Simplify Hybrid Learning With Our Favorite Apps and Tools
Upon learning that education was going digital, many teachers were left with the question, “How is this supposed to work?” Distance learning certainly posed new challenges for both educators and students. Thankfully, companies have acted fast to develop cutting-edge technology, bringing order and ingenuity to remote and hybrid classrooms. Always on the lookout for the latest and greatest technology, we’re sharing our favorite apps and tools for a better hybrid learning experience.
Key features for hybrid learning tools and apps
There are a lot of great options out there, but there are also a lot of apps and tools that are far from great. Before you begin your search for the best educational resources for your remote or hybrid class, be sure to look out for the following features.
Some tools can feel like a burden to use if they’re not user-friendly. Look for educational tools with a simple interface that actually works the way it’s intended. Always try before you buy or commit to an app. Luckily, many companies offer a free demo or trial period before you make a final decision.
The educational resources you use should make the virtual classroom feel like more than just screens and text. Choose tools that encourage social interaction in the form of chat and discussion room features, the ability to share with multiple users, and settings that allow teachers to give students permission to lead discussion (like during video meetings).
Integrates with other platforms and devices
Hybrid learning involves a lot of flexibility and customization, so your remote tools should too. Consider using tools that integrate easily with platforms that you already use (like Google Classroom or Canvas). You may also want to adopt technology that can be used on multiple devices, as some students might only have access to a tablet or smartphone.
Marketing research and science have proven that people respond to visuals . With that response to visuals comes better engagement and retention. Pick apps and tools that make learning a more visual experience. Find resources that incorporate videos, images, live polls, games, or a digital whiteboard.
Best tools, apps, and resources to get started
The remote learning struggles are real, but there’s no need to feel lost or helpless any longer thanks to these vital resources for virtual classrooms. Here are 10 educational tools and apps that remote and hybrid teachers can’t live without (listed alphabetically).
Use it for: Virtual classroom management and video conferencing
Blackboard Collaborate is a virtual classroom and online collaboration tool that has figured out how to make remote learning both flexible and engaging. With a video-conferencing application that specifically caters to education, K-12 and higher education teachers can focus more attention on teaching rather than worrying about the technology. Enjoy features like automated attendance, ready-to-use course rooms, and easy moderation of students’ presenting power for better engagement. Get students involved with live polls, interactive chat rooms, and a digital whiteboard feature.
Use it for: Creating customized videos
Remote learners are often assigned to watch educational videos, but whether or not they actually engage with the material is another matter. Edpuzzle offers a solution. With this tool, teachers can customize any video by adding pauses, narration, and questions for students to answer along the way. See which students have viewed your video and how many times they’ve viewed different sections to keep students accountable. Transform any video from platforms like YouTube or Khan Academy—or even upload and record your own video—for an interactive video experience.
Use it for: Class collaboration and group work
Traditional classroom discussion boards lack personality and flair. Let your class share their unique ideas and charisma through Flipgrid ’s video discussion platform. Start the conversation by sharing a topic with your class and watch as students record customized video responses that they can embellish with special effects. Users can view and comment on each other’s videos to allow group discussion. This virtual format helps take the pressure off students by giving them the option to re-record their video responses. Get inspiration for your own curriculum with over 35,000 shared lessons and activities on Flipgrid’s site.
Use it for: Personalizing student education and combating academic dishonesty
Online learning has brought a rise in cheating , making it more difficult to assess what students actually know on their own. Combat academic dishonesty while personalizing each student’s education with IXL . Using IXL, teachers can evaluate each student’s knowledge with a series of questions. Depending on their answers, IXL will introduce new questions geared to each student and their current learning level. Choose to conduct these sessions during an in-person or online class to gauge which topics may be more difficult for students.
Use it for: Curriculum planning and teaching resources
Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that provides educational materials to students and teachers free of charge. But aside from the fact it costs nothing to use, this platform is absolutely packed with quality resources for remote learners and teachers. Pick and choose from thousands of practice exercises, instructional videos, and ready-to-use courses to build a customized curriculum for your students. Students can receive instant feedback on their work, while teachers can easily track their progress. Find and track everything you need through Khan Academy’s user-friendly dashboard, or choose to integrate the platform with Google Classroom.
