Apps That Got Me (And the Students) Through Distance Learning

eaching in a distance learning environment is not easy. Engaging students who are not in your classroom can be a bit tricky. As a teacher during distance learning, I don’t have a captive audience. I can’t make sure they’re on task or engaged in the lesson. Needless to say, the old way of assessing students by giving them a multiple choice quiz was out the window.

The following apps helped me ensure my students were engaged, participating in the lesson, and served to help me assess my students.

Nearpod. A very good tool for both real-time synchronous teaching and asynchronous assignments. I was able to monitor my students engagement by inserting questions and other activities in my presentations. Nearpod’s library of ready-made presentations and videos came in handy.

Edpuzzle. With a little help from Loom, I turned videos into a lesson complete with checks for understanding via short answer and/or multiple choice questions. If you’re like me, you got a few Google Slide and Keynote presentations. I simply recorded myself giving the presentation and inserted check for understanding questions throughout the presentation.

ParlayIdeas. I found Parlay a fantastic tool to use for virtual discussions! Parlay gave me the ability to create my own round table discussion from scratch or use one of the many ready made round tables. You can do this synchronously with a live round table or ask students to post and respond to posts asynchronously for homework.

Canva. I found Canva to be an invaluable tool when it came to unleashing my students creativity! My students created projects that ranged from posters to infographics about a given topic.

Book Creator. Another creative tool to use for formative assessments. My students created ebooks of their learning. Along with text, students can include pictures, audio, speech and thought bubbles, as well as using various colors and shapes.

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