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Other digital tools and resources

Other tools and resources
So we’re talking about other digital tools and resources that we might use in online lessons. Marie Therese, do we need to use a lot of digital tools in our lessons? I think not, Lindsay. I think, really and truly, limit it to the platform. Use the features of the platform and also perhaps select one or two tools. I think if you have too many, it’s just too much for the students to keep having to open different apps and also for you to learn. So learn one or two useful, versatile apps and stick to those. Yeah, I agree. I mean there are a few different tools you might want to use aren’t there?
One thing is a learning management system, an LMS, and this is something like Google Classroom or Edmodo, especially if you’re doing a sort of blended online course, where you’ve got live lessons alongside lots of homework, asynchronous type tasks. Because those tools allow you to do things like set assignments. Learners can upload their assignments. You can obviously communicate with learners there. You can create forums. You can add quizzes. Learners can keep a record of their grades and so on. So those are really useful.
But if you don’t want to use one of those, maybe you’ve got one to one or very small groups, you might want to use a messaging app like Whatsapp or Telegram, where you can communicate with learners in class to share sentences for example, or to share links to something, or photos, for example, but also out of class to set times of lessons or maybe to have a discussion in English, that kind of thing. Yeah. And then there are a couple of other things. So for example, you might have a collaborative tool. So this would be something like Padlet. So Padlet is a board.
You can share a link to your Padlet and all of the learners can be in that one place at the same time. So for example, if you’re doing a writing task, everybody could be writing their stories on Padlet at the same time. It’s one of the few advantages actually of teaching online. You couldn’t do that in a classroom. All of the students couldn’t see all of their writing all at the same time. Padlet also, you can do recording onto, so they can record bits of things and then they can listen to each other’s work. You can share pictures. You can share audio.
Also maybe you could familiarise yourself with an interactive tool that gives you interactive tasks like a matching task or a putting things in order. So there are apps like Wordwall, and Mentimeter, and Nearpod, that do this job really well.

In Step 1.6, we talked about the equipment an online teacher needs and the resources an online teacher can use, such as puppets and realia. In this step, we’re going to introduce you to some digital tools that help to make digital lessons more successful.


In the video Helen and Mary talk about some digital tools and some ways they can be used in online teaching. Watch the video and make notes about what they say the tools can be used for.

Teacher Tool Use
Helen A grammar reference tool (e.g. Cambridge Online Dictionary Grammar)  
Mary Screen or slide sharing  
Mary Google Docs  
Helen An online noticeboard  
Mary Memrise, Quizlet and other games/activities  
Please note down your answers on a piece of paper

Check your answers

Adding a whiteboard

Digital tools and resources aren’t obligatory in online lessons but some teachers find them useful and learners enjoy using them. One such tool is a whiteboard. You’ll remember from your research in the previous step that Zoom and WebRoom have an in-built whiteboard so you don’t need to use a separate tool if you are using these platforms. If, however, you use a platform which doesn’t have its own whiteboard (e.g. Skype), you might want to add one.

Miro is an interactive whiteboard tool that teachers can use in live online lessons. The free version offers three editable boards which you can share with students so that you and they can see what’s written there. If you’re interested in using this tool, go to Miro’s Help Center to find out how to use it.

Reflect and share

How can teachers and students use an interactive whiteboard in an online lesson? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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Teaching English Online

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