Digital learning tools instructor should use to improve class engagement
The advancement in digital technology has impacted every aspect of our daily lives. One area that has significantly benefited from the evolution in the education sector. In fact, studies have shown that modern technology plays a critical role in ensuring improved students engagement and ensure accelerated learning.
Even better, technology provides students and instructors with access to countless educational resources. This helps educators explore various concepts to deepen their understanding of different subjects. All these have been made easier by introducing numerous digital learning tools and applications.
This article discusses some of the most significant digital equipment created to improve learning processes' administration and encourage communication and collaboration between teachers and learners. But first, let's find out more about digital tools.
Understanding digital learning tools
To understand digital learning tools, first, you need to know what digital learning is or entails. A simple definition of digital learning could be technology-assisted education.
In other words, learning processes greatly depend on technology, from the production of content to delivery and sharing. With digital learning experience, technology dictates how teachers make and send content and how learners receive and respond to tasks.
Also, digital learning gives the educators control or power over time- This type of learning is never restricted to a specific time. In other words, it ensures any time anywhere learning where educators can plug in any or out of the classes anytime they feel.
Furthermore, digital learning promotes divergence. Since not all learning structures cannot fit every student, digital learning, therefore, is flexible enough to allow students to learn at their own style and pace,
In meeting different expectations of digital learning, various applications, software, and platforms communication platforms can encourage collaboration, content creation and ensure engagement. These tools exist from; social media, mobile apps, computer and illustrations, online games, and videos to multimedia platforms that both the instructors and students can use to interact.
There are also various programs for editing images, audio, videos, and text for an immersive experience. Most importantly, some inventions ensure easy resource sharing.
In definition, therefore, digital learning tools are programs or online applications and resources that simplify the education process. They help teachers assign tasks, monitor and assess their students' progress. These applications would also allow the students to research, share, and sit for different jobs irrespective of their distance.
How does digital learning tools work?
In the past, educators had to be physically available in the classroom for learning activities to be successful. However, the digital learning tools connect teachers, learners, and resources to make learning more personalized and make classroom processes more accessible, efficient, and effective.
What general ideal features should online digital tools have?
A quality digital tool should have a development that incorporates various solutions in the same environment for an improved learning experience. It should offer all types of teacher-student management from content libraries, student communities, to schedule publications, among other tools for creating personalized experiences.
Also, education tools should integrate places for parental access. This would ensure that parents get easy access to their children’s performance.
Tracking and report experiences
An effective learning tool should track and record various information from the students' detail, performances and progress. Most importantly, a device should keep track of all the records and readily avails them whenever needed.
Since students engage in different tasks, they may have varied studying times. Some would prefer to study during the morning hours while others are late in the evening. Practical learning tools should be flexible to allow the learners to choose their appropriate times for studies.
Also, it should accommodate the need for various students, including the deaf students, among other disabled students that may find it hard to attend the classes.
Interactive and collaborative
For a successful education, both the teachers and the students need to share ideas and content. Therefore, before choosing any digital learning tool, consider if the device allows for sharing and interaction. Also, it should allow for the interconnection of students among themselves and enable them to share or comment on different information.
Assessment and evaluation are one key role of teachers or instructors. So, when deploying digital learning, you must ensure your tool fulfills these two fundamental functions of assessment: automation recording and data correction.
This feature allows an application to evaluate and assess tests and examinations in real-time, thus ensuring instant feedback or results. A digital application should help mark correct and incorrect answers eliminating eLearning assessment mistakes.
One of the most appreciated features of digital learning is that teachers and students can connect over the internet without necessarily having to meet physically. Various applications ensure educators have a virtual classroom with everything needed to facilitate the education process. The platform is also responsible for recording and keeping a tab of the students' attendance.
Content in the cloud
Educational contents need to stay updated to ensure the continuity of the teaching cycle. And having content in the cloud within a collaborative network would not only allow the contents to stay updated. With cloud storage, teachers can create, edit, publish and update different concepts or content in an agile way. Plus, it ensures educators get anywhere and anytime access to various learning resources they need.
A sound learning tool should include interactive systems that allow teachers to direct or guide students providing a more personalized understanding of various concepts.
So, what are the digital educational tools and their benefits?
The most popular digital Learning tools for educators?
