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10 tools for distance learning that you might not have thought of

Online learning tools

Distance learning is the perfect opportunity to spice things up by trying something new with your students. Whether you’re a tech novice or a whiz at online learning, here are some edtech tools for distance learning that you might not have heard of!

1. Kaizena

Grading essays online can be a pain, because it’s just not as intuitive as personalized written or verbal feedback. Kaizena solves this problem by allowing teachers to give verbal feedback on Google Docs! It syncs with Google Classroom, and students also have the ability to verbally reply to your feedback, meaning you don’t lose out on that personal touch that you get in the classroom.

2. RealWorldMath

It’s hard to take learning outside when school is online, but with RealWorldMath, you can… sort of! Home to a selection of free Math activities designed to work on and with Google Earth, RealWorldMath sets Math problems in real-world settings and situations. Hurrah for an interactive, “real-world” way of learning Math!

3. Soundtrap

Soundtrap is a tool by Spotify that enables students to mix music, edit audio and create podcasts. This is a great tool to get students’ creative juices flowing! Why not switch things up by assigning a podcast as homework instead of an essay?

4.Great Big Story

Great Big Story
In need of short, engaging videos as a springboard for online lessons? Great Big Story produces relevant, interesting video content on a range of timely issues. From the arts, to history, sports and the environment, you’ll find out-of-the-box content on here that will spark student interest and discussion. (P. S. As always, remember to preview videos before sharing them with students to ensure they are student-appropriate and classroom-friendly!).

5. Screencastify

Screencastify makes it a breeze for you to screen record, edit the video and then share it with students. Install the Chrome extension, start recording, and then upload your videos to Google Drive or Youtube to share with your students privately or publicly. It’s a great way to grade a student’s essay and provide them with recorded annotations and feedback they can view, or to demonstrate certain Math or Science concepts. You could even switch it around and get students to explain their thought processes behind their work as they complete it.

6. Actually Read it Later

We’ve all been there — bookmarking articles we intend to read but forgetting about them soon after. Actually Read it Later is a Google Chrome extension that saves articles for you, enabling you to set a time to read it later. This is useful for remote learning if you have set students a reading or current affairs task, allowing them to compile relevant articles and read at their own pace.

7. Mindmeister

Remember the mindmap craze that swept the globe over a decade ago? There’s a reason for that – mindmaps aid in comprehension and memory. Mindmeister is a useful tool for brainstorming or revision. Students can collaborate on a mindmap in real-time, which makes it useful for remote collaborative work.

8. Scribd, Audible and Save with Stories

Save with Stories
It can be hard to get books into the hands of students, but amazing companies and celebrities have come together to help ensure we all keep reading during these trying times. Audible has made hundreds of titles for kids to stream, saying that ‘For as long as schools are closed, we’re open.’ Similarly, Scribd has made its digital library completely free for the next 30 days, with no credit card or commitment required.

Bonus: Celebrities Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams have started Save with Stories, which posts videos of celebrities reading books to raise funds for Save the Children and No Kid Hungry.

9. YoTeach!

YoTeach! is a free chatroom for class discussions that give teachers the ability to moderate and control discussions. Aside from its drawing and annotating functionalities, teachers can remove irrelevant or unwanted message, mute certain students, have students vote on responses and even download the transcript at the end.

10. Quizalize

Differentiation with Quizalize
We’ve saved the best for last! We’re very proud of our differentiation tool, so we had to include it. Quizalize is different from your standard quizzing platform because it makes it a breeze for teachers to differentiate instruction. You can automatically assign students follow-up resources based on their quiz score, meaning that students of varied abilities can continue to be supported even during distance learning. Check this video out to learn more about differentiation with Quizalize: