This pandemic has sped the transition from classroom to virtual classes through the use of apps for online classes. Although virtual educational platforms coexisted with classes in classrooms, lockdown threw students and teachers into an absolute dynamic of distance education. Virtual education in times of pandemic has caused teachers (and students) to adapt, reinvent, relearn and make multiple efforts to optimize the learning process.
For some teachers it has been a challenge to integrate digital tools and content into teaching. However, it has also become an opportunity to nurture and make classes more dynamic and take advantage of the involvement that exists between electronic devices and students.
Tips for integrating digital content and apps for online classes
Before we start talking about class management apps, I will share these tips that will generate more certainty in the implementation of the tools to virtual education:
- Be very clear about what you hope your students will learn while using these applications as tools.
- Make a preliminary diagnosis on the knowledge and interaction that your students have with electronic devices.
- Check what devices the students (and you as the teacher) have, their capacity and how updated they are, in order to know what platforms and apps they could support.
- Ask your students if they already know (whether it is on their own accord or by influence of their parents) any tool or app that could help them in class.
- Ask how they would like to consult the contents, that is through videos, infographics, podcasts, downloadable PDFs, among others.
- Experiment with the applications you have selected before implementing them with your students; check how friendly and accessible they are, if they deliver what they promise and if they adapt to what you need.
- Start small, first with the simplest applications to the most sophisticated ones.
- Link up with other teachers, networks or associations; exchange views and get feedback.
- Talk to your students about the chosen application or applications; if they are satisfied with the given tools and if they have an experience that enriches their classes.
Most used apps in virtual classes
Currently, the apps for online classes most used by teachers and students are:
- Teams for education. It is a chat room in which people from the same team work and communicate. It allows calls, video calls, file sharing and multi-user chats. It brings together classes, meetings, assignments and files all in one place.
- Zoom. It is a tool that allows videoconferences supported in the cloud; It can be through video, only audio or both, plus live chats. Additionally, it allows you to record those sessions to watch them later.
- OneDrive. It is the Microsoft cloud service that connects the user with all the files in it. It allows you to store and protect files, share them with other users and access them anywhere on any device.
- Google Drive. It is the data storage service on the internet that Google provides in its free version, which includes a storage capacity of 15 GB.
- WhatsApp. It is the application for mobile phones used to make video calls, send text messages and multimedia instantly.
Other applications to optimize and manage your online classes
Next, we will share a list of other apps that can be used as tools in your classes:
- Attendance. It is a list of digital attendance that allows you to monitor students, generate work teams, schedules, among other functionalities. Available for Android.
- Edmodo. It is a platform that manages classrooms and work teams. Students and teachers keep track of the “virtual classrooms”, their subjects and groups. It provides an experience similar to Facebook, in which each subject or group has its own wall where messages and information are shared. In addition, it allows communication between teachers, students and for parents to get involved and know the progress of their children.
- Flipped Primary. It is a virtual library that compiles more than 2000 lessons in educational videos; Although it is aimed at teachers, it is also useful for students and parents.
- Socrative. It is a multimedia tool that encourages student participation through surveys and questionnaires in real time.
- Plickers. It is an interactive app that develops a continuous evaluation of students and allows the teacher to obtain statistical data on the progress and learning of each student in real time.
- Zotero. This app automatically identifies the sources used in a school assignment or presentation. It is ideal for detecting bibliography or tools like YouTube.
- Explain Everything. It is an app that allows you to insert drawings and audio with your explanations.
- Mindomo. With this app you can create mind and concept maps, schemes and diagrams.
- Hopscotch. This fun app has different educational hobbies and activities that complement your classes.
As you can see, there are many applications for virtual education. This list is just a sample of the universe you can find. Take your time to get to know them and experiment with them and thus define which is the best for your students and for you.
At Mijo! Brands, a creative digital marketing agency with offices in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, we have a multidisciplinary team of professionals, specialists in the design and development of applications for any brand or business.