The advancement in technology has seen thousands of digital tools created to help improve the dissemination and sharing of concepts between the teachers and their students and amongst the students themselves. All with the goal of better education.
Here are some of the technologies used to facilitate educational engagement:
a) Google classroom integration
By definition, a Google Classroom is a suite or collection of online tools that allow instructors to assign tasks, monitor works submitted by students, assess and grade tests and examinations. This type of classroom ensures there is no paper education.
Put differently, Google Classroom is a free web-based community learning platform that integrates with other Google services or suites like email, Google docs, and calendars to create and answer different educational concepts.
Through Google Classroom, teachers can organize classes, interact with different students from various regions, and check on their progress and grade students. Most importantly, it allows educators to share educational resources flawlessly.
Also, Google Classroom brings some sense of flexibility in learning. For instance, it depends on the internet and only requires someone to create a Google account from whichever place they might be. Also, it saves time and helps track students' activities. It gives teachers the power to access and easily monitor student activity, giving immediate and direct feedback in the classroom.
What characteristics make Google Classroom ideal of learning?
Easy creation and management. With Google Classroom, instructors can create every class for every class they have or teaches. You can create a Google Classroom for your course and add participants to the class for only about three mouse clicks and keystrokes.
Once created, you can see three tabs, About, Stream, and Student section. From the student section, instructors would know that student who has signed in to their class.
Even better, this part gives teachers the power to add students to their class manually. They can share a classroom code with those students or learners who may want to join a lesson. From their computers and laptops, learners can log into the classroom using their various accounts with the code provided by the teacher.
Or, teachers can also invite their students to join the class through email. Once the students enter the course, they get full access to different learning materials the teacher avails. The good thing is that instructors have the power to direct the students' actions. You can allow them only to post assignments or give students the ability to post, comment and answer various concepts or questions published.
Customized grading systems. With Google Classroom, educators can create different grading categories from the various systems provided. Here are some of the grading systems instructors can choose from:
Virtual discussions. With Google Classrooms, educator can also invite their learners for a question-driven meeting. The students can either comment through Google Docs that encourage two-way communication. Educators can as well give their final answers of clarifications. This provides a better way to keep students engaged even if they can’t see themselves. Furthermore, instructors can choose to mute some students from contributing or commenting.
Announcements. Apart from creating questions and assignments, Google Classroom allows instructors to make announcements for their learners. Announcements may be posts without learning activities. You may decide to inform your students about deadlines for tests and examinations or let them know when to expect assessments.
Still, the educator has complete control of who responds to the announcements made. They can either delete or mute someone from contributing. The good news is that teachers can know what their learners think from their responses and feedbacks. This would also provide a better means of engagement as teachers. The students may have lengthened discussions based on the announcement made.
What is the importance of integrating Google Classroom in Digital learning?
Google Classroom offers the following benefits for both teachers and learners;
Enhances exposure. Through Google Classroom, students get to learn on various online learning systems and content. Students would get time to interact with each other through multiple platforms and more; they get to know how to manage educational systems that would effectively transition into any learning management system in higher academic centers.
Reduces the need for paper learning. With Google Classroom, educators do not have to spend vast sums of money and time typing and printing tests and examinations, announcements, among other educational content.
Teachers only have to upload various tasks online Drive, and students can simultaneously complete the tasks directly without printing or scanning. With Google Drive, students who miss a study can quickly sign in and find the resources they need.
Easily accessible. Educators and learners can easily access Google Classroom from any computer, laptop, or mobile device regardless of the location. In other words, users have any time anywhere access to the classroom. Students and instructors no longer have to worry about long distances to attend lessons. They can now do it in their comfort places, provided they have what it takes to participate in the class.
Live classes. This is one of the latest features of Google Classroom that ensure educators can virtually take real-time classes through Google Meet. It allows instructors to add up to 250 individuals to a hangout call with a possibility of over 100000viewers allowed to live-stream.
This feature also allows educators to record any class session, which can later be watched by those students who have missed a class. Live classes also offer a direct way for teachers to interact with their students; learners can directly ask questions and instantly get answers from their instructors.
b) Online editing services
Not all students are talented writers; some would still make simple grammatical and tenses errors, while others would have no problem creating quality writings. The good thing, students can now have access to both paid and non-paid proofreading and editing software like Grammarly, ProWriting Aid, and Language tool, among other online proofreading tools.
