The best online teaching tools for high school students
Mar 31, 2020
If you are trying to get ideas together for teaching high school students online, here are some free tools that I have used with great success. I have tried to keep the list fairly concise to the most useful tools (there are so many out there), but if you are feeling overwhelmed just start by choosing one and use it until you get the hang of it, and then try another when you are ready.
: you can use this to create an online quiz and it will give you a link that you can send out to students. Students love the interactive nature and instant feedback, especially the memes after each question. When they complete it, it will give you all of the analytics for individual students and the class as a whole so that you can get an idea on what you may need to go over again.
: great for learning definitions or concepts. Once the basic info has been inputted it can be used in a variety of ways, including multiple choice tests, games, etc. It also has an app that can be downloaded onto phones.
: a great way of collating ideas from everyone in your class at once. Pose a question or topic and get students to answer or brainstorm.
: you can use this in a variety of ways, including interactive worksheets, exit tickets as a form of plenary or informal assessment, or to survey students.
: you can create and disperse info via Google slides. Advantage of this over using PowerPoint is that if your file size is too large due to inserting videos into it for example, then you might not be able to email it to students. Your students can also use Google slides to create their own presentations to demonstrate their learning, and they can also create shared presentations for group work so that everyone in the group can contribute in real time.
instead of using a word document, this allows you to create web-based docs that can be shared easily. You can essentially use Google Docs as your guidebook for students activities, including all of the instructions and hyperlinks to all of the resources that they need. Has the same advantages as Google slides.
- this requires your school to have access to OneNote. You can set up a class notebook
, which will allow you to see everyone’s individual notebooks, and you can also set up shared spaces for group work. As you add to it, it will automatically sync with your students' OneNote. This one takes a little longer to set up and get the hang of, but it is worth it.
- can be used for brainstorming or polling, and then gives a visual of the most common answers.
Private class Instagram account/ Facebook group (if your students are old enough and it has been endorsed by school/ parents) - use to make announcements, ask discussion questions, use photo prompts, etc. Facebook groups also gives you the capability to upload documents and create units/ topics of work so that everything can be organised sequentially.
- another great flashcard website with an app for devices. Great for memorising definitions and it uses a variety of strategies to help you remember. It makes a game out of it, by having levels that you move through, and you can compete with players all around the world.
- can be used in a variety of ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge - they can use it to create collages, posters, infographics, mindmaps, diagrams, hierarchy charts etc.
- another way for students to demonstrate their learning. Think of it as a more dynamic version of PowerPoint. They can also create shared Prezi’s to do group work.
- Interactive Clickview: most schools have access to Clickview, which has a wealth of video content, but did you know that you can also upload your own recorded videos, as well as create your own interactive videos that include multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and much more.
- great for discussion questions. One of the benefits of this is that students can’t see other people’s responses until they have contributed their own response. Also, whilst you can see the names of students, your students cannot see the names of other students, which helps to create some anonymity for those that might be a bit shy or lacking confidence.
- Microsoft Teams - schools can sign up for free, and it offers free training on how to get the most out of it. This program allows you to video conference with all of your students at once, share resources, set activities or assignments, and chat with students who want to ask you questions. Students can also submit their work and teachers can mark it and give feedback within the platform. If your school also has access to Microsoft 365 then you can integrate a variety of those tools seamlessly into your lessons as well, but it's not a necessity to have this.
Good luck! I know that this is a huge transition for so many, and it will take a little while to get used to it, but it can be done.
Stay tuned for some examples of online lesson plans coming soon!
PS. for more free teaching tools, check out the Freebies Vault.
For more ideas regarding online teaching and remote learning, you may be interested in these articles: