Back to School With Must-Have Web Tools in Class

Back to School With Must-Have Web Tools in Class

It’s September and we’re back to school again.

This year, if you do not want your students to use only pencil and paper, here are some ideas and tools that can enhance your lessons with some technology.

Evernote is one of the my favorite web tool/app ever! You can create different folders for different lessons and take notes by writing text, audio and images. If you are using Evernote on your phone or on your tablet, then you can immediately take the pictures or record your voice as you are listening to a lecture. In class, we can motivate our students to keep record of their learning by taking notes all throughout the year. Like that, Evernote will be their e-portolfio and a great showcase or feedback of what they have learnt in a year. Evernote can be a better replacement and more eco-friendly when compared to a paper-based portfolio.

Edmodo is a mixture of Facebook and Twitter but it’s been designed for classroom use. With Edmodo, you can create a class and invite your students to join in. You and your students can write text, share links, videos, make comments. You can also create a class calendar, assignments, create quizzes and send them to your students. Edmodo can be a great back channel that you can collaborate with your students outside the classroom.

Google Docs is an online word processing tool. The best part about Google Docs is that you can work on a word document collaboratively online. Students can easily work together on group homework or they can brainstorm together on ideas. Also, teachers can give immediate feedback on their students’ written assignments.

Class Dojo is a system where you can monitor your students’ behavior throughout the day using your tablet, phone or computer. As a teacher, you create your classroom and adjust student’s behavior points. When a student is off the task, you can take away the points and when they are on the task, they can get points. By the end of the day, you can see the graphic of how well or bad the students’ behavior is. Your students can also get badges and parents can monitor their progress as well. Class Dojo is a just a great way for monitoring behavior and motivating the students.

Powtoon can be a good replacement for PowerPoint this year in our classrooms. It simply allows you to create online presentation and animated videos, then you can upload them on Youtube immediately. Students and teachers can share their ideas and stories, present new information or ideas for discussions using this tool. We can challenge our students with this tool and get rid of the boredom of PPTs.

Penzu is an online diary. You can create class journals for each of your student, leave inline comments on their diaries. You can also create and send assignments with due dates to your students. Penzu is a great tool that students can keep to improve their writing throughout the year or record a summary of what they have learned in the lessons.

Socrative is a student response system that empowers teachers to collect data from their students. To use this tool, students need to have an access to a browser, phone or a tablet. This tool/app is a set up where you can immediately create multiple choice questions, exit cards, polls, questions with pictures or short answers. The answers that you get from the students will be visible immediately on your screen and this will be a great feedback for us if the students have understood the lesson or not.

TodaysMeet is a service for hosting backchannel discussions in the classroom. Once you create your room, students will need access to the room through their phones, tablets or computers. This tool can be used for real-time discussion during a class watching a video or someone presenting; or it can be used as a tool to poll students quickly, or as a forum where students can anonymously ask questions.

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Özge Karaoğlu is an English teacher and educational consultant in teaching young learners and teaching with web-based technologies. She is the author of Minigon ELT book series, which aims to teach English to young learners through stories. Read more of her ideas about teaching English through technology and Web-based tools at