Online Course Interactive – We all know that remote teaching can be challenging. Although we know that online classes are the best option in the current situation, there is no secret how difficult it is to ensure student learning and active engagement.
Let’s be honest, Zoom classes and traditional slides just aren’t enough. Students don’t participate, and unfortunately, they don’t learn. It’s not entirely their fault. It’s not because they don’t care, but because they struggle. They struggle to concentrate; They struggle to connect with others; They struggle to be active learners.
Online Course Interactive
It’s not our fault, we all do our best. We try to adapt to extreme situations without proper training, support or enough time to change the curriculum.
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The good news is that there are tons of tools and online resources out there to help us make our classes more engaging and interactive.
To save you time and help you choose the right tools for your classes, I’ve selected 5 of my favorite tools for online education. In this post, I will give you a hint about some of the best, low-budget and user-friendly apps on the market to enhance your online learning experience and some ideas on how to use them.
Explain All is my favorite interactive whiteboard platform. Quite frankly much more than a collaborative whiteboard. By explaining everything, you can create video beats about your lecture topics and share them with students to check understanding. You can either record your slideshow as you speak, or draw and write on the whiteboard, recording everything you say and adding to it.
Another fun activity is the collaborative whiteboard. You can create groups and invite your students to collaborate on projects. Students can work on cloud projects simultaneously or at their own pace, and you have an eye on their work in real time. It is great for synchronous and asynchronous group work. What I love about this is that participants joining the whiteboard at the same time can hear each other thanks to their audio chat.
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Finally, you can livecast the whiteboard and make your online classes more engaging. Either by using a video conferencing system (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc.) or by sharing a whiteboard link, participants can see what’s going on in real time. This is a great option for large sized synchronous classes.
Explain that up to three projects at a time are all free, but for $3 a month, you get access to unlimited projects, slides, and recordings.
Mural is one of my favorite apps for interactive online learning and visual collaboration. Mural is essentially a remote design thinking platform, but its potential for education is great.
As a teacher, you can invite up to 100 members or guests to your workspace and collaborate with students and other faculty in real time. You can create separate rooms for each class or group of students to encourage teamwork and project-based learning. You can create several wallpapers in each room that can be set as private or public depending on how you want to share it.
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The mural acts as a large whiteboard that can be organized into different small areas to outline your lecture session. The possibilities for a mural are endless, from course kick-offs, warm-ups, energizers, brainstorming and traditional slide decks.
My favorite functions are their Chronometer, Celebrate Button, and Facilitator Super Powers. With the chronometer you can set the time for each activity in the mural and thus plan each of your lectures more precisely, ensuring time for breaks. The Celebrate button is just a cute confetti party you can throw whenever the class completes an activity. Everyone gets a confetti party on their screen. It rewards effort and progress. Finally, you can give your students facilitator superpowers so they take on the role of leader in their team. Facilitator superpowers include the ability to time activities, initiate voting sessions, and celebrate task completion. Giving students facilitator superpowers is a real way to engage your students and hold them accountable for their learning.
The mural is free for teachers and students. You must create an account using your business address and provide proof of your status. You can apply for an education plan here.
PlayFactile is a learning platform that allows teachers to create Jeopardy-style quiz games for the classroom. You can create and personalize your own game boards or use pre-made quizzes shared by the community. With PlayFactile you can either host live jeopardy games, regular multiple-choice quizzes, memory games, and create study flashcards to improve students’ learning skills.
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These hazard games are a great option to complement traditional slide lectures because you can divide the board into different topics and use them as a kick-off or wrap-up activity. Students can review their learning while playing, and you can instantly complete ideas when doubts arise.
Students can play individually or in teams, and they can choose cute avatars and nicknames. You can control whether they use their names or the default nickname.
With the free version, you can create up to 5 teams per game and you can host up to 3 games. With the educational version, only 5 USD per month, you can play and create as many games as you want and have more than 50 teams. Premium account offers other amazing features like buzzer mode, memory and choice games and sharing flashcards.
I recently came across Edpuzzle and am convinced of its potential to improve online learning. Edpuzzle is a video platform that lets you create and edit videos from the web and use them in your classroom. Take YouTube, Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, or any of your own videos and build your lessons around them.
Video and visuals are more effective for learning than traditional slides, but most of us teachers and professors don’t have time to create sketch videos for every lesson. This is where Edpusil stands out. You can rotate existing videos from any platform and organize them for learning.
Thanks to embedded questions and voice-over features, you can use any video and turn it into engaging video lectures. You can include open-ended and multiple-choice questions to check for understanding. No need to reinvent the wheel.
Edpuzzle takes videos to another level, turning them into video lessons. If you want to make sure your students watch and learn from the video, Edpuzzle is just the right tool.
What I love about this app is that you can upload your whiteboard videos and convert them into quizzes and combine it with Explain Everything. Edpuzzle is free.
Ways To Make Online Learning More Interactive
Sli.do is a great tool to promote active learning in online classes. It helps you engage your students in the lectures. The possibilities are endless. With Sli.do, you can empower your students to ask questions, vote in polls, and be part of the lecture using a simple Q&A and polling tool.
Another awesome feature is the switcher app. With Slido Switcher, you can display polls or questions on top of your presentation using your smartphone as a remote control. Whether you’re using PowerPoint or Keynote, the Switcher app lets you seamlessly switch between your presentation and a Slido event.
Sli.do offers an education package starting at $5 per month. But you can use free version for 100 participants and one event at a time.
If you, like me, want to make your online classes more engaging, I’d love to hear what strategies and tools you use in your classroom. Leave your comments below with ideas or questions.
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