The Best WL Distance/E-Learning EdTech Tools

March 14, 2020 Sra. Shaw

edtech tools for Spanish class

In the last few days, the technology needs for lots of teachers have changed immensely due to COVID19.  Many of us are being faced with converting our traditional classrooms to distance or e-learning methods literally overnight.  Because I already use a lot of these EdTech tools in my regular classroom, I feel prepared, but I keep hearing about a lot of teachers that are overwhelmed and not sure how to proceed.  Amigos, I’ve got you covered.  Here’s an overview of my favorite websites and apps that would perfect right now as adapt to a new frontier of teaching.

1. Google Classroom

The first thing I’d do is get on Google Classroom. It’s the single best way to diseminate information to your student and it’s the #1 rated education app in the Apple app store. Teachers in my district found out two days ago that we’re expecting to provide distance learning for students starting Monday. Colleagues were coming to me freaking out and asking me what they should do. My answer? Let’s get you on Google Classroom. It’s going to be OK.

I honestly fought using GC for years and after I started, I was angry at myself for not doing it sooner.  It’s so easy to use for you, your students, and parents.  Each day, I post schedule of what I did in class and attach all of the documents I used.  Seems like a lot of work, right? Nope.

Google Classroom saves me a ton of time. When students are absent they don’t ask me what they missed; They just check Google Classroom.  If my kid is sick and I want to post sub plans for my students? It goes on Google Classroom. If parents want to know what their kids are doing in class? Join my Google Classroom. A student is leaving the country for two months (you’d be shocked at how often this happens to me) and you want me to email you all of your work? Nope, check Google Classroom. It’s amazingly freeing and its the answer to all of the things.

Getting a Google Classroom set up is super easy and, like all other Google for Education Tools, it’s free. Seriously, get linked up on Google Classroom right now.  It’s so easy. Better yet, Google has provided specialized training videos for teachers trying to figure out how to do so in light of COVID 19. Definitely check out the link, but here’s the how-to video:

 

 2. SeeSaw

While I use Google Classroom, much more frequently, SeeSaw is, hands down, my absolute favorite edtech tool for the World Language class because it shows what your students can do with the language. It’s a performance-centered tool that captures students ability to speak, write, and so much more.

SeeSaw is honestly so amazing that it’s hard for me to capture it words all of the reasons that I love it.  Your students will be able to complete multi-faceted assignments that allow them to post pictures, videos, slideshows with audio voiceovers, drawings as they narrate a story, and so much more.

Flat out, if you want to find out why SeeSaw is awesome, join me for a free training from the comfort of your couch on Zoom tomorrow night. I’ll be live on Zoom tomorrow Sunday March 15 at 8 pm EST.  Just click this link at 8pm tomorrow to go into this interactive SeeSaw course.  Just click this link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/203662148

In the meantime, check out my blog post here about why I love SeeSaw so much. It seriously the best. I hope you’ll join me tomorrow to see why. Plus, SeeSaw has resources created specifically for remote learning here.

Spanish with Sra. Shaw

3. EdPuzzle

EdPuzzle is awesome for sharing videos with your students and tracking what they got out of it.

What is EdPuzzle? It basically allows you to take any video and create engaging viewing/listening activity that will show you what students understood. It’s the perfect tool for interpretive mode and it’s really easy to use.

Be sure to check out my blog post and learn the 7 reasons why Edpuzzle is my favorite tool for videos, which is a great option for distance learning.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel because EdPuzzle has thousands of pre-made video activities that you can share with your students with just a link.  If you’re using Google Classroom, Edpuzzle is already integrated so you can share easily with your class or, alternatively, you could post a link on SeeSaw or just email it to your students. It’s super easy

I’ve always used EdPuzzle for flipping lessons and video activities, but I’ll definitely be using it more in coming weeks. Plus, bonus, they’ve always had a free version, but they’re giving everyone EdPuzzle Pro access with this link.

4. Flipgrid

Flipgrid is a free tool that easily allows you to post a speaking prompt that your students can record a response to. My students LOVE it and it’s super engaging.  There’s almost no prep and even my 6th graders figured out to use it in minutes with a substitute teacher a few weeks ago; that’s saying something.

Here’s a quick prompt I did with my level 1s in the fall. Just login and record a response to see how it feels from a student perspective.

FlipGrid has also released a convenient remote learning guide here to show you how seriously it is to share speaking activities with your students with just a link. Plus, it’s already integrated with Google Classroom or you could just share with a link.

 

Conclusion

So, there you have it, my four favorite EdTech tools to do distance or e-learning. Honestly, I use all four of these tools with my students the rest of the time, but right now, I’m so glad I’m prepared for whatever COVID19 throws that us.  I promise, all four of these tools are really easy to set up and share with your students and they will save you so much time and energy.  Plus, Google Classroom, SeeSaw, EdPuzzle, and FlipGrid have all, because they know people need e-learning options, created easy to use guides for remote learning.

Please join me for my SeeSaw session on Zoom tomorrow! Just go to https://us04web.zoom.us/j/203662148 tomorrow Sunday March 15 at 8 pm EST. I’ll be there to answer any questions you might have and show why I love SeeSaw so much.

Thank you for reading and, for goodness sake, practice social distancing and wash your hands.

 

Sra. Shaw

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