Use it for: Gathering and sharing ideas on a virtual bulletin board
Think of Padlet as a blank canvas bursting with potential for fun and efficient class collaboration. This intuitive software allows individuals and teams to create custom “Padlets” that contain ideas or messages filled with images, links, and text. This simple concept has given hybrid and remote classrooms a place to plan events, share class feedback and questions, ask for suggestions (don’t worry; you can moderate this through settings), or house important class files. Students can use Padlet to create a unique poster presentation, make a class study guide by adding notes to a shared Padlet, or share class announcements. Check out all the creative ways to use Padlet .
Related: How to Set Up a Hybrid Classroom
Use it for: Study help and learning assistance
Virtual learning has made it difficult for teachers to provide the hands-on support and explanations that students need—especially when it comes to deciphering math problems. Photomath is a remote solution that has revolutionized the way math is taught. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Photomath recognizes each problem and generates a step-by-step plan for reaching the solution. Rather than just providing an answer, Photomath explains how to solve the problem while offering multiple solving methods. Just take a picture of the problem (it recognizes typed or handwritten problems) and let the app start teaching. Also take advantage of Photomath’s interactive graphs and multi-functional scientific calculator mode.
Use it for: Study assistance and teaching resources
For more than 15 years, Quizlet has helped students ace tests with the use of digital flashcards. But this dependable company contributes more than just flashcards to the world of education. Quizlet claims to help teachers “engage students of all levels through curriculum-based materials, interactive study methods, and games.” These features not only engage students but make learning enjoyable and memorable. Need lesson material inspiration? Teachers can search through over 500 million study sets from other teachers or students to simplify lesson creation.
Use it for: Communication among teachers, students, and parents
Keeping in touch with students and their parents is imperative with remote learning. Create a safe and reliable connection between teachers, students, and parents using Remind ’s two-way communication platform. Reach students and parents where they spend the most time—their phones. With Remind, teachers can send text messages containing class reminders regarding deadlines, files or documents, links to articles or videos, words of encouragement to students, and updates regarding what students are learning in class. Similarly, students and parents can reach out to teachers with questions or personal updates.
Use it for: Creating interactive worksheets
With distance teaching, spending hours poring over papers with a red pen is a thing of the past. But, you still need a way for students to practice what they’ve learned and show what they know. Teachers have turned to Wizer to create interactive worksheets that come to life with video, images, and audio. Choose from thousands of templates or pre-made worksheets from other teachers, and customize them to suit the needs of your students. Plus, enjoy the fact that these digital worksheets literally “grade themselves.”
How the right hybrid learning tools create better experiences
Educators’ questions and concerns about virtual learning may still remain—even after giving remote or hybrid learning a try. But one thing is for certain: there are more educational tools available now than ever before. Made with both teachers and students in mind, these tools can bring life and vibrancy to the virtual classroom.
Though we may have less face time, the opportunity for interaction is greater than ever. Through online polls, interactive demonstrations, video bulletin boards, breakout sessions, and more, students have new avenues open to them for collaborative learning. Plus, the versatility of these hybrid learning tools make it easy to transition back and forth from in-person to remote learning.
At the end of the day, all these wonderful tools and resources are meaningless without a quality teacher directing the classroom. The time and attention that you put into your students’ education will ultimately determine your success. So, combine your positive efforts with top-notch tools to create the best hybrid learning environment for your class.
We are all about providing the best tools and apps for educators, which is why we offer intuitive virtual whiteboards to power your virtual classroom. Explore Vibe’s FAQs for Teachers and School Administrators to learn how an interactive whiteboard enhances remote, in-person, and hybrid learning.
Vibe offers a collaborative solution combining an interactive digital whiteboard and innovative smart software. Increase engagement and efficiency at your brainstorming sessions, virtual training, and classroom sessions by integrating your favorite applications with video conferencing and an infinite, mess-free writing canvas. Collaborate today with Vibe.
Looking for the latest in interactive whiteboard technology? Check out Vibe today!