When this pandemic began, teachers all over the World were given little notice to shift very quickly to distance learning or e-learning, sometimes with no training. In many cases, we had 48 hours or a weekend to reinvent lessons for an already planned curriculum, learn new technologies, find non-technology solutions to student learning, and figure out how to keep students engaged. But all us teachers ,also had to balance home and work and how to do our life’s work from afar while simultaneously caring for students, grieving losses, and so many more challenges and obstacles!
It has not been easy, for any teacher I know. This new approach or today’s certainty is a significant journey!
During the lock-down, countless hours behind a computer screen, reorganizing lessons had me and many of my fellow English teachers repeatedly saying, “I’d rather be in my school.” But reality dictated differently.
What is more, during the pandemic, many educators-including me- have looked to their professional learning networks on social media for encouragement through virtual book clubs, Twitter chats, Facebook groups, or wellness challenges.
To me, this crisis may have a silver lining for the implementation of digital transformation. It has forced the use of digital media tools to even teachers who had never done so before.
I have realised that, as English teachers learn to implement these tools, students can also learn to use them to increase learning effectiveness and enhance their engagement. The fast learning curve is a struggle but the hard work will pay dividends developing and gaining new skills. The positive benefit out of all this is that we are going to add excellent value to our pedagogical practices. Or, I should say for English teachers,in particular, add to our repertoire of teaching tools now and for the future!
It is true that the education sector responded to quarantine with a sudden shift to online learning.
But, I have to admit that inequalities are exacerbated when it comes to access to technology and to digital devices. Many of our llearners suffer a form of digital inequality whereby they lack the connections and devices to learn remotely. In fact, this outbreak widens the gap between those able to access digital learning opportunities and those who are shut out. Access is not equal, and we see inequality growing.
And yet, even though the immediate focus is now on technology and tools, the most compelling quality is still human compassion!
Below, I am sharing a list of some of the online tools I have personally tried during the lock-down with success, for different teaching and learning purposes.
I firmly believe that we should always take advantage of the opportunities for creative solutions.We should not let a lack of familiarity with the tools or approaches be a barrier to trying something new – I had the confidence to try them out, with the precious help of my PLN!
The target has been to keep my classes talking, sharing and collaborating, even during the pandemic!
Digital learning management systems
https://watch.vooks.com/ Βooks( free for only a month)
https://en.islcollective.com/ for Grammar Videos and worksheets
https://wordwall.net/play/ for Grammar Videos and worksheets
https://bubbl.us/ Mind maps online
https://en.linoit.com/ sticky and canvas tool
https://info.flipgrid.com/ video sharing for educators and students
http://roadtogrammar.com/ teacher resources/games about everything
http://koalatext.com/public/ online games etc
https://create.kahoot.it/ Learning games and more
https://quizlet.com/ Grammar/vocabulary games and more. Create a study set for any subject you’re teaching
https://www.gonoodle.com/ GoNoodle gets kids moving so they can be their best
https://www.mentimeter.com/app online polls
https://www.grammarly.com/ writing assistant
https://www.liveworksheets.com/ transforms your traditional printable worksheets into self-correcting interactive exercises that the students can do online and send to the teacher.
https://vimeo.com/ All the Tools You Need to Upload, Host, and Share Video
https://edpuzzle.com/ interactive video lessons for your students you can integrate right into your LMS. Track students’ progress with hassle-free analytics
https://classroomscreen.com/ Create multiple screens and navigate from one screen to another. placeholder image.
https://www.canva.com/ Create beautiful designs with your team. Use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and layouts to design, share and print business cards, logos, presentations ETC
https://www.pixton.com/ comic and storyboard creator
https://www.quizalize.com/ fun quizzes in the classroom or remotely
https://eslvideo.com/Free quizzes, lessons and online conversation classes for English language learners.
https://draw.chat/ a free, anonymous, online drawing board
https://storybird.com/ artful storytelling and a unique language arts tool.
http://online.anyflip.com/ book creator
https://www.educandy.com/ With Educandy, you can create interactive learning games in minutes. All you need is to enter the vocabulary or questions and answers and Educandy turns your content into cool interactive activities.
https://answergarden.ch/ AnswerGarden is a new minimalistic feedback tool. Use it for real time audience participation, online brainstorming and classroom feedback.
https://www.google.com/intl/el_gr/forms/about/ Google Forms is a tool that allows collecting information from users via a personalized survey or quiz. The information is then collected and automatically connected to a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is populated with the survey and quiz responses.
https://socrative.com/ fun, on-the-fly assessments .An efficient way to monitor and evaluate learning that saves time for educators while delivering fun and engaging interactions for learners.
https://sites.google.com/new Google Sites is an amazingly simple tool to allow Teachers AND Students to create in class. Projects, Portfolios, Lab Reports, anything can be turned into a Website and with the ease of New Google Sites it’s too easy and powerful to keep ignoring.
This tutorial will walk you through the basics of creating a Google Site and at the end I show you an example of a student e-Portfolio (link below to the same sample).
https://www.edmodo.com/ is a tool for educators to send messages, share class materials, and make learning accessible for students anywhere