Here at Uptree, we’ve had a great time exploring new tools to use when we’re delivering classes and workshops online. When you’re not directly in front of a class, we know it’s hard to keep your students’ attention but integrating some of these tools into your lesson plan can help bring them back to the subject at hand.
There are so many different options out there, but here we’ve picked our favourite three online tools to support your classes.
We all love our mobile phones but in class they can be a terrible distraction. Luckily, it’s a lot harder now to text under the table than it was when we were at school, but also phones have become a lot more functional - why not make the most of that?
Kahoot is a platform to build your own online quiz. Choose between multiple choice, true or false and polls and build your own knowledge checker.
Once you’re done, display the quiz on your screen - mute the annoying music! Students visit Kahoot.it on their phones to play along. It’s pretty hard to watch Tiktok videos whilst you’re busy quizzing.
We came across Mentimeter recently and it’s another clever tool which utilises mobiles and offers a variety of different tools within the website.
Like Kahoot, you can ask students multiple choice questions or polls which they will answer from their phone by logging in to Menti.com. These can be displayed as graphs or charts once answers are submitted but there’s less of a competitive vibe than with Kahoot.
A thoughtful addition to Mentimeter is its interactive ‘Word Clouds’ function.
Choose a question or subject and students can contribute to the word cloud. For instance, in our First Impressions workshop, we ask students to contribute words they would like to be associated with themselves as professionals, eg ‘team player’, ‘conscientious’ or ‘assertive’.
All inputted words block together to form a big cloud, allowing students to easily share their views, whilst remaining anonymous. As an added bonus, Menti has a built in ‘profanity filter’, so you can avoid those awkward classroom moments.
There are also a number of other functions, so definitely have an explore!
No doubt you’ve been using Zoom a lot recently - whether it’s for family catch ups, staff meetings or online classes, it seems everybody is using it. But are you aware of all of its functionality?
Zoom 'breakout rooms' can split a larger group into any number of teams, to enable group work. Whilst these are in session, the host and cohosts can jump between the groups to check they are on task, whilst students can click the ‘call for help’ button if they need any support. When the times up, simply recall the students and they’ll be notified with a countdown timer that the session is about to end.
At Uptree, we have been integrating these tools into our online Work Experience days and careers workshops to ensure that students are getting the best possible experiences whilst face-to-face contact isn’t an option.
A student giving feedback in an online work experience session with Deloitte
We hope these suggestions are useful and help you to create more interactive lessons with your students during lockdown. Do you have a favourite tool to support your online classroom? Let us know in the comments as we'd love to share your ideas with our teacher community.