8 Free Tools For Remote Teaching

Being an educator in today’s ever-evolving & highly tech-dominated world, it is imperative that teachers & professors have access to & master tools for remote teaching. This year presented the perfect example of just how important tools for remote teaching really are. 2020 has presented numerous changes, challenges & learning opportunities, especially for teachers. With the majority of students safely learning remotely, it has required educators to adapt, by altering their teaching styles to provide the same quality education that they do when teaching in person.

Remote teaching, by definition, “occurs when instructors transition the delivery of an on-campus course to online” (Memorial University). When done effectively with the right tools & resources, remote education offers a wide variety of benefits for both students & educators alike. Remote teaching not only offers a safer & more accessible environment for students & teachers but also students gain more autonomy over their studies & teachers are able to give better & faster feedback (StratX Simulations). Here are 8 tools instructors can utilize to more effectively & efficiently teach students remotely.

1. Zoom

Zoom

Photo Credit: Business News Daily

Being one of the most versatile video conferencing platforms, Zoom has quickly gained popularity amongst instructors & students alike. Many instructors have utilized Zoom as a way to provide virtual education to students, facilitate group discussions & connect with. An enormous “96% of top universities use Zoom” (Digital Initiative).

Why should an instructor use Zoom? It’s features & benefits include:

  • HD audio & video
  • Screen Sharing
  • Breakout Rooms

These features have enabled educators to provide thorough online lectures & conduct interactive discussions with their students.

2. Loom

Loom

Photo Credit: Loom

This tool has been highly beneficial for recording video lectures that educators can distribute to their students, especially for students who are unable to understand everything that is happening during lectures. Instead of answering similar questions one student at a time, teachers can record a video on Loom then distribute the answer to those students.

According to Kathleen Morris, some of the benefits of Loom include:

  • It is easy to use and intuitive. Almost no learning curve!
  • Password-protect videos or make them available only for certain email addresses. If teachers or only a handful of students need help, teachers can target their message to them.
  • There are three options to record: just face, just screen, or both.

Loom is a versatile tool that can help enhance the personalization and efficiency of quality instruction.

3. Google Suite (GSuite)

Google Drive

Photo Credit: Phandroid

GSuite has amazing sub-tools like Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Forms, & much more. Instructors are able to share their documents, slideshows, spreadsheets & more with as many remote students as possible using GSuite. This makes this an amazing tool for teachers to stay organized & connected with their students remotely.

According to the Cult of Pedagogy, the benefits of Google Drive are:

  • It is perfect for collaboration.
  • It is paperless.
  • It saves automatically.

It is a great tool for any instructor looking to share their material & collaborate with their students.

4. Google Classroom

Google Classroom

Photo Credit: Google Play

Google Classroom makes connecting with students remotely a breeze- & at no cost! It is a blended learning tool for both students & instructors. Many teachers have loved this tool, one claims “Google Classroom can elevate the classroom’s productivity & take workflow management to the next level” (Hello Teacher Lady).

Teacher reviews boast about other Google Classroom benefits like:

  • Workflow management is easier & organized.
  • Increased ability to monitor real-time progress on assignments.
  • No work is ever lost thanks to the cloud computing structure of Google Classroom.

5. Pear

Pear

Photo Credit: Granger Mendor, Bartlesville Public Schools

Known as the fastest way to transform presentations into classroom conversations, Pear Deck, is a strong way to turn boring lectures that professors provide into very useful tools. If you ever want to know the best way to keep your students wide awake in class and engaged with the class, here are some methods as explained by Ditch That Textbook.

These procedures include:

  • Gather students on a video call with Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams.
  • Educators can share their screen with an interactive Pear Deck presentation.
  • Students follow along with the presentation & interact with the slides.

6. Kahoot

Kahoot

Photo Credit: Gamification

A lot of universities have been using this class competition quizzing tool to test the knowledge of their students. It is a fun, easy-to-use platform that makes learning a bit more exciting & interactive, especially when remote teaching. With Kahoot, students become more engaged & excited about mastering new material.

EdTech Review explains how Kahoot works:

  • Ask thought-provoking questions.
  • Help students take control of their learning.
  • It is Easy-To-Use.

If an educator has a lecture to present & would like to engage students, they should consider utilizing Kahoot.

7. TeamMateMe

TeamMateMe

Photo Credit: TeamMateMe

The optimal platform for educators & students alike! Instructors can utilize specific course codes so their classes can form teams on the platform & accomplish group projects. Students can search through descriptive user profiles & reputation scores to pick the best teammates to help them successfully complete any assignment. TeamMateMe's easy-to-use features also enable students to efficiently find the right group to join to exceed shared goals & objectives.

TeamMateMe offers a wide variety of benefits like:

  • Instructors can enable students to form teams to collaborate.
  • Instructors can find teaching assistants, quest speakers & more.
  • Instructors can find co-authors for their research projects.
  • Students can form their own groups to tackle group projects.
  • Students can join the best groups that match their objectives & interests.
  • Students can find study-mates to study in groups.
  • Students can learn collaboration, teamwork & other professional skills.
  • Students can form teams for extracurricular activities.

TeamMateMe is perfect for creating class teams, tackling group assignments & holding team members accountable with the member rating system.

8. Backchannel Chat

Backchannel Chat

Photo Credit: Common Sense Media

This tool bridges the gap between teachers & students by facilitating one-on-one conversations between instructors & students. As soon as a student has a question, they can reach out to their teacher with an instant message instead of an email. This solidifies & strengthens the relationship between instructor & student, leading to possible future collaborations. Educators can also share resources directly through the chat space.

The features for this tool include:

  • Real-Time. Students can ask educators questions at any time & any place throughout the world.
  • Students can pick avatars as codes for the instructor to know who he or she is.
  • Profanity Filter. The language used in this chat is age-appropriate.

Backchannel Chat is a tool that is highly likely to keep the relationship between instructors & students going strong throughout the school year.