New Online Tools

Online tools for teachers; Most popular digital tools for teachers and learners; Personal Experience - Arina Lapshina.

NEW ONLINE TOOLS FOR TEACHERS

These days the internet is abundant with various websites, resources and platforms for teachers to use in their lessons. Sometimes it seems that serving through all that may take ages and you don’t know what may come in handy and what is a waste of time. We have taken it upon us to collect a list of interesting tools and give you a little review of what they do and what they are good for. If you know some other resources that we failed to mention in the article, feel free to share them in the comment section, we will greatly appreciate that!

Classkick

The platform allows you to create interactive assignments for your individual students and groups. It is free to sign up for both students and teachers, although some advanced features come with a paid-for plan.
You may add your students to “rosters” and assign certain tasks to them. When creating an assignment, you add different pages with interactive elements such as multiple-choice tasks, text boxes (with a possibility to specify acceptable answers), matching and moving elements. Another useful feature is recording audios - students can record their answers for teachers to listen and check. Teachers can observe student progress in real time and provide immediate feedback.
This is a much needed break from your classroom routine, which will engage your students, and is bound to boost their interest and motivation. 

Quizizz

This is another online assessment platform that allows users to create and use each other’s quizzes, much like baamboozle and kahoot. Students type in a unique access code and can do the quiz together in class as a form of competition or individually as homework with a deadline. The platform enables students to see their answers after they complete the task, and moreover, the answers are compiled into a spreadsheet for teachers to see what areas need revision or further work in the future.
The platform provides clear instructions on how to create your first quiz and is generally very easy to use. All features are free to use, accessible on any device with a browser and internet access, and it only requires a valid email address to sign up. 

Tiny Texts

Teachers often struggle with finding authentic texts and audios that will provide students with linguistically riсh and meaningful input. One such website is TineTexts. It boasts a nice variety of short texts on different topics, all coming along with audios and target vocabulary. The texts are generally suitable for pre-intermediate and higher levels. 

Skell

On this website you can find example sentences for any word or collocation that may come in handy when putting together gap-filling tasks for emerging vocabulary. You can also look at other collocations, modifiers, verbs that can be used with a word. 

Randall’s ESL cyber listening lab

This is a multifunctional website whose major feature is various listening activities with scripts, tasks and questions. The recordings are divided by “Easy”, “Intermediate” and “Difficult” and cover a lot of interesting topics. What’s more, you can find cultural videos, vocabulary exercises and other useful features here.

Edpuzzle

The last website for today will be edpuzzle, which enables users to create interactive video lessons. You can use videos from Youtube, Vimeo, TED and some other website and embed open or multiple-choice questions, add audio recordings, commentary and some other things. It will definitely make watching a video more interesting for your students!

In conclusion, it is important to note, that although you may be tempted to use all of these tools in one lesson to create that wow-effect and engage your students, do not forget that they may benefit way more from a meaningful conversation and interaction with each other. 


The Most Popular Digital Education Tools For Teachers and Learners

Hundreds of digital education tools have been created with the purpose of giving autonomy to the student, improving the administration of academic processes, encouraging collaboration, and facilitating communication between teachers and learners. Here we present 11 of the most popular.

1. Edmodo

Edmodo is an educational tool that connects teachers and students and is assimilated into a social network. In this one, teachers can create online collaborative groups, administer and provide educational materials, measure student performance, and communicate with parents, among other functions. Edmodo has more than 34 million users who connect to create a learning process that is more enriching, personalized, and aligned with the opportunities brought by technology and the digital environment.

2. Socrative

Designed by a group of entrepreneurs and engineers passionate about education, Socrative is a system that allows teachers to create exercises or educational games which students can solve using mobile devices, whether smartphones, laptops, or tablets. Teachers can see the results of the activities and, depending on these, modify the subsequent lessons in order to make them more personalized.

3. Projeqt

Projeqt is a tool that allows you to create multimedia presentations, with dynamic slides in which you can embed interactive maps, links, online quizzes, Twitter timelines, and videos, among other options. During a class session, teachers can share with students academic presentations which are visually adapted to different devices.

