In a time where remote everything is the new normal, schools and learning moving to the remote bandwagon was more than obvious. To ensure the safety of the students as well as to make sure that learning is not hindered, schools, educators, and parents rapidly adopted remote learning tools techniques, procuring devices wherever needed and provisioning them for education. For schools that are already ahead in mobility adoption, the journey was easy- the tools, apps, devices, and network connections were already in place.
For schools and parents that had invested in EdTech, the transformation was seamless. However, for the conventionally operating schools, transitioning to remote operations was tedious. But thanks to the modern and intuitive remote learning tools, schools could enable distance learning with ease and minimum hiccups.
We’ve put together a list of top remote learning tools that are nothing short of a boon to enable distance learning –
Available on: iOS, Android devices and web browsers on desktops/laptops
A Google initiative that enables teachers and educators to create assignments, and make them accessible on student devices- smartphones, tablets, iPads, laptops and desktops, Google Classroom also makes it possible to verify the assignments and grade them if you provide a paper writer service, for example. Simplified file sharing between teachers and students is the key function of this tool, and it integrates all the other Google elements such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, and of course, Gmail.
The students can be invited to a ‘classroom’ or can be imported via a local domain. For the teachers, each class gets an individual folder in Google Drive helping to manage the tons of documents that flow through. Teachers can track the document history, rectify errors and return comments for improved understanding of the students.
The best part- it’s free!
Available on: iOS, Android for student apps and web browsers for teachers’ dashboard
An EdTech company, Blackboard is a remote learning tool that is equally beneficial for students as well as the teachers. Known for Blackboard Learn, a learning management system, the tool focuses on making teaching and learning hurdle-free within or outside the classroom. The tool offers learning apps for K-12 along with a virtual classroom. It also extends an immensely helpful learning management system that enables teachers to share files, check the originality of assignments and grade them, improve instructor efficiency with a dedicated app and an advanced reporting system to understand student engagement.
The holistic approach brought forth by Blackboard addresses the concerns of teachers, schools, parents, and students in entirety and leaves no room for disengaged students and teachers- remote learning or otherwise.
Available for: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS devices and web browsers
The popularity of Zoom skyrocketed with the onset of the pandemic and rightly so. Zoom brought people together, and classrooms were no exception. The reason for Zoom’s undeniable popularity is the ease of availability, user-friendliness as well and multi-participant video calling which was easy to embrace. For the schools that did not want to invest in long-term remote learning tools and wanted a straightforward alternative to classroom learning, Zoom was the easiest alternative (and also relatively inexpensive).
Teachers can quickly set up meetings, also recurring ones, invite students by sharing the link of the meeting, and prevent unauthorized access by enforcing passwords or allowing access to only specific emails. Sharing screens, sending quick chats and video conferencing with all the participants are key USPs of Zoom, and worth mentioning is the user-friendly interface and 45-minute meeting with no subscription fees!
Available for: iOS devices, Chrome browser and desktop app
Not all students and educators can access live learning sessions. Loom enables teachers and students to communicate with ease via video-based learning. Teachers can pull up educational content including videos, presentations and launch it within the Loom recorder. Teachers can narrate lessons, add notes to the presentation as if writing on the board and can share the link of the created video. Educators can alternatively switch on the camera mode and speak through video conferencing. The app is free for verified students and teachers.
Available for: web, desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux, Ubuntu), mobile app (iOS/Android), browser extension (Chrome, Edge)
Knowing how much time we spend on particular tasks is a must-have for efficient learning. The good news is that we don’t have to glance at the clock each time we start and finish an assignment. TimeCamp is a free study time app that does it for us – it tracks time in the background and creates timesheets filled with time entries automatically.
Once the time is logged, you can browse a wide range of reports and analyze the time consumption. What’s more, thanks to the high availability, you can record studying hours no matter where you are.
As mentioned, TimeCamp is free and does not require any fee for unlimited users, projects and tasks.
Available for: Android, iOS
Edmodo is an exclusive tool for distance learning where educators can exchange messages with students, enable sharing of class materials, students can access learning anytime anywhere and parents can stay in the loop for class activities, grades, and other updates with ease. The learning material is well-arranged in a separate folder, and students can make use of a built-in planner. Students can have a breathing space with mindfulness games background and other activities. A dedicated expert session from Edmodo can also help with homework and assignments.
Available for: iOs, Windows, Mac OS Devices and web browsers
Scribe is AI-powered process documentation that empowers remote teams to share what they know, instantly.
When you work from home, you can’t just have someone look over your shoulder, or ask a quick question. And in the attempts to bring each other together, we run into back-and-forth messages, constant interruptions or hours wasted building manual documentation and taking screenshots of your work.
Scribe saves you 20+ hours a month by writing your process documentation for you. You can capture, edit and share step-by-step guides in seconds. Scribes automatically include text and annotated screenshots for every step you take. Show anyone, anywhere how to do anything.
Scribe offers a free Basic plan and paid Pro-tiered plans.
8. AI Summarizer
Available for: Web Browsers
Summarizer.org is an ed-tech tool that can be used in a lot of scenarios. In distance learning, classes are held online and study materials are also digital. Summarizer.org can help with the summarization of these materials (i.e. lecture notes and book chapters).
This AI tool can do both abstractive and extractive summarization which means that students can take their pick. It has an AI summarizing mode which can automatically determine the optimal summary length and shorten the text to match it.
This helps with the memorization of study materials and improves learning of complex topics by simplifying them. Summarizer.org offers both a premium version and a free version.
The free version has only one summarizing mode, but other than that, there are no limits (you don’t even need to register). The premium version grants access to more modes and features. Pricing starts at 3 USD per week.
Remote learning looks like it is here to stay. With the COVID-19 pandemic transforming the way educators, as well as parents, perceive remote learning, these tools are going to come in handy.