Here’s A List Of The Primary Online Tools I’ll Be Using In Distance Learning This Year

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I have previously shared a number of posts (see HERE ARE DETAILED – & TENTATIVE – DISTANCE LEARNING PLANS FOR ALL MY FALL CLASSES) laying out my plans for this school year, which begins TOMORROW!

Those plans continue to be more-or-less accurate, though some of the online tools I mentioned in them might be a bit different.  I made a point of writing that some things were likely to change as I learned new things, and some did.

Of course, in addition to the tools on this list, I also have class blogs for U.S. History, World History, and Beginner/Intermediate English.

So, here is a list of the tools I plan to use with each of my classes:

ELL US HISTORY & WORLD HISTORY

Brainpop – it offers such a wide range of engaging online activities.  We’re lucky to have it!

Actively Learn – it lets you upload large PDFs – far larger than many other sites – and students can annotate them.  I’m planning on having students read hardcopy textbooks, but they haven’t come in yet.  Until that time, we’ll use resources I’ve uploaded to Actively Learn, as well as having students collaboratively annotate PDFs on Google Docs (see MY MIND WAS BLOWN TODAY AFTER LEARNING HOW TO COLLABORATIVELY ANNOTATE PDFS ON GOOGLE DRIVE).  However, I don’t expect to use Actively Learn much after our “consumable” books come in.

The ability to annotate images on Google Docs will come in handy.  I have a group of ELL Beginners, along with a larger number of Intermediates.  I’ll be using the Picture Word Inductive Model with the Beginners, and this feature will come in handy.  The Beginners will probably also use USA Learns Citizenship course.

Padlet is so versatile that I’ve purchased their Backpack plan for $99 annually.   I particularly like it (and Google Slides and Docs) because it allows for simultaneous collaborative work, which I think is going to be essential for maintaining student engagement both during  and outside live instruction.

Quizizz is great for games and, unlike Kahoot, it shows the question and the answer on the same slide – no need for students to split their screens.  Plus, they’ve added a rudimentary Nearpod-like feature, that could be very handy.

Fluent Key is a combination of EdPuzzle and Quizizz – it gamifies videos.

Playing a Pictionary-like game is always good for a fun break, and is an excellent opportunity for English practice.  I’ll use either Padlet or Whiteboard.fi when we play it, and will probably also try some of the other similar games you can find at The Best Online Games Students Can Play In Private Virtual “Rooms”

Of course, I’ll also be using Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Slides and Zoom with this class and with all of my classes.

BEGINNER & INTERMEDIATE ENGLISH

Brainpop ELL and Brainpop, Jr. for Beginners,  and other Brainpop videos for Intermediates.

Quizizz and Fluent Key (and Pictionary games)

Unfortunately, FluentKey does not have the ability to easily integrate with Google Classroom, though they say it’s the priority for their next update.  Until that time, I’ll continue to use EdPuzzle for homework and FluentKey for videos shown during class.  Once FluentKey makes that update, though, I think I’ll say goodbye to EdPuzzle.

I paid for ESL Library, so will be giving that a try.  I wanted to have a site that easily integrates into Google Classroom.  I’ll also be trying out Quill.  Both are sites that offer easy reinforcing homework practice, particularly around grammar.

Raz-Kids is a standby for independent reading choice, and I can’t forget Duolingo.

Our district paid for a Nearpod license.  I expect to use it a bit during class, and maybe have a few of its activities for homework,  but I haven’t made a firm decision yet.

I’ll be using Padlet in this class, too.

Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Slides and Zoom

IB Theory of Knowledge

I don’t expect to use many web tools in this class.

We’ll use Quizizz for some games but, apart from that tool, the only other ones will be Padlet, Google Classroom, Google Slides, Google Docs, and Zoom.

The ability of students to work collaboratively is going to be particularly important to maintain engagement in this class, and all those tools support that ability.

Feel free to share your own list in the comments section.