Is your school looking into digital learning amid the growing Coronavirus outbreak? Are you wondering how you can provide your students with a quality education from home? Are you a teacher who always wanted to try flipping the classroom, but didn’t know which digital learning tools to use?
Don’t stress! There are many free and easy to use digital learning tools available. Here are a few of my favorites that I can’t live without!
1. Google Classroom
If you use Google classroom, you are already one step ahead of the game! Google Classroom is the perfect platform to share content, assessments, and assignments with your students.
The beauty of this digital learning tool is that it makes differentiating, distributing and collecting assignments, and tracking student work a breeze!
Feedback is essential and this digital learning tool is very user-friendly. If you are in a situation where you are not seeing the students for several days, feedback is critical for enhancing learning and maintaining relationships. You can give feedback through private comments or comment directly on the student’s document if it is a Google Doc or Slide. You can even give students the opportunity to resubmit assignments.
Edpuzzle is one of my absolute favorite tools for digital learning in the classroom. This free platform allows you to turn any video into a lesson. Since students interact with the video, they are more engaged than watching a traditional video. Best of all, it integrates nicely with Google Classroom!
Edpuzzle offers a variety of popular channels for virtually any subject. Khan Academy, National Geographic and Ted Talks are a few of my favorites. After selecting the video, you have the opportunity to embed questions into the video. There are also thousands of videos that teachers have already created questions for that can be assigned immediately.
Tracking data in Edpuzzle is very easy and students get instant feedback as they progress through the video. Also, the open-ended questions are very simple to assess!
On occasion, I like to flip the classroom. Edpuzzle allows me to upload my own video and embed written directions, audio and questions straight into the video.
My favorite feature – a setting that exists to prevent students from fast-forwarding through videos!
CK-12 is a fabulous option if you need a free online textbook. This tool specializes in STEM-related subject areas and is easy to use with all grade levels. CK-12 allows the teacher to customize a digital flexbook (think editable textbook) to use with students.
The flexbook “chapters” are well-written and easy to understand. Students have the opportunity to annotate text, watch videos and complete adaptive practice problems with each lesson! I like the ease in which you can track student performance.
CK-12 has added over 100 high-quality science simulations. I love how this can provide real-world science explorations without leaving home!
My students LOVE watching BrainPOP cartoons. Tim and Moby have a way of explaining things in a fun, easy to understand way (with a little humor sprinkled in). In my opinion, BrainPOP is the total package! It provides engaging video content, quizzes, games, related readings, and lesson activities!
BrainPOP is a subscription-based website. I was beyond excited to learn that BrainPOP is providing free access to their site to schools closed due to the Coronavirus! Check out this link for free access!
Hyperdocs (sometimes called text sets) are the best of all worlds! They allow the teacher to create a one-stop-shop of activities for student learning. I usually structure mine to include activities for input and student output.
- Youtube videos
- Edpuzzle videos
- Newsela articles
- Link to related webpage
- Use Screencastify to create your own screencasts for notes and powerpoints
- Create on paper and submit with a photo online
- Flipgrid – pose a question and students submit through video recording – FREE and students love it!
To create a hyperdoc: Select the topic, customize the learning by embedding links and directions into a Google Doc or Google Slide Presentation. After it is shared with the students, they can work through a variety of activities at their own pace.
If you are looking for more information about hyperdocs, here is a great article about using hyperdocs in the classroom from Cult of Pedagogy!
Whether you are looking forward to flipping the classroom, or a break from school due to illness, I hope that these five digital learning tools can benefit your students and engage them while away from traditional learning!
Please feel free to share this post with others who may need a little help getting started or some new ideas to freshen up their online teaching!
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