The arrival of the internet has brought about significant changes in the way we work and live. That includes the way we teach and study. Classrooms today aren’t just about teachers writing on blackboards and students scribbling on paper. There are projectors, digital pens, laptops and of course the internet, which is responsible for all these changes.
Since the internet is now an integral part of teachers’ lives, it’s important that they are aware of the tools and resources available online that could help them impart education in an effective and efficient manner. The following list mentions 20 such tools. If you are a teacher or an academician, do check them out.
TeacherTube, as the name suggests, is YouTube for teachers. The site primarily focuses on educational and instructional videos, along with photos, audio and documents relevant to the topic. Teachers would find this site particularly useful because they could now easily use a video or audio from the site in their lessons.
Hence the site can help make the learning interactive and fun while helping the teacher explain things in a better manner.
ProofHub is where teachers and students can do everything from assigning work, submitting assignments, share ideas & documents, interact with each other, give feedback and review assignments — all under one roof. Everyone gets their login, so it’s an all-in-one place for everyone to be on the same page and communicate over school or college work or fun activities. It serves to be both an assignment manager and a collaboration platform. So, instead of using maybe Edmondo for microblogging, or LectureShare for sharing lectures, everything can be done under one roof.
Classmarker is a pretty useful online quiz maker that makes preparing multiple choice quizzes and tests a breeze. Make no mistake, this is no ordinary test creation tool for teachers. The site is comprehensive and comes packed with features. Teachers can randomize questions, customize the look and feel of tests, link to quizzes on the internet, grade students instantly and have the test results emailed to themselves and the students.
Although Schooltool isn’t web-based, I found it too good to exclude in this list. Plus, the fact that it is completely free tempted me further. This tool is a combination of various tools for teachers and administrators. In their own words, “since it can be installed easily and used with no licensing fees, SchoolTool can be used by schools for a single purpose, by individual teachers or small teams within schools, or as a whole-school comprehensive student information system, encompassing demographics, gradebooks, attendance, calendars and reporting.”
SchoolRack is a great tool for teachers that allows them to create free classroom websites and blogs to share information with both students and their guardians. Teachers can share documents, assignments and share the grades online with students.
With SchoolRack one can also create mailing lists and discussion boards to foster healthy discussion on educational topics. Plus there is a private messaging feature if a teacher needs to interact with a particular student.
6. Google Docs
Google Docs is something that probably all the teachers and students are aware of at least if not using it. It’s actually a great tool for both teachers and students for two main reasons. First, Google Apps is being adopted and implemented widely in schools and colleges all around the world. And second, it is completely web-based and could help students and professors collaborate on projects without the hassles that come with offline tools.
Teachers could especially make use of the online presentations tool in Google Docs in their lectures. Once done, they just need to click a button to share the presentation with their students.
4Teachers, as the name suggests, is a site for teachers. It offers a huge number of free tools for teachers like grading tools, quiz generators, video games to use in class and many other similar tools. Teachers can check out their Tools page which lists all the tools available.
Classtell helps teachers to make a class website quickly and easily. They could quickly add pages such as homework, school calendar, pictures, marks/grades and blog. It’s a nice way for a teacher or a college professor to organize class-related data at one place which could then be accessed by students publicly or privately.
And teachers don’t need to know HTML and all that to go about creating the site. It’s simple and easy to use.
9. Lesson Writer
Often teachers and professors are burdened with so much of academic and administrative work that they aren’t able to give time and effectively create lessons for their students. Lesson Writer is a site that aims to help teachers with this problem. It helps them create printable lesson plans which are automatically checked for grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, word roots and other such things.
Lesson Writer also helps teachers include content from the internet in their lessons. Overall, it’s a nice tool that saves time and helps teachers create better lesson plans.
Teachers and professors often quote history to add flavor to their lessons and help students understand better. Footnote helps teachers not only quote but show history to their students. It contains millions of original historical documents and pages which can be explored by them.
While this site is a must-use for history teachers and professors, other subject teachers could also make use of it from time to time.
Edmodo is what you would call Twitter for teachers and students. It is a private microblogging platform for teachers and students where they can share ideas, discuss assignments and interact outside the school. You can also store and share files, use the mobile version of the site and get notifications via SMS. A cool tool for both teachers and students without a doubt.
Zoho is a comprehensive suite of collaboration tools specifically aimed at enterprises and small businesses. However, it is widely used by individuals, freelancers, schools and colleges all around the world. Hence teachers and professors could take a look at it too. The tools include Word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, calendars, notebooks, project management tools and much more. All the tools are web-based and can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet.
30boxes is a superb online calendar that needs no introduction. The tool is quite popular and is simple yet wonderful. The calendar can be used to organize your schedule, set reminders, remember important dates like friends’ birthdays and much more. There are many interesting features which you’ll come to know as you start using it. Great tool for teachers and students alike.
Engrade is a set of tools, all web-based, which allows teachers to create an online classroom community that contains details about students and classroom activity. This data can be accessed by students and parents in real-time.
The set of tools includes calendar, gradebook, progress reports, attendance books and secure, private messaging among teachers and students/parents.
LectureShare does what its name says – helps teachers share lectures with students online. It’s a free tool that lets teachers create a course and then upload lecture content. The content can also include video and audio.
16. Edu 2.0
Edu 2.0 is an online platform that allows academicians to create what one can call an online school. One can register a school and add resources. There are a huge number of resources available which include gradebook, forums, messaging tools, classes, quizzes, wikis, surveys, attendance trackers, rubrics, etc. It’s free and web-hosted.
Gliffy is an online diagramming software that could be of great use to both teachers and students, especially those dealing with subjects like maths and physics. It helps you create flowcharts, diagrams, complex and technical charts, floor plans and other such arrow based diagrams.
Dabbleboard is a cool online whiteboard that helps people collaborate on drawings, diagrams and charts. You can even insert images and PDF files into the board. And the best part is it’s quite easy – no need to register, just get started and invite people to join you.
Wiziq helps teachers build virtual classrooms so that they can teach their classes online. The virtual classrooms include images and documents sharing, full audio and video sharing, live chat with students to solve their problems and other such features.
20. Haiku Learning
And finally, Haiku Learning management system helps teachers create detailed online lessons complete with images, audio and video. It is aimed at teachers, administrators and professional tutors and helps them deliver courses and educational content over the internet.
CosmoLearning is a comprehensive site for both teachers and students which contains course materials, documentaries, video lectures, articles, notes, quizzes and much more. The content is available for various academic subjects like Chemistry, Management, Economics, Engineering and many more. The best part – the information is completely free to access.
Further Resources for Students: Online Colleges That Offer Free Laptops