Trello is a collaborative work tool that allows teams to visually plan and manage tasks. Utilizing a novel board system, lists and cards are used to organize and prioritize projects in a fun and flexible way. Trello integrates very easily with other major teamwork applications like Google Drive, Dropbox and Slack. What is especially helpful with Trello is that it provides the user with a large library of pre-made templates that are applicable to almost any situation. These built in models give students the opportunity to stay organized and improve their digital literacy skills.
Almost, synonymous with online learning and working at this point – Google Drive still remains a powerful tool for individuals and larger corporations. If you are someone new to e-learning Google Drive is a great tool to help get your feet wet by utilizing it’s synchronization and file sharing features. For advanced users, consider starting to integrate third-party apps from other organizations into your drive to help drive customized work. For example, the popular graphic design tool Pixlr now has an integration with Google Drive which allows creative teams to work collaboratively.
Educreations is an app that appeals to the content creator who wants to create engaging learning experiences. This tool, allows you to create whiteboard style slide animations and add images to customize learning experiences. Additionally there is an option to add audio to the slides you create in real-time; similar to the style of Khan Academy Videos. If you are a classroom teacher who has access to iPads this is a great tool which allows students to work collaboratively and creatively to make their presentations.
Camtasia by TechSmith is a screen recorder and voice-over tool that that creates professional looking videos for online learning. While it is a paid tool, it’s functionality and customer support creates an engaging easy to pick up and use experience. Not only does it allow the user to record video, it also has an editing suite built into it as well to allow the user to edit their videos right after they have been created and prepped for distribution. If you are looking for a free that allows screen recording, look at CamStudio. It does not have as many features but is still a popular free tool for video recording.
Elucidat is an elearning tool with built in features that allow users to generate content at scale and receive real time data about how the platforms is being used. This tool is ideal for the educator who wants to do as much work “in the box” but also working as a member as a team. What makes Elucidat most powerful is its emphasis on determining the ROI of modules, content or courses. For this reason, the quality of data it generates puts a greater emphasis on the course creator to create offerings that match the ROI metrics of interest.
Canva has become increasingly popular lately as a free to use, cloud-based tool that allows designers to collaborate on designs in real time. In the classroom, it has many practical applications: creating infographics, posters, media literacy, social graphics to just name a few. With their exhaustive database of templates and free elements Canva is a great tool to include in your professional practice with peers, and also with your students.
Zoom is a cloud video conferencing platform with built in features to successfully facilitate meetings and group messaging. On it’s free plan, Zoom only allows 40 minute meetings until it is ended automatically, but you can always start another call so you not limited in its service. One of Zoom’s best features is it’s consistent high quality video, audio and screen sharing experiences across desktop and mobile devices. Zoom has quickly become the go-to conferencing service in the private sector and is being rapidly adopted by those in higher education as well.
Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by Google which includes messaging, video chat, and voice over features. Google Hangouts is only free and allows for high quality video conferencing and voice over features. Hangouts allows conversations between two or more users.
Skype is Microsoft’s competitor to Google Hangouts. One of the first mainstream computer telecommunications software, Skype allows free calling between users and also file transfers, texting and video conferencing. It’s excellent video and audio quality allows for seamless communication. With free calls allowed in your local area, this makes Skype an idea solution for students to collaborate with one another, or collaboration with coworkers
Quizlet is a mobile and web-based study tool that allows students to study using tools and games. It started out with purely rote memory flashcard exercises to help primarily with knowledge acquisition but has branches out and differentiated it’s offerings. For example it allows for: writing exercises, play-based learning games, matching, live challenges, and spell checkers for vocabulary. Teachers have the ability to create their own deck of cards and then students have the flexibility to choose a study process that suits them best.Quizlet also has a growing database of user generated content that teachers can access and make use of.
Slack describes is a hub for collaboration that gives teams the resources and pipelines to get work done efficiently. Slack is free to get started and allows unlimited users to be added to any workplace. For your classroom, you might consider using Slack for group projects where you as the teacher have the ability to create multiple channels and then monitor student activity in each of them. Or, you may use it as a way of students handing in files. The primary benefit here is that it keeps your entire classroom space organized in one spot for free.
