As COVID-19 continues raging across the globe, a lot of schools have either started a new academic year remotely or have been forced to go remote during the fall semester, because of the rapid growth of new cases. Consequently, the majority of K-12 and college educators right now are in desperate need of a full set of reliable eLearning tools that will enable them to work as efficiently as they are used to in class.
In this article, we’ve gathered the best education software there is sorted by its functionality.
What is eLearning software?
ELearning software, or digital learning tools, is software that allows teachers to provide education to their students remotely, via the Internet. This includes teaching materials, communication tools, organizational tools, grading apps, and so on.
Virtual classroom platforms
Can you be present in class when your classroom is closed for the lockdown? Can you still provide a personal touch in your approach to teaching when you’re miles away from your students? Online classroom platforms make sure you can. Zoom classes and conferences have become a cultural mark of this turmoil of a year, often the only thing that has helped people to stay connected. But apart from the omnipresent Zoom, there are several other solutions that you may find more useful for the purposes of creating a productive virtual class environment.
What makes Google Classroom so effective in organizing the classwork is its integration with other familiar Google apps, such as Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Slides, and Sheets. The primary goal of the app is to allow a better process of sharing files and communication between teachers and students. For example, a student can submit their assignment to the folder designated for their class where their teacher will be able to review the history of the document, make comments, and grade the work. In 2020, Google has added a better integration with Google Meets, as well as 10 additional languages, a new to-do widget, and several other handy tools to help educators worldwide do their job during the lockdown.
Blackboard Collaborate is a distance learning system and an online collaboration tool. It offers more than just web communication, answering the many needs of teachers and students online—from file sharing, collaboration, and grading tools, to a personalized learning designer that allows teachers to create personalized learning paths for each student based on their performance. Blackboard Collaborate also prides itself on rich HD quality of video and audio and instant synchronization.
Since teachers can’t ensure student engagement via face-to-face interaction anymore, it has become increasingly important to provide students with materials that are visually stimulating and interactive. Classic solutions such as PowerPoint or PDF can’t quite do that. So how can you enhance them? These tools are the answer.
If you usually distribute supplementary teaching materials via PDF, consider switching to FlippingBook instead. The online flipbooks you create via FlippingBook from PDF can be shared as links which means no more heavy email attachments. You can enrich your flipbook with videos, GIFs, pop-ups, and links, thus making a document more entertaining for your students. And with swift text search, an interactive table of contents, and thumbnails they will be able to find things they need in seconds.
Pear Deck is a presentation that specializes in student engagement. Basically, it transforms an ordinary PowerPoint file into a cooperative activity with interactive exercises and formative assessments. With Pear Deck, your slide show is no longer just a demonstration, but also an instrument for active participation. Students can draw on the slides they see, submit individual answers, and learn from each other in real time.
Feedback and parent communication tools
Remote education takes its toll on feedback and communication as well, especially the communication between parents and schools as the latter can’t hold parents’ evenings or invite carers to private interviews anymore. With the apps below, however, teachers, students, and parents can stay in touch, always getting the information they need as soon as they need it.
Bloomz is a neat all-in-one app that makes it really easy for a teacher to keep students and parents informed. Parent-teacher conferences, text messaging, behavior tracking, calendar reminders—Bloomz provides it all. Teachers can manage their classrooms, while also keeping all communication private and secure. Parents without an app are still able to get notifications and updates via email. Teachers can even organize volunteer item sign-ups via Bloomz if the school happens to need anything.
ClassDojo aspires to help you turn your classroom into a real community. While providing all the necessary instruments for teacher-to-parent communication, such as mass messaging, push notifications, and progress reporting, ClassDojo emphasizes the importance of positive culture and encourages it. With ClassDojo, teachers can easily keep parents in the loop by posting class stories and updates; and students are also given a voice with digital portfolios they can fill by adding photos and videos.
Organization and assessment tools
Now more than ever, educators require advanced digital solutions that will help them work effectively on upcoming lessons and projects and get a correct assessment of their students’ progress in time so that they could plan their curriculum in accordance. The two tools below make classroom organization a breeze.
Trello hasn’t been created specifically for the educational sphere but it works wonderfully for teachers and professors around the world. Trello is an intuitive collaboration tool that allows educators to work together on lesson planning, getting valuable input from colleagues and parents alike, and organize their digital classroom with maximum efficiency. With Trello, teachers can have a visual layout of their semester right before their eyes and always keep each other and parents up-to-date.
Edulastic is an online assessment system for teachers that provides them with instant classroom data and allows them to track progress individually with each student. Teachers can use any of the 10 thousand pre-built assessments, create their own, or collaborate on them with other teachers and schools. The Edulastic system not only gives a more comprehensive view on each student’s growth but also saves a lot of time and effort that would otherwise be wasted on manual grading.
Remote learning can be taxing both for teachers and students. A lot of people find it harder to focus when working or studying from home as it requires really good self-management skills to maintain a schedule and distinguish business from leisure. At this, we want to recommend a couple of cool habit trackers that will help you and your students to organize your lives in the most efficient way possible.
The main schtick of HabitHub, a neat habit tracker app for Android and iOS, is that it makes building a habit visually satisfying. Each day you maintain your habit adds the next link to the green chain—and the longer you do that, the longer the chain becomes. Your only job now is to keep the chain growing! HabitHub is also a very flexible and user-friendly app. You can organize your habits into categories, set reminders, and create scheduling systems that work specifically for you.
Habitica is an unconventional habit tracker that your students will totally love! It treats real life as a game—but in a good way. Much like in an RPG, with Habitica you can enhance your Avatar, acquire magic skills, and even go on quests by building your habits and achieving your daily goals. The system of in-game rewards and punishments helps you to optimize your time and improve any sphere of your life, be it work, school, health, or creative endeavors.
With all these tools at your disposal, we hope that remote teaching and studying will become as efficient and productive for you as it ever has been—or even better!