6 Online Communication Tools for Teachers

6 Online Communication Tools for Teachers

In all likelihood, an increasing amount of your job is taking place online via online communication tools for teachers, particularly designed for organization. The programs and software now available to make a teacher’s life easier are incredible, and it is increasingly important to know how to use them to remain competitive in the job market.

Let’s take a look at common online communication tools for teachers and how to use them.

What are the most common online communication tools for teachers?

Web apps for teachers, SAAS (software as a service) services, and organization tools like grade books can be found online.

If you have syllabus docs, lesson outlines, or other materials saved on a computer from past courses, you can upload and transform them into useful outlines and tools for your online courses. If not, these tools typically allow teachers to create documents, then save and them for future use.

We recommend diving into online communication tools for teacahers before trying to use them in practice. Give yourself some learning time.  The more you play around with a service or tool that you like, the better you’ll become at adapting them to your needs and using it to optimize your in-class experience.

Keeping grades and assignment feedback

If teaching with a school or other institution with multiple staff members and different groups of students, check to see if a system for tracking grades and assignments online is already in place.  If not, or for solo teachers running an online business, there are a variety of platforms available.

  • Google Classroom is the free and is one of the easiest to learn. You can upload student assignments, notes, and other documents via Google Docs (you’ll have to have a Gmail account) and provide permission to students to view and download them. Due dates can be set via Calendar, and both teachers and students can comment and have discussions in the ‘stream.’ Google Classroom easily syncs with other Google services such as Drive, and is great for sharing and collaboration.implifying storage and organization.
  • TeacherKit offers many features also found in Google Classroom, but has a much morer full-service tool for entering and tracking grades. Add an unlimited number of classes. Connect with Dropbox to sync lessons and documents. You can export and download grades, charts, and other spreadsheets as a PDF.  Free and premium options are available. The latter offers the ability to add behavior notes, track attendance, and add students to a class roster via face recognition technology.

Lesson planning

Planbook is our favorite online lesson planning tool. Plan out the lessons in advance for each course. Then attach any relevant documents. Connect a lesson to pre-determined standards to ensure it is up to snuff. Arrange lessons to fit the class schedule, and re-order or reorganize on the fly. As a bonus, Planbook allows teachers to track grades as well.

TeacherVision offers online lesson planning along with a number of other resources for teachers. Their site is built around classroom teachers and is school-oriented, as opposed to sites like Planbook which are more open-ended.

LearnWorlds is a site dedicated to outlining and developing learning goals and other SOPs for course design, with guidance and tips from professionals.

Whiteboards and other live teaching materials

Doceri is a strong option if your lessons need written demonstrations to accompany them. It is a whiteboard app for live note-taking and demonstrations, easily shareable and presentable so that everyone can view. It costs $30 up front, but you’ll more than offset that cost with regular use.

PlayPosit allows teachers to make YouTube videos or other online media files more customized and interactive.  You can put in additional add-ons needed for your lesson. The service aalso offers access to pre-made educational videos, and allows uploading of video content from anywhere else into it’s platform.