25 Mar 7 tools to simplify distance learning
In all this, some tools are very useful to me. So I’m taking the time today to share them with you. I am no expert in the field of distance education. I hope all the same that some little tips will lighten your workload or allow you to reach your students more easily.
# 1 Screencastify
or The application that allows me to film my lessons
I film my lessons using Screencastify. This application for Google Chrome films my screen (where I display a presentation or a document) while I explain the material. I also use it to create tutorials to help my students use technological tools they are less familiar with.
# 2 Google Classroom
All my students have a school account with Google, so we have access to a variety of tools. Google Classroom has been a virtual schoolbag for my students since the start of the year. This is the starting point for my teaching since I am no longer in class. I post the list of work for the week, my explanatory videos, my lessons, the roadmaps. All assignments are assigned and collected on Google Classroom.
# 3 Google Docs
I use documents ( Google Docs) for the majority of the work. Instructions often include links to additional explanations (e.g. an explanation on Alloprof), other documents (e.g. a sample text), or a video (e.g. explaining the topic or who will fuel the discussion). In Google Classroom, you can create a copy of a document per student in which they can write directly when assigning an assignment. This function is fantastic.
# 4 Google Form
Want to see if your students have understood a concept? The Google form ( Google Forms) is the perfect tool, especially since it can correct itself. By teaching at a distance, it is more difficult to tell if a student has understood. What we can see in the eyes of a student, or in his posture, we do not see through a screen. Often it takes me a week to realize it. By assigning a short form on a regular basis, I can see where my students are.
# 5 Google presentation
Several of my units are mounted in the form of presentations ( Google Slides), with links to other documents, much like I described with Google docs. I place my lessons or my information in chronological order and then film my explanations with Screencastify going through the slides. I am posting the Google presentation on Classroom for the students to have access to.
# 6 Google Meet
I organize one to two video meetings a week with Google Meet to answer students’ questions and give additional explanations per week. It is not obvious and my internet connection is not the best. We manage to talk to each other, ask questions and keep in touch. I even administered evaluations that had been missed due to absence before leaving by videoconference. I did a short lesson with the Jamboard app, which allowed me to write on a live whiteboard. However, I must say that this is probably the part of my job that I find the most difficult at the moment. Managing student behavior from a distance is not always easy,
In short … The more time passes, the more the students forget their good work habits.
The more time passes, the more I forget the sound of their voices or the expressions on their faces.
The more time passes, the less motivated students (and teachers) are.
But despite everything, I believe that this situation is better than nothing. I would not have wanted the school year to be canceled, for the learning made since the start of the second stage to be forgotten, and for my students to spend three, six, or even ten months without school.