Technology You Need To Teach Effectively
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You Can't Teach Online Without The Right Tech

From April through May 2020, tons of EdTech companies suddenly had thousands of educators and institutions sign up to use their platforms. At a time when restaurants and brick-and-mortar retail were closing around the world, new and established tech instead experienced an unexpected spike in use. As an educator, you know teaching in a physical classroom isn’t easy, and teaching online can bring even more challenges. Instructors are required to make tough decisions every day about how to engage their students while ensuring that they don’t fail.

However, teaching at least partially online is the only option educators have to continue teaching. Post pandemic, fully-online courses, and hybrid learning may become the cornerstone of education. Because of the continual learning curve and struggle to keep students engaged, this reality for many professional educators is uninvited.

Luckily, developments in EdTech over the past decade have reduced the burden placed on remote teachers. The key to successfully delivering engaging lessons is to find the right technology to fit in with your systems and processes.

At minimum, here are the 3 categories of tech you need to consider.

1. Communication Tools

Not only can distance learning be lonely for students but it can make your job of keeping a class engaged even more challenging. Class discussion and group activities take additional effort on your part. Having the right communication tools in place is key to maintaining the classroom dynamic that your students are accustomed to.

Use technology to help your students communicate via the channels they already use.

  • Email
  • SMS/text messaging
  • Instant messenger/chat
  • (Maybe even social media)

If you run synchronous classes, a robust video conferencing platform is crucial. But, how will you communicate outside of lessons that are taught in real-time? Online chats and discussion boards let you keep the conversation going. You could even build your own custom messaging platform to add a live chat feature to your lessons that students can use after you are done teaching.

With the right tools, you can create and monitor collaborative groups and keep in touch with students in a safe, secure learning environment.

2. Presentation Tools And Slideshows

While PowerPoint presentations might’ve worked just fine in the classroom, they aren’t the most engaging format for online teaching. Get creative with your course resources and take your presentations to the next level.

Use tech to embed videos, quizzes, or even games into your slides and make your presentations more interactive and engaging. Many presentation tools come with ready-made slideshow templates, just waiting for you to add your content. And, there are countless quality educational resources (that your students will love) available online to supplement your teaching.

One of the major benefits of most of these tools is that the presentations you create can be accessed from any device—a feature worth considering as some students in the US only have home internet access through a smartphone.

3. Learning Management System (LMS)

A modern LMS is one piece of tech you shouldn’t go without when teaching online. It’s essentially your virtual classroom—a place where you can bring yourself, your students, and learning materials together. Most LMSs boast a whole bunch of features to help you teach online:

  • Store all of your teaching materials in one place that students can access at their own pace
  • Post assignments and assessments to let you and your students see their progress
  • Use gamification features like points, badges, and achievements to encourage engagement
  • Integrate with video conferencing and calendar features for simpler lesson delivery
  • Collect real-time information on student engagement with learning analytics

If you want a one-stop-shop digital environment for file sharing, communication, and collaboration, a modern LMS is a solution you’re going to want to consider.

Conclusion

With a universe of online tools available to you, remember the golden rule: it’s not the most popular software but the right tech that enhances your students’ learning experience. Different schools, classes, and students will have different needs. So, when you get going, don’t be afraid to ask for honest feedback about how the tech you’re using is working for your students.

If you hand-pick nothing else this year, make sure you shop around for the right communication tools, presentation delivery software, and the right LMS. Your increased student engagement rate will thank you.

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