When the pandemic forced schools to close, many parents and teachers were left stranded in uncertainty concerning the tools they needed so that their children could access the best possible education online. While there are thousands of educational technology (edtech) tools out there, not all of them deliver the same type of features or have the same quality for the more than 2 million distance learning students.
The eventual return to school doesn’t mean these tools will completely disappear. However, the integration of edtech into classrooms can contribute to a new hybrid model of education, building back and improving existing systems to modernize and complement the current model.
What Are Edtech Tools?
Edtech goes beyond the use of computers in the classroom. It refers to the introduction of IT tools to complement and foster more profound and specialized learning experiences.
These aren’t simply a way to entertain children while learning; they have been proven to enhance learning experiences and promote engagement among students. Popular edtech will often include learning software, video tutoring platforms, language-learning apps, and even virtual reality capabilities.
Parents and teachers need to be aware of these tools so they’re not left out of the loop when it comes to their children’s education.
Best Edtech Tools for Distance Learning
Dailies is an educational platform with two interconnected components. Dailies Learning upgrades a child’s educational experience using the Common Core standards and the power of gamification. Dailies Admin creates an opportunity for parents to fully engage in the progress of their child’s education, fostering a greater level of involvement and academic success. Parents receive real-time data and progress reports identifying the strengths and weaknesses of their child.
Google Classroom is considered the gold standard when it comes to remote educational file sharing. It centers around the organization of information, integrating the entire Google suite of apps, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar. While there have been some issues with kids abusing Google Classroom when it’s not monitored, as a whole this software helps teachers save time when it comes to the logistics of managing a remote classroom.
Edpuzzle allows teachers to create interactive video lessons with the help of a wide range of resources from other platforms and sites such as YouTube, National Geographic, Khan Academy, and TED Talks. The platform allows teachers to edit their own educational content as well as adding quizzes to the lessons. The videos can be sent to students under specific parameters, including due dates, and prohibit skipping forward to ensure the entire content is watched.
Gimkit is a classroom game-show platform where students compete by answering questions on their electronic devices. Instead of earning points, students earn virtual currency to “invest” during the game to boost their score. Games like GimKit keep students engaged throughout the entire lesson, which could otherwise be a challenge with all the distractions that they face at home.
Nearpod is an online student engagement app that allows students to view presentations and videos, then take quizzes to compete with each other and win virtual currency to boost their scores. It’s a have-it-all platform that complements different areas of remote education.
This software can be accessed through most devices, allowing teachers to administer how they interact with their virtual classroom. Nearpod enables teachers to manage students’ homework remotely and collaborate with them on group projects without being physically present.
Kahoot is another game-based learning platform that allows anyone to create different quizzes and games that can be shared among students on various devices like phones or tablets. According to Cambridge University, students achieve a deeper level of understanding from memorable learning experiences, such as the gamification offered by Kahoot and similar apps.
Presentations are hard to conduct properly in remote learning environments. Pear Deck tries to make these presentations more accessible and dynamic by offering teachers different tools, such as interactive questions that notify the teacher about the student’s struggles with a particular subject.
The Best for Your Student
We are at a time in education where parents face new choices when it comes to what’s best for their child’s education. Edtech will serve an essential role in streamlining the learning process for students and teachers alike while also factoring more parental involvement in the educational success equation.
Knowing what these tools do and what they are meant for gives parents the upper hand in deciding how their children are learning while at home. For 2020 and beyond, edtech tools can facilitate parental involvement while ensuring children get the best remote learning experience possible.