In today’s society, we are fixated on digital everything. We use social media, relentlessly. We learn, virtually. We even work from home. However, there are stretches when just being digital is not adequate. When that occurs, we turn our attention to methods to heighten our skills. Here are six strategic tools to help enrich your virtual learning experience.
- GoConqr – This service is free but can be elevated for a fairly minimal amount and is paid as a yearly subscription should you choose to do so. Their motto, “Growth through Learning,” delivers just that. There are distinctive levels of learning that is stimulated through an integrated suite of content creation to help guide you through the entire learning process, from start to finish. GoConqr offers instruments ranging from slides to mind maps (and everything in between). The best part? GoConqr is available for learners, educators, institutions, and even for companies to encourage progression through every level of learning. It is also offered in multiple countries and has global recognition.
- Scrible – Scrible is entirely free to sign up for and happens in the form of a Google Chrome Extension. It has been labeled as “The missing productivity app for modern digital work.” This useful tool allows you to save webpages for subsequent use, bookmark and stockpile websites in the cloud, and even arrange a library of articles. Furthermore, you can even add tags to those articles. Undoubtedly, the most exciting feature of Scrible is how it can be used to annotate articles directly into your browser, which allows you to save time with marginal exertion. It can even pull your citation for an article or website. Scrible is used by students, educators, and administrators and comes highly recommended by all walks of life.
- Dropbox – Dropbox is a free service, but if you need extra space for “dropping” items, you can always pay to upgrade. After all, most of us already know about Dropbox and have operated it for school or work. Still yet, it is worth a mention as Dropbox is fundamental to your online learning experience as it makes it stress-free to upload any desired files to your course in a swift and well-organized way. In case you are unfamiliar with it, Dropbox is a place to upload all of your documents for everyone you desire (or do not desire) to see. Effortlessly access your text from wherever. This free service allows you to work smarter, not harder as you drop your content into the cloud. This secure service allows everything to be connected and protected, while still sharing it with others.
- Flipgrid – This is a free video discussion platform from Microsoft. Significantly called the “social media” platform of virtual learning, this video-based class discussion permits for different communications between both the educator and the student. It allows the student to be entertained while still learning. It is social learning at its finest. Best of all, this is undoubtedly accessible for Pre-K all the way through PhD levels, so, no learning, regardless of age, is expelled. An educator will create an area of focus and the student will respond by creating a video. There is even a tool to allow diverse filters to be supplementary to the student’s video. If you do not desire a filter, that is acceptable, too! The student can even record a portion of their screen (whether it is via computer, tablet, or mobile device) and add the recorded screenshot to the video to further support their responses in discussion. After the video is built, it is then released into the discussion area where other learners can interact and the educator can review the response.
- Prezi – Prezi has three tiers of paid subscriptions that range from $5 a month for personal use to upwards of $19 a month for professional use. All of the tiers include a free trial (for 14 days), so, you can check out the distinctive qualities of each, before you choose what is best for you (or your classroom). This service allows you to present and intermingle with your visuals as opposed to screen sharing alone. This provision works with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and even Google Meet. Prezi is keen on allowing you to present throughout video to preserve the human connection, while operating from home. You can record a video or to go live, so choose whichever way is best for you.
- Answer Garden – This is a free tool to boost your online learning through means of polling. You begin by crafting a question (or an educator can create the question if preferred) and as more responses are added, your answer garden will sprout. While a modest tool, it is still reasonably efficient due to the element of various replies that are submitted by others. You can even share your Answer Garden to social media or embed it on a website. Simple, yet effective and educational.