teachers to create and customize questionnaires. If you’re not aware, Google Forms can automatically grade the submitted forms and import the grades into your Google Classroom. You can either let your students immediately view their scores or after you have taken the time to review their answers.

  2. Formative (Free, Paid) — A web-based tool, also known as GoFormative, that allows teachers to create assignments and assessments, send them to the students, receive results and provide feedback real time. Formative can be easily accessed from any device. The tool offers numerous features such as help teachers either create their own or choose from the existing pre-made assessments in the system, respond real time to responses and monitor student participation during discussions and track student learning progress.

  3. Quizizz (Free, Paid) — A web-based tool that allows teachers to create collaborative and gamified assessments, presentations, and flashcards for students. The tool offers numerous features that encourage engagement and collaboration in the class through features like live quizzes, active polls, student-paced assignments, and flashcard activities. Quizizz also offers teachers the option for the tool to automatically grade the activities and assessments.


Are you using one or two of the recommended tools? That’s awesome!

Educators should take comfort in the fact that there are numerous online tools that can help them deliver quality learning experience to their students. It’s just a matter of what you and your students need to connect, communicate, and collaborate.

It is true that no one size fits all and it’s hard to find a learning tool that has all the features that you need — a learning tool not only for students but for the teachers as well.

But… we’re excited to introduce you to an innovative teaching tool that has helped OVER 1000 TEACHERS and OVER 14000 STUDENTS in the country:

YOUR NEXT TEACHING COMPANION!

We’ll see you in the next one!


References:

[1] https://teachersfirst.com/blog/2017/01/5-tools-for-providing-authentic-and-effective-feedback/

[2] https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse/solutions

[3] https://www.commonsense.org/education/top-picks/best-tools-for-virtual-and-distance-learning

[4] https://creately.com/blog/education/online-teaching-tools/

[5] https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/best-methods-and-tools-for-online-educators-to-give-students-helpful-and-meaningful-feedback/

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