Beyond the tools that only allow videoconferencing (such as Zoom), which are already well known to all, it is now possible to combine an interactive digital board and a graphic tablet to facilitate the exchange as well as a rating and opinion system. All these tools make it possible to increase the interactivity with the students who can thus take note of the projected exercises, participate, go to the board, etc. These digital tools, which are easy to set up today, promote conversational exchange between the teacher and the student.
Today, a huge array of tools, software, and online course applications are available and accessible to everyone on the internet. It is therefore sometimes difficult to find your way around and make your choice among the dozens of online course solutions. Even our teachers, in exchanging with them, have almost each shared a different tool to give private lessons online.
In this blog, we've compiled a list of indispensable tools for teaching online with their options and explained the feasibility they offer to help make distance learning effective.
Zoom is a communication and video conferencing tool that has gained popularity around the world during the lockdown. It allows students to see their teacher and listen to him while exchanging with each other.
This tool can be used for the animation of virtual classes. It has many features to:
Share your computer screen, so that students better understand a concept and the teacher's explanations;
Schedule online courses in advance;
Record class sessions, so students can watch them again later;
Zoom has very quickly become essential software for giving online courses.
Some students may not have the tools and software they need (e.g. Microsoft Office, Adobe software, etc.) on their computers, or they may have a computer that does not support certain software.
In this case, students can use remote access software as a solution to remotely access the school's computers, control them and run the installed software from their own devices. In this way, students can work on any software on the school's computers.
Some of the best remote access software includes TeamViewer and Splashtop. They allow virtual access to the school's Windows and Mac computers, from their own computers.
Another thing, remote access software also allows teachers to take control and perform demonstrations on students' computers in a virtual classroom.
Evernote is one of the essential applications to have on your smartphone and tablet; it is a note-taking tool that allows you to collect information and organize it. You can collect text, images, URLs, videos, cooking recipes... The great advantage of Evernote: you can access your notes regardless of the device used. Evernote is a bit like the "post-it" application. The app also has a reminder feature that allows you to schedule an alert on certain notes. Very easy to use, Evernote is available on Android, iPhone, Tablet, Mac, PC ... The app is completely free.
Blackboard Learn is a learning management system (LMS) suitable for schools (kindergarten to final year) and universities. It allows teachers to have full control over the students' learning process.
Instructors can create online courses by adding ready-to-use learning modules, documents, links, discussions, and tests, and assign them to students. They can then track the progress and completion of individual activities and the entire course, check assignments and view grades for students to view.
Blackboard Learn features also include a built-in calendar to schedule training sessions and view test due dates, announcements that teachers can post for learners to read, and chats and discussions between students and faculty
Teachers often need a file-sharing tool for file exchange, oral productions, fact sheets, written productions, etc. Google Drive is one of the best free online storage services that allows you to share up to 10GB of storage.
There are many file-sharing solutions like One Drive and Dropbox, but I recommend Google Drive for several reasons (it's free and offers some cool features).
To use Google Drive, all you need is a Google Account to sign in to your Drive account. In addition to storing files and folders, Google Drive offers you tools for word processing, spreadsheet creation, and presentation.
Google Classroom is a free web service designed by Google specifically for schools. It helps teachers to quickly create, distribute and grade assignments and communicate easily with their students, making distance learning effective and interesting...
Classroom integrates Google Docs, Drive, Gmail, and Calendar into one global platform. Each class can be separated in its directory in the user's account where the student can submit an assignment that will be verified by a teacher. Teachers can add assignments and due dates in Calendar and track each student's progress by checking a document's revision history and, after evaluation, returning it with comments. Google Classroom also allows teachers to easily send emails to learners (to the whole class or to a particular student) and post ads on the Class Stream.
The classic essential tool of a teacher, even during online courses, remains the whiteboard to better illustrate ideas and ensure the student's understanding. It is then possible to write, to erase as in a home course! It's also the perfect way to create mind maps or other visual aids. To find a collaborative whiteboard, the best solution remains the Microsoft Whiteboard
The platform is accessible with a Google account for all your video conferences. With Google Meet, there's no need to install anything! Anyone with a Google account can create a meeting on this tool, which is one of the most used video conferencing platforms, and simply send a link that allows participants to access the meeting.
The free version of Google Meet allows you to gather up to 100 participants for up to 60 minutes. If it is an individual distance learning, you have several hours in front of you because the 1:1 video call can last up to 24 hours (a whole day of training the dream)
If you prefer to use Microsoft's products, be aware that there is software similar to Zoom called Microsoft Teams. Formerly Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams has recently opened to individuals. This video conferencing solution is interesting because it allows both to make video calls and also, thanks to a well-thought-out discussion channel, the exchange of files, and the written exchange with the participants. This video conferencing platform also allows you to create Teams meetings directly via Outlook.
Indeed you access the meeting via a link directly on your calendar. You can directly via Outlook ask your learner to postpone a meeting or cancel it. For small budgets, the free version of Microsoft Teams allows you to gather 100 participants for a duration of 60 minutes.
The little extra: learners do not need to install the application to be able to access it from the moment you send it a link.