The advent of the internet has drastically changed the way teachers teach and manage their classrooms. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed it even further. Teachers have had to adjust content in order to reach a range of students who are no longer sitting right there, in person, in the classroom. This has its advantages and disadvantages, of course, but at least the proper use of digital classroom tools in either context can increase student engagement.
To help you find some of the best digital classroom tools, check out the list below. Please review your school’s and/or district’s privacy policies before using any of these digital classroom tools with your students. All prices are accurate as of spring 2021.
Digital Classroom Tools – Interactive Teaching/Learning
Educational Tool Name: Classroom Screen
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Online tool for displaying interactive instructions with background customization, text, QR code, timer, traffic light and clock. 13 various widgets are available.
Cost: Free. The pro version is available for $29.90/year, with an option for a 7-day free trial. Also available is a School Pro version allowing multiple licenses.
Educational Tool Name: Google Classroom
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: An online platform for schools/teachers to create and share assignments with students.
Educational Tool Name: Pear Deck
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Students are able to easily connect to presentations on any device. Teachers can add interactive questions, quizzes, polls, and assessments. Think about morning/bell work and exit tickets! Project and share answers anonymously. Integrates with multiple systems that school districts are already using, such as Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams or Office 365. Has an integrated add-on for Google Slides.
Cost: Free. Paid subscription for an individual teacher is $149.99/year. Districts and schools must request a quote.
Educational Tool Name: Kahoot!
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Online learning game. Students love it! Create your own for students to play, or use one of the 100 million games that are already available. It can be used to introduce topics, review content, “break the ice,” or even as a formative assessment. Check out “Ways to Play” for more ideas! Play a demo game here. Now works via videoconferencing!
Cost: Free, with a variety of paid teacher and school/district plans also available.
Educational Tool Name: Edpuzzle
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Video platform for creating interactive video lessons. Record your own videos or upload them from other sites such as Khan Academy or YouTube. Add your own voice narration, notes, or questions to monitor comprehension.
Cost: Free. Pro Teacher Plan available starting at $11.50/month. Schools/districts can request a quote.
Educational Tool Name: Google Forms
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Collect and organize information with online surveys, forms, questions, etc. It can be used to make classroom quizzes or assignments.
Educational Tool Name: Blooket
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Blooket is similar to Kahoot, in that kids need to answer questions. However, Blooket is interactive, and often, they can battle, steal, or duel, etc., against each other. There are tons of pre-made game questions, like Kahoot.
Blooket also doesn’t require you to press “next” after each question. Rather, students have a timer to complete questions (it’s automatically 7 minutes, but you can change it). There are also “modes” teachers can choose. For example, Crypto Hack, Tower Defence, Battle Royale, etc.
Use this tool to review content and/or introduce new content.
Educational Tool Name: GimKit
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Similar to Blooket and Kahoot, in that students answer questions.
Cost: Teachers can sign up for a free account and can do a premium account for a month for free.
Digital Classroom Tools – Screencasting
Educational Tool Name: Screencast-O-Matic
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Record your screen, edit the video, and then share. Also serves as a video editor. Students can create videos in order to add to conversations or complete assignments.
Cost: Free. Paid subscriptions are available for as low as $1.65 per month. Additional pricing options are available for districts. Video editor software offers a free 30-day trial.
Educational Tool Name: Screencastify
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Google Chrome extension. Record, edit, and share your screen or webcam videos.
Cost: Free. Mix and match paid plan options based on your needs. Education discounts are offered! Online quotes generated for schools/districts.
Digital Classroom Tools – Classroom Management
Educational Tool Name: Bouncy Balls
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Online tool where you can manage classroom noise or virtualize music. Noise sensitivity can be adjusted. Great for in-classroom and in-person use during group projects!
Educational Tool Name: Online Stopwatch
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: An online stopwatch or countdown timer. Fun classroom timers are also available, as well as random name and number generators, holiday and sensory timers, and online dice (chance games).
Cost: Free. Premium option available for $12/year for individual users.
Digital Classroom Tools – PDF Editing and Collaboration
Educational Tool Name: DocHub
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Edit, sign, and send PDFs online.
Cost: Free. The pro version is available for $4.99/month after a free 30-day trial.
Educational Tool Name: XODO
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Edit, sign, share and collaborate on PDFs using a mobile device or the web. Annotate PDFs with sticky notes, highlighting, drawings, shapes, and more.
Cost: Free for personal use. Licenses might be needed for schools/districts. See the following note.
Additional Useful Digital Classroom Tools
Educational Tool Name: EasyBib
Purpose/Function of Education Tool: Tool for citing sources and checking written work for plagiarism and grammatical errors.
Cost: Free basic account. Paid plans are available starting at $9.95/month.
Use these digital classroom tools to help keep your students engaged in their learning. If you have any other digital classroom tools you’d like to recommend, connect with me on social media (@2peasandadog) to let me know your suggestions.
Other Digital Resources
- Why Use Digital Escape Rooms in Middle School?
- Why You Should Use Podcasts In Middle School?
- Why Teach Fake News in the Middle School ELA Classroom?