Google Classroom is a cloud based delivery system for educational materials. Teachers typically use it to organize course materials,quizzes and relay new information about class. What is especially interesting about Google Classroom is it’s elearning functionality like automatic quiz marking, Google Drive synching and communication channels for personalized feedback. Collaboration tool for teachers and students that allows educators to create assignments, receive feedback and track other information in a centralized location.
Remind is a free, safe messaging app that helps families up to date with what’s happening in the classroom from their student’s teachers. Teachers send messages to the parents/guardians of their students to remind them of homework or to pass off comments. It can also be used by coaches and club leaders to remind parents of upcoming obligations. Teachers have the option of allowing communication back from parents as well. Recently, the application gained access to google drive so you can send files such as permission slips home to parents.
“PeppeR”, is a web-based collaborative workspace where students can engage in in-depth inquiry. PeppeR offers a variety of specialized knowledge building features and social networking tools that support learners of all ages in their efforts to share information, identify key ideas, and progressively work to improve those ideas.In doing so, PeppeR allows educators and instructional designers to customize the learning environment to their pedagogical or instructional preferences. While Pepper has many features that better suited for highschool, it has many features which are not readily available on a typical LMS.
Adobe Captivate has been a popular choice for many Fortune 500 companies and they recently have begun showcasing how their features are applicable to the class room.AS teachers continue to look for elearning solutions that come “out of the box” ready to go. Solutions like Adobe Captivate are increasingly attractive. One of the most powerful parts about captive is that it is integrated with the Adobe Creative Cloud and a natural extension of the content creation and artistic tools that Adobe already offers.
Almost commonplace in schools now, Kahoot allows you to turn any lesson into game-based learning by offering students instant polls, quizzes and a response based assessment system. Every time, you are asked to join a game you are asked to assign a custom nickname for you within the game. As with any online activity you may want to discuss etiquette and digital citizenship and establish class rules before starting. You can use Kahoot to test student knowledge and make content expectations explicit to students.
The user interface is highly easy for teachers to use and there is an ever increasing library of public quizzes. A lesser used feature within Kahoot is the ability to crete groups to have students answer questions collaboratively. For teachers, Kahoot is a a greqt resource because it allows them to get data back instantly, or download if afterwords as a means of assessing assessment of learning.
This can then be used to help with instruction and modifying of lesson plans.
Socrative is a web-based student-response system that allows teachers to create quizzes and student response systems for learning.. Students access questions via a Room Code, that teachers have control and access too. It gives teachers an incredible amount of variety in its ability to create quizzes, ask quick questions, and assign exit tickets. In addition to those basic assessment strategies, students can team up to play games which foster creativity while allowing teachers to access real-time results of these activities. At the end, teachers can see quiz data and download it through an Excel sheet or email it for further planning.
One of the primary benefits of Socrative is that teachers can foster effective communication skills in a free and collaborative manner while also being monitored. You can measure student learning with printable reports, but to see long-term data of students over time, you’ll need to put in the time to aggregate separate reports into one.
Mentimeter is a free-to-use, interactive presentation platform that allows real-time interaction between teachers and students. It’s interactive features make classroom more enjoyable, engaging, and inclusive.
Padlet is an online virtual “bulletin” board, where students and teachers can collaborate, reflect, share links and pictures, in a secure location.Padlet allows users to create a hidden wall with a custom URL. Padlet creators can also moderate posts, remove posts, and manage their board 24/7.
Padlet can be used in the classroom in a variety of ways. For example, collecting ideas, brainstorming, collaborating, and group work. If your class has a bring your own device policy, all students will be able to access it for free. If not, your in class technology very well. One of the great attributes of Padlet is that it does not require students identify their contributions and therefore they can feel they can share their ideas without worrying about how they are perceived. However, the caveat is that you may want to discuss etiquette and digital citizenship and establish class rules before starting.