10 technology tools teachers can use to bring their virtual classroom to life
Teachers and students have already used some form of technology to facilitate learning over recent years, but who would have thought we'd be fully dependent on it for the school year? With the ongoing health crisis plaguing every facet of life - including school - educators are finding themselves having to virtually teach their students while physically distancing.

Given the circumstances, teachers and students are relying on tech tools available, and many of these platforms can make it easy to mimic the traditional classroom setting as much as possible. Not only do educators need to make sure their students are receiving the educational content required, but they also want to keep their kids engaged and excited about learning. That can be tough to do when you're not face-to-face.

Luckily, there are several virtual platforms that teachers can use that are simple to implement, easy to access, and can make teaching and learning fun and effective.

1. Google Classroom

It can be tough to keep lessons organized and communicate with all students when teaching is being taken from the brick-and-mortar classroom to the home. But Google Classroom can be an incredibly useful tool for this specific purpose.

Teachers can deliver all sorts of lessons while keeping tabs on student progress so that appropriate and timely feedback can be given. Work can be assigned and graded securely, classroom discussions can be easily facilitated, and quizzes can be administered.

2. FlipGrid

Ideal for students from kindergarten right through to post-secondary education, FlipGrid is a powerful, user-friendly video tool that teachers can use for just about any subject. Teachers can utilize this tool to create grids to generate topics for discussion where students can respond via video recordings.

FlipGrid is great for students who may otherwise be too intimidated to ask questions or be part of the conversation in a traditional classroom setting. Videos are pre-recorded and not live-streamed, so students can feel confident to be part of the discussion without being drowned out by more vocal students in the class.

3. Google Tour Builder

Geography and history lessons have never been so animated thanks to Google Tour Builder . This tool is being increasingly used by teachers and students as a virtual storytelling platform where photos, text, and videos can be integrated onto Google Maps to generate a visually appealing project.

It's like going on a virtual field trip with your kids, but instead of heading to the local museum, you can take them right to the source. Teachers can bring a lesson to life, and students can take their projects to a new level to tell their stories in an incredibly interesting and unique way with Tour Builder by Google.

4. Pear Deck Flash Card Factory

Build your students' vocabulary with the help of virtual flashcards through Pear Deck Flash Card Factory. Teachers can use this tool to upload a list of chosen words, and students can team up with a partner to create flashcards based on the list provided.

This is a great system to help students expand their vocabulary in a fun and interactive way that makes learning more of a game than a boring lesson requiring little more than memorization.

5. Go Noodle

Go Noodle is a fantastic tech tool that takes a comprehensive approach to teach children and get them engaged in all aspects of their education. Kids will be stimulated mentally, intellectually, and physically with the many videos available to them. All videos have been developed by industry experts that encourage kids to move their bodies, focus on specific tasks, be mindful of others, and get in touch with their emotions.

6. Kahoot!

Kids love games, and any lessons that involve some form of game-playing can get kids engaged and interested in the content being taught. Kahoot! is a game-based tool that allows teachers and students to create interactive quizzes that they can share. Quizzes can be created on any subject or topic in minutes, after which they can be played live with teams or shared one-on-one with players. Kids can answer questions using just their mobile device and securely access quizzes via a designated PIN.

7. Sumdog

While some kids may pick up math concepts with little effort, others struggle. But math can be fun with the right tools, and Sumdog promises just that. With this tool, students can strengthen their skills in mathematics on an adaptive and interactive platform. Kids can even compete with other students and be rewarded with virtual coins for answering correctly. They can also use tables to practice answering questions to develop fluency in multiplication and division.

Sumdog can even be used to help students build literacy and improve their spelling skills with engaging games. There are dozens of gamified literacy activities for kids to choose from.

8. Nearpod

Nearpod is a virtual platform that teachers can use to access thousands of customizable lessons and interact with students in real-time. There are also some cool virtual-reality adventures that teachers can take their students on that can bring the world to the living room. Nearpod is a great tool to keep kids learning and engaged, no matter where they happen to be.

9. Duolingo

Educators who teach French and other foreign languages will find Duolingo incredibly useful. Duolingo for Schools allows teachers to invite their students to their virtual classrooms and track them simultaneously. Students will love the gamified aspect of learning a new language that will promote motivation and engagement when learning a new language. Kids can also benefit from personalized lessons, practice, and feedback.

10. Quizlet

Students can access web-based learning tools through Quizlet, an app designed as a virtual study partner that kids can use to boost learning through games, flashcards, and other learning tools. Kids can use the app to quiz themselves on subject matter.

Just about any topic can be applied to this remote learning app, making it incredibly versatile for teachers and students in all areas of study. Teachers can use Quizlet to track student learning, assign work, and share materials.

Lisa Rennie has been working as a freelance writer for over a decade, crafting unique content aimed to educate Canadian consumers. Her constant state of curiosity and incessant need to get the answers to her never-ending questions serve her well as a content writer. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys trying her hand at exciting new recipes, snuggling with her pup, and reveling in the presence of her kids.

Lisa Rennie is a paid spokesperson of Sonnet Insurance.

Sonnet is not associated with any of the tools or platforms described in this blog post.

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