Online teaching tools are a must when you are a virtual teacher! Teaching online can have a big learning curve for so many, but there are online tools that can help make this transition manageable. Are you searching for the best tools for teaching online? Here you will find recommendations for some of the best online teaching tools. As an experienced online teacher, I can say that there are many great FREE online teaching tools!
The HUE document camera is simply the best document camera for teachers. I was so eager to use mine, as this online teaching tool was often talked about and highly recommended on Instagram. As soon as UPS delivered, I started playing with it and learning how to implement it. Set up was so easy, and the picture is amazing! I highly recommend the HUE document camera and believe it is one of the best online teaching tools.
One of my favorite free online teaching tools for teachers is Google Classroom. I know some districts across the US are not allowing teachers to use Google Classroom for “security reasons". This is totally unfair because Google Classroom is a lifesaver. You can keep track of student progress, assign tasks, post videos and PDFs, etc. Plus, you can decorate your Google classroom environment. As a teacher, I know how important it is to jazz up anything our students will see. Check out these Google Headers! If you can use Google Classroom, use it because the possibilities are endless.
Virtual classroom backgrounds have many functions. During distance learning, a virtual classroom background can help teachers and students look and feel like they are back in the classroom. Having a school-related or fun virtual background will help change the tone of your online classroom. That’s why it made my list as one of the best tools for teaching online. Another plus of a virtual classroom background is that you can use it again and again. Most backgrounds are vinyl which will provide extended use if you store properly. You can even use it for pictures such as the first/last day of school, class pictures, etc.
Ring lights are definitely the trend right now! Millions of Instagram influencers and people hosting Facebook Live events are using ring lights. Have you ever wondered how the person you love watching always looks has such great lighting? The secret is… they are using a ring light. On Amazon, there are dozens to choose from. However, the ring light I personally have and recommend is below.
If you are unable to use Google Classroom, I highly recommend using the Explain Everything website. This website is great to provide clear directions and expectations for students if you are going to be out or away from your classroom for an hour or two. Invite anyone and collaborate. Add drawings, images, videos, and documents. Annotate and record everything. Share your ideas as an interactive Explain Everything project or as a video. Connect people with Explain Everything’s online whiteboard for teams and see ideas click into place.
Seesaw is the greatest platform ever...seriously! Seesaw also allows students to take pictures, record audio, record video, answer questions, and customize the assignments assigned to them. My students love Seesaw, and I love it due to simplicity. Many Teachers Pay Teachers authors create Seesaw activities and Seesaw also offers a “library” of free resources. Seesaw also allows parents/guardians to view student progress.
ClassApp is like your personal app. You can link newsletters, school calendars, lunch menus, or literally anything you want. It’s one place where parents/guardians can go to get information and constantly be informed of what’s going on at school. This is a great tool for teaching online.
Make sure your laptop or device is elevated so that students can see you! Did you know that you can get a stand for a laptop? Many just tilt their screen to ensure they are on camera, but a laptop stand is so much better! When you tilt your laptop screen, it doesn’t give as good of a view as when you use a stand for your laptop. You can strategically place your ring light, laptop stand, and all of your best tools for teaching online around your teaching station. A laptop stand will also secure and elevate your device.
Assignment slides have changed my life for the better. Assignment slides help me stay organized and keep my students on track. They add a pop of color to our day, and I can not say enough good things about why this is one of the best tools for teaching online. Offering assignment slides to students will also help teach responsibility and hold them accountable for their work. The assignment slides I recommend are linked here and offer a checklist for students.
Student check-ins provide you with a quick way to get an update on your students. Teaching and learning online tends to reduce opportunities to notice when students need to be checked on. Please check-in with your students! Many are missing school so much and missing the relationships of school. I know you are a great teacher, so you have taken time to build relationships with students. Don’t let the fact you are teaching online stop this. Student check-ins tell students you care and want to know what is going on in their lives. Click here to view my recommendation for Student Check-ins.
Jamboard is a new interactive whiteboard offered by Google. If you are using Zoom or Google Meets, you can simply share your screen with your class.
Teacher Tip: Create assignments where students have to use Jamboard to answer questions or draw examples. For example, post a diagram of the water cycle and ask students to label it using Jamboard. SCORE!
Many laptops or devices do not offer a microphone suitable for teaching online. This is another great tool for online teaching. There are so many to choose from on Amazon. Find what I recommend here!
Another one of the BEST free online teaching tools for teachers is LOOM! Have you ever heard of Loom? If not, check it out now! Loom is a FREE screen and video recording platform. You can choose to install the app or Chrome Extension. I love the Chrome Extension. Loom is a great integration tool for teaching online.
Teacher Tip: Loom works PERFECTLY with the HUE document camera. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, scroll up to the top of the page. The HUE document camera is #1 of the recommended best tools for teaching online.
ClassTag is a highly effective communication tool. This is another great free online teaching tool for teachers. ClassTag allows you to send messages, announcements, videos, pictures, parent-teacher conferences info, etc. As you can see, ClassTag is another one stop for all things parent communication. Do yourself a favor and start using today!
Grammarly is my new best friend. This is another great Chrome Extension to add to your must-have FREE tools for teaching online. This great tool has branded itself as “The World's Most Accurate Online Grammar Checker”. While working online, Grammarly will check your writing for spelling and grammar mistakes. Best of all, this is a FREE service!