Starting a new school year is an exciting time for teachers and students alike. The long summer break gives everyone a chance to disconnect and prepare to begin the new academic year with a clean slate.
While students usually don’t spend too much of their summer thinking about the new school year, teachers need to pick and prepare their materials and the best tools ahead of time.
Of course, technology changes frequently, so it’s important to stay on top of things. As you probably already know, sometimes you need to switch things up and try something new even if it’s not in the original plan.
So even if we’re already a few months into the new school year, here are a few tools that all teachers can check out:
1. Whooo’s Reading
Many teachers are dealing with students who don’t enjoy reading. Even though there are a lot of students who enjoy immersing themselves in literature, this doesn’t come naturally to everyone.
Whooo’s Reading makes reading feel less of a burden and motivates students to read at home. You can assign a book and prepare comprehension questions that they can answer directly in the platform. Logging their reading, writing summaries, and connecting with peers gives them rewards in the form of Wisdom Coins that they can later spend to “purchase” all kinds of accessories for their Owlvatar.
Whooo’s Reading is a free tool and the only downside is that it requires a reliable internet connection. However, students can still read their books and play the game at school if internet connectivity is an issue.
Read more: 4 Awesome edtech solutions for making students fall in love with reading
Some students would rather express themselves in writing, and that’s totally fine. As a teacher, you need to support those students and encourage them to become more creative with platforms like BoomWriter.
This tool works both for young and older students. Teachers can encourage writing by giving a prompt. This works for any subject since there are word lists that are great for improving vocabulary.
Another idea to motivate students to write is to come up with a challenge. You could ask them all to contribute to a story that will be published later in the classroom blog. This creates an engaging class for all students, especially when they can be in the same space and participate in the writing process. Once they finish their story, they can give feedback to each other.
Read more: 7 Outside of the box ideas for teaching students who don’t like writing
3. Air Pano
We all remember just how much we loved field trips as students. Since that’s not always possible, technology comes to the rescue once again, providing some great tools to make classes more entertaining and engaging for everyone.
You can use Air Pano to teach about landforms, architecture, climate, local traditions, and a lot more. Use this tool to go on a virtual journey around the world and discover interesting facts with your students.
Even though you get a 360° Photo from above, it’s interesting to perceive things from a different perspective and give students an idea of how people live in other parts of the world. For example, the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is not something you see every day in person, but your students can immerse themselves into this stunning environment directly from your classroom.
Read more: 10 Tools teachers can use to create virtual field trips
4. School learning management system
A learning management system (LMS) is a key tool for all teachers because it stores all learning materials in a safe space, makes learning more engaging, reduces feedback time and encourages everyone to stay connected.
With features such as gamification, teachers can design lesson games and award points or badges each time students complete certain actions. Although some might expect this feature to only work for younger students, it’s good to know that higher grades are just as interested.
More and more teachers are starting to realize that the one-size-fits-all approach is not the best as each student has individual needs and preferences. However, an LMS that integrates personalized learning provides a custom experience from beginning to end.
For example, your student enrolls in a class. A few minutes later, they receive a custom welcome message and are enrolled in groups related to their interests. Once they complete lessons and assignments, they are awarded badges and a certificate of completion.
Read more: The role of the LMS in enhancing the education experience
There are so many benefits that online tools bring to classrooms whether they are online or in-person. This selection of tools works for any grade level and makes classes engaging, fun, and informative.