With various digital editing software, learners can correct different errors in their term papers, reviews, and research, improving their performances by fine-tuning their spelling and grammar.
Also, digital or online free photo and video editing software like PhotoGrid- Video and Pic Editor and Adobe Capture helps students get some of the loads off their shoulders.
ClassMarkers are web-based tools that allow educators to create custom online quizzes and tests for educational assessments. This application has tools that help teachers test or assign exams with automated, instant grading options. Meaning, students can once their results immediately they are done with exams.
This tool saves time and allows instructors to concentrate on more pressing educational issues. Even better, this tool allows for multimedia content, meaning educators can avail concepts in various forms from audio, video, text, or images. This makes the learning experience a lot more fun and engaging.
Also, this tool gives instructors the power to create different learning and assign them separate tasks depending on the course requirement. At the same time, teachers can create a single examination or test and share the link to the entire class for their students. The students would then get their results and certification immediately after taking the test.
With ClassMarker, teachers can easily store different results in their database to help track the students’ performance. Even better, teachers can set a time limit for every task they assign and their availability dates to help them manage their teaching activities, especially if they have many classes to teach.
In short, this online test ClassMarker helps in two major things:
Another significant feature of the ClassMarkers is their advanced security measures which ensure a cheat-free test and examination. With authentification requirements, instructors are deemed sure that no unauthorized person can access the content of the test. Students may also copy each other as teachers may decide to give different questions for various groups.
ClassDojo is one of the most potent interactive digital learning tools that allow teachers, students, and parents to interact freely. Through these online platforms, teachers can document various class activities and share them with the parents of their learners through a web browser.
In other words, ClassDojo is a classroom communication and behavioral management tool that help improve students’ behaviors. It allows teachers to assign and reward students with positive behavioral traits and skills. Teachers can give tasks and provide instant feedback rewarding good results with fine points through this application.
Since well behaviors are associated with a better learning experience, that makes learners more receptive towards learning; thus, strive to change their behaviors to get more points. Because the records collected about the students are shared with parents, students would want to have changed behaviors to get more credit, thus getting associated with a better learning experience and result.
Socrative is one of the online interactive tools that encourage learning engagement. It's a quiz-based tool with multiple features to enrich the teaching and student learning experience. This application allows instructors to design mini-quizzes to help gauge their students' understanding of the task assigned.
The application also gives teachers control over the type of choice of quizzes. They can create multiple options, open-ended short answers, or graded short replies like true-false.
What features make Socrative ideal for digital learning
Easy access and workflow. This application is easily accessed on various operating systems like Apple, Windows, and Chrome. You only need a browser that uses HTML. Still, you can use a desktop, tablet, or smartphone to access it.
Its workflow allows reasonable time to learn or become proficient in operating the application. Once the instructor has created an account, they are given one room to meet their students; students do not need to create an account. It's the teacher's responsibility to invite them through URL into the room to access online quizzes or space races.
Unfortunately, the public room given may not accommodate the class roster. So for instructors to have students included, they have to enter the name of the general room given, followed by their details.
This simple, fun, and interactive learning tool engages learners while introducing them to designs. The application also combines creative interactive games, slideshows, and animations that capture the students' attention while earning at the same time.
It also incorporates shareable music, graphics, and photos. Students through the online community can easily share and access various materials.
g) Quizlet lives/ Quizlet.
This is an in-class quiz game that allows teachers and students to create or share different interactive learning materials like diagrams and flashcards. In this game, all students have to contribute to their ideas, and most importantly, they must adequately communicate to win. The constant communication and interaction make this application one of the most leading interactive digital learning tools.
Instructors may also consider including the following interactive learning tools in their classes:
Kahoot- a platform based on questions and games. Here teachers can create surveys, discussions, or questionnaires to aid the classroom interactions.
Animoto- This is one of the latest tools that allow teachers and students to create engaging, high-quality videos within the shortest time possible. It aids the students’ creativity and helps improve their understanding of various concepts. Being user-friendly, the app easily allows instructors to create various content that adapts to their student's educational needs.
Teaching can be a challenging task. As a teacher, you have the responsibility of keeping your students alert and attentive throughout your session, something that's never easy. But to make your work easier, deploy some of the latest digital learning tools like Google Classroom, Kahoot, Socrative, ClassDojo, and online editing services.