4. Thinglink

Thinglink allows educators to create interactive images with music, sounds, texts, and photographs. These can be shared on other websites or social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook. Thinglink offers the possibility for teachers to create learning methodologies that awaken the curiosity of students through interactive content that can expand their knowledge.

5. TED-Ed

TED-Ed is an educational platform that allows creating educational lessons with the collaboration of teachers, students, animators—generally people who want to expand knowledge and good ideas. This website allows democratizing access to information, both for teachers and students. Here, people can have active participation in the learning process of others.

6. cK-12

cK-12 is a website that seeks to reduce the cost of academic books for the K12 market in the United States and the world. To achieve its objective, this platform has an open-source interface that allows creating and distributing educational material through the internet, which can be modified and contain videos, audios, and interactive exercises. It can also be printed and comply with the necessary editorial standards in each region. The books that are created in cK-12 can be adapted to the needs of any teacher or student.

7. ClassDojo

ClassDojo is a tool to improve student behavior: teachers provide their students with instant feedback so that good disposition in class is ‘rewarded’ with points and students have a more receptive attitude towards the learning process. ClassDojo provides real-time notifications to students, like ‘Well Done David!’ and ‘+1’, for working collaboratively. The information that is collected about student behavior can be shared later with parents and administrators through the web.

8. eduClipper

This platform allows teachers and students to share and explore references and educational material. In eduClipper, you can collect information found on the internet and then share it with the members of previously created groups, which offers the possibility to manage more effectively the academic content found online, improve research techniques, and have a digital record of what students achieved during the course. Likewise, it provides the opportunity for teachers to organize a virtual class with their students and create a portfolio where all the work carried out is stored.

9. Storybird

Storybird aims to promote writing and reading skills in students through storytelling. In this tool, teachers can create interactive and artistic books online through a simple and easy-to-use interface. The stories created can be embedded in blogs, sent by email, and printed, among other options. In Storybird, teachers can also create projects with students, give constant feedback, and organize classes and grades.

10. Animoto

Animoto is a digital tool that allows you to create high-quality videos in a short time and from any mobile device, inspiring students and helping improve academic lessons. The Animoto interface is friendly and practical, allowing teachers to create audiovisual content that adapts to educational needs.

11. Kahoot!

Kahoot! is an educational platform that is based on games and questions. Through this tool, teachers can create questionnaires, discussions, or surveys that complement academic lessons. The material is projected in the classroom and questions are answered by students while playing and learning at the same time. Kahoot! promotes game-based learning, which increases student engagement and creates a dynamic, social, and fun educational environment.

Read more here.


PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

Modern technologies are developing more and more and we implement them more often in the field of education and studying. My name is Arina and I have been using different apps and online tools since I was a student and I continue to use them now in my teaching activities.

In general, I have a positive experience because these tools simplify and fasten the studying process. They allow us to effectively integrate the learning process into our daily activities. For example, we might listen to a podcast or watch an informative video while riding the subway or in a traffic jam. I can send some online tests to my students as a home assignment instead of PDF files. Moreover, online tools provide visibility and interactivity of the lesson. For example, in Miro or Jamboard we, together with the students, can compose a mind map, make interesting matching tasks or even draw a scheme. After the lesson, I can save it in PDF format and send it to my students. Instead of boring tests I can create a Kahoot or Quizizz and make testing more entertaining. This technique works especially well in group lessons because there is an element of competition and everyone wants to score as many points as possible.

Also, when we have to discuss some topic or grammar material I like to use TED talks, some YouTube channel, or Edpuzzle. These platforms have a rich variety of different content and allow my students to collect knowledge from different spheres. Usually, I like to use these videos as a basis for discussion or as additional material.

In our modern world, it is essential to know how to implement online tools wisely. It is a great source of information and inspiration for teachers as well as for students. It is also a great way to make the lesson more attractive and interactive and have some fun.


That’s all for now!
Stay amazing♥