Useful Ideas for Online Teaching

22 May 2020 1763 By NQT Resources

Having spent my first year as a teacher in a ‘paperless school’, I got to know quite a few useful websites and tools for computer-based learning that I’d like to share with you today.  In times of Covid-19, these could come in handy, and usually provide some fun learning for the students. Just a heads-up, I am a languages teacher, so some of these apps and websites are language-focused However: I have included a link to a list that covers Primary, Secondary, and SEN across the subjects at the end of this post. Let’s go!

Useful across the board:

edpuzzle: edpuzzle is a great, free resource that works with videos. You can find many finished resources on this website, but can also make your own, and the way it works is the following: You can put in different types of questions that the students have to answer, in order to progress. You can track their progress, and assess their understanding.

Deck.Toys: Deck Toys is also really fun. It looks like a video game, and you can customise it for your needs. You can give your students treasure hunts, in which they have to solve different tasks along the way, before they can win. In times, where real life escape room scenarios are possible, you can use deck toys when planning your escape room, in order to make your students find hidden passwords. 

Liveworksheets: You can create interactive worksheets on this website.

Bitmojis: These are super hot right now, so if you want to jump on the bandwagon, the ‘Glitter meets Glue’ website will give you a great introduction on how to do it.

LearningApps: This website, which is ironically not available as an app, is a great tool, because you can create all sorts of fun games with it. It has everything from ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ to ‘Hangman’ on it, and you can tailor it for whatever you need it for. Sometimes it gets a little glitchy, so make sure to check if it works, before giving it to your students, but it is esthetically pleasing, and lots of fun for the students. I like to use it as a revision tool before a test. I put the QR codes up on the board, and the students scan the codes with an iPad, and work on what they need for the test. At the end of the lesson, you can give them a sheet of paper with all the QR codes, so they can continue revising with them at home. They usually really get into it. I’ve seen some real progress being made when I had my years 7 and 8 revise with it.

Useful tools

Flippity: This is an amazing tool that will mainly be great for you, the teacher to use. You can create puzzles, name pickers, quiz shows, and so much more with it. It’s great. Mind you, it is Google-based, so you’ll need to have a Google account to use it, as it works with spreadsheets.

Canva: Canva is a lovely tool. You can ask your students to design an info graphic about a concept that you want them to understand. Canva is free for education, and for individuals and small groups.

Adobe Spark: This website works similar to Canva, there’s also a free version available, and you can get your students to design something with it, or make your materials super aesthetically pleasing, but to be honest, in my opinion,  you shouldn’t waste too much time on these things, as they take up a lot of valuable time that can be spent on other things. Keep that for once in a while, or do it once, and then recycle.

Text Fairy: This is a tool to make your life easier. It is a text scanner. So whenever you need to have a text in digital form, you can just use this app to scan it. You have to check for mistakes.

Adobe Scan: This app fulfills the same function as Text Fairy. Try them both and decide, which one works for you.

Texting Story: This is a really fun tool in which students can text a conversation, and then create a video from it. The best part is that it can be shared, so you can give them differentiated tasks and topics, they can send you their work, and you can then collect all of it, and share it with them, and maybe they can choose a winner.

GIF Maker: As the name suggests, this app will allow your students to create GIFs and memes. This can become a fun challenge which can be applied to all subjects, and adds a bit of creativity. For an in-school task, you can get them to film each other for added fun, but this only works with reliable groups.

iMotion: Speaking of fun things to do, iMotion is an app to make animations with, which could lead to great creative outcomes.

The Headliner app: This app is actually designed for people who want to promote their podcasts, but of course it can work just as well for teaching. You can subtitle videos with it, which can be turned into a nice creative project. Check out the gallery on their website.

SpeedPipe Online Voice Recorder: Just in case your students don’t have access to a mobile phone, this is an online voice recorder they can use to record their voice, and send you a link to the recording. The recording time is up to 5 minutes.

Websites for student use:

Seesaw: Seesaw is a free app for students, teachers and parents that I haven’t had the opportunity to properly try out yet, but it looks quite good. The concept is that students create their own portfolio, which then gives teachers, as well as parents an insight into what they are doing. It is an American app, so it works with American grades, but it looks quite useful. I couldn’t find every subject on it, but go check it out, and write a comment.

Flipgrid: This is a website made for school use, and can be really fun for the students, as they have to submit videos, and can then watch them and interact. Students tend to get quite competitive, and want to submit really nice videos, which is nice to see, and of course there needs to be a speaking element, so that’s a nice way to get them to talk.

EP for Learning: This is a language learning platform, where teachers can give feedback and customise content.

When it comes to speaking, there are quite a few useful apps and websites as well that you can use to promote speaking. Always check you’re on the safe side in terms of date, though, when it comes to downloading apps. The MSQRD app, for instance, can be a great tool, because students are able to ‘transform’ into something or someone else, which can be great if they are shy to speak, but you need to make sure you have permission from their parents for them to download the app.

So here are some apps for speaking:

SNOW or any other face filter app: As mentioned before, these are great for shy students who are hesitant to speak. Check if it’s possible to send clips with the app you ask them to use, as you will be giving them the task to record themselves, as they speak about a topic.

The Talkee App: This app is good for dialogues; so you can give your students the task to record dialogues about a certain topic. You can differentiate by giving them different guidelines on the length.

Exam Prep: 

GCSE & A-Level revision

Gojimo App: This is a free revision app for GCSE and A-Levels. It provides students with over 160,000 revision questions and lots of useful tips on essay writing.

Papa Cambridge: Papa Cambridge has the largest collection of past papers.

Here are some well-known websites and apps that you probably already know, but it’s always good to have a refresher, right?

Duolingo: Great, free language learning app. It’s come a long way since I first used it. Nowadays you even get a podcast, and stories with it. You can use it very effectively for competitions in class. There can be a weekly winner, and you can check student progress on the app.

Quizlet: Quizlet is pretty handy when it comes to learning vocabulary, and you will find many sets that already exist for your needs, so you won’t have to do the work, but make sure to double-check that there are no mistakes. There’s also Quizlet live, where your class can compete in the classroom with iPads or any mobile device. When starting a competition with the class, you have to look for the part, where it says ‘Quizlet live’, where you can generate a code for the students to join.

Kahoot: Kahoot is loved by many, and you can also use it to make students come up with their own Kahoot. Give very clear instructions. They are not allowed to cheat.

The institute of Education has put together a fantastic list of online learning resources across the board that you can find here. Please feel free to add useful resources in the comments, and I will add them.