In our smaller districts, educators are in a pilot where they are providing upper level courses to both students in their classroms and to students in other schools across the district, using a high-end video conferencing system. This first year has been a tough go for many of them, so we got them all together to share their successes and failures. We took some time showing them how to use Canvas and the benefits of doing so, as well as some strategies to be successful with working with distance-students.
After hearing from these teachers, I showed them a few tools and services that were out there that could potentially help them out. Here’s the list:
- HippoCampus– a repository of free educational resources for use in online courses from providers such as NROC, Khan Academy, and interactive science simulations from PhET
- eMedia – Accessible through the Pioneer Library, eMedia is like Netflix for Utah educators with educational videos and other resources aligned to Utah core areas and grade levels.
- Information on how to setup and use the International Keyboard options in Windows
- Socrative – Free online web-based student response system for quick quizzes that can gather student responses??from anywhere they have a computer, laptop or any web-enabled device. Once you sign up for an account, students will access your quiz questions by going to http://m.socrative.com & entering your room number.
- Poll Everywhere – Also a type of student response system, also free to educators, but allows students to respond to questions or vote with a text/SMS message from any cell phone (standard text message rates apply for responses). Poll questions can be embedded into a PowerPoint slide show as well.
- Paperless Workflow for Google Docs – I briefly talked through the basics of this, but with a little time setting this workflow up for you and your students, it really does make a paperless, distance classroom a reality. Here’s how it’s working in other schools. If you are curious, here’s the basics of getting your students set up.