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Since schools around the world are temporarily transferring students to study online, the question arises regarding the technical side of the matter. In schools in the US before, a lot of work, especially homework, children had to do using computer applications.
However, now this applies to absolutely everyone! American school educators recommend a range of sites and apps that you can use to collaborate, simulating classroom learning. For online lessons and live group communication, you can use Google Hangouts, Skype, or Zoom. A powerful impetus in development is received by programs that make it possible to collectively work on documents. The big players in this space, Google Docs and Office 365, make it easy to work across multiple devices. You can edit text documents, presentations, spreadsheets in real-time. Online group collaboration has also been added to popular software such as Dropbox. All in all, here is a set of online tools that teachers, parents, and students can use to collaborate on various projects or create tests/assignments.
On Youtube, screencasts are used as small video guides for various programs. In teaching, screencasts provide completely new opportunities for students to record short academic presentations, analyzes, explanations, etc. RecordCast is my favorite of free and web-based screen recorders, which is easy to go to and runs excellently on both Mac, Windows, and Linux as RecordCast only needs a browser. You can of course record your browser window with it, but recordings of the entire screen and the webcam are also possible.
If you’re a Google user, you can make good use of the core features of Google Docs: Word documents, presentations, and even a spreadsheet for collaboration. Share links in Word Doc or Presentation, participate in collaboration on documents.
Microsoft Office 365
This program has tons of collaboration tools. We recommend paying attention to the Microsoft One Note’s Class Notebooks feature. They are a personal workspace for each student. But in addition, there is a space for joint work on lessons and creative activities. If students use devices that come with a pen, such as the Microsoft Surface or certain iPads, they can even write the annotation by hand using digital ink. This feature allows you to sketch plans, diagrams, etc., which is great for collaborative planning.
The program provides teachers with a blackboard where everyone can post short text notes, post notes with announcement notes. But unlike a chalkboard, this one can be shared among people around the world. You can create such a questionnaire board. Students can post questions on the board as they progress through the program. You get the first three boards for free.
Socrative allows you to customize texts and ask questions from any device with access to the Internet via a web browser. These are İPad, and smartphones, laptops, iPad Touch, etc. This makes it ideal for classroom use in proprietary electronic devices. For Android and İOS, this program can be accessed through the app. And most importantly, this system is free. There are only a few features that require additional payment.
It is an online platform for creating interactive, fun, and collective quizzes. The organizer launches the quiz on a screen visible to the participants. Individually, they can answer questions as they go on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Each correct answer earns points, also taking into account the response time. After each question, the answer is displayed as well as the ranking.
Another planning, collaboration, and curation tool allows the group to create a digital portfolio like Padlet, only for free. You can merge YouTube files, tweets, PDFs, documents, and more. In the program, you can find an accessible guide to using the Wakelet.
It’s mind-blowing software with collaboration features. Here you can easily share your mind maps with students in your class using a shared link. Allows you to collaborate in real-time and see changes in mind maps. A subscription for schools with discounts is on sale.
MindMeister is an online tool for creating collaborative mind maps. It offers integration of videos, photos, URLs, and files. Once the map has been created, it is possible to export it or use it as a presentation medium with zoom and browse options. By subscribing to a Pro or Business subscription, you can also invite your team members to a reserved space and discuss in a chat.
This program is easy to use as a brainstorming tool. With it, children can quickly write down their ideas and sort them visually. Poppet is a large whiteboard on which you can hang a sticky note or “popples”. It is a kind of space containing texts, photos, and other interesting things like Google Maps or YouTube videos.
Flipgrid is a video discussion platform that allows the teacher to create virtual classrooms in which students can discuss current topics, or describe the process they used to solve a complex problem, publish book reviews, films, or television programs. It previously offered teachers features for class management only in Premium mode, but since Microsoft acquired it, all paid features have become totally free and available to all teachers.
EdPuzzle is a free platform that offers a truly useful service for teaching. It is possible to create a class, enroll students, and then generate / edit videos with personalized lessons at will. You can use videos on YouTube or other social networks or use those on the site itself. It gives you the ability to remix videos with your own voice, insert audio notes, and create questions. Students will be able to respond, and the teacher will be able to monitor how many times the student has viewed the video before answering.
Depending on your needs, it’s up to you to choose the solution that’s right for you. Most subscription tools offer free versions or trial periods, allowing you to test them before taking a position. However, we can not overestimate the role of these tools in the classroom since they cannot transform everything by magic.