The web is full of resources for online teachers. It can be overwhelming – so we put together this list of top resources to help online teachers stay organized, create great course content, and deliver it in a professional manner. This online teacher toolkit is a diverse collection of useful apps and services. Some are free, others are subscription based. All will help online teachers build their business.
We’ll start with a big one. We highly suggest running your email through Gmail. If you decide to do an @yourdomain.com email address, run it through Gmail (here is a walk-through on how to do that) in order to take advantage of these great features:
- Drive- Google Drive is a personal cloud storage and organizing platform for all things work-related. Organize it like you would your desktop. Folders for lesson plans, homework, and student information. Edit spreadsheet and text documents and have the work saved in real time, eliminating the worry of losing documents.
- Calendar- Google’s calendar app is perfect for planning the work day. It syncs with the Gmail app on your mobile phone, allowing updates from either device to be instantly available anywhere you sign in to Google. The calendar also links to locations or contacts when they are entered into a scheduled event.
- Hangouts- A great conference app for group lessons and individual calls. Hangouts is a strong (and free) way to chat face-to-face with students.
Dropbox is a cloud storage app that makes sharing a breeze. Invite your students to your Dropbox, have them submit work into a group folder, or create a separate folder for each student. The basic plan is free, but for heavy use users can upgrade to 1TB of storage for $9.99/mo.
Articulate allows teachers to transform PowerPoint slides into great looking online courses via their Studio 360 platform. Courses can be presented live to students or they can view them on their own time. Their Storyline 360 platform allows teachers to create interactive courses for any device and includes access to stock photos and other helpful add-ons.
Turnitin is a teacher’s assistant that offers tools for grading, student feedback, and constructive criticism. They offer a plagiarism checker as well as rubric grading tools for student work. Their feedback module helps students improve their writing through productive feedback, a helpful tool for online English teachers and others incorporating writing into lesson plans.
CourseLab is a platform for creating quality online course materials to present to students via the internet. Their platforms specialize in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) capability. This means that if a teacher or student needs to print something out, it will appear exactly as it does onscreen. Teachers can create HTML-based courses and presentations without needing any coding knowledge or the time that normally goes into creating such things.
Using Flash, Vocaroo is a cool online voice recorder that allows teachers to record notes, feedback, assignments, and more for students. It’s free, and the recordings are very high quality.
Symbaloo provides a dashboard for the tools a teacher uses when teaching online. There is a pre-fab one already built for teachers, or users can customize their own dashboard with the programs, apps, and tools they use most. The online teacher dashboard links directly to many great resources worth checking out, as well.
Canva is a cloud-based graphic design platform that allows teachers to create posters, flyers, and other materials without having to be a wiz at any one program. There is a basic platform and a subscription platform, and the ability to create a team of up to ten people for free. The subscription platform offers additional graphics and design capabilities.
Off2Class is a tool specifically for ESL teachers. They offer pre-fab lesson plans and tutorials, along with a student management platform. The goal is to make keeping your students and coursework organized a breeze, and they do a solid job.
Busyteacher provides over 17,000 free printable lessons for online English teachers. Incredibly divers, the lessons cover just about everything that has to do with teaching English online, no matter the fluency level of the student.
LearnBoost offers a free online grading book for teachers. Keep track of student progress, share it with parents if necessary, integrate your grade book with Google apps right from the site. For online teachers, this is a great organizational resource.
If we missed a great resource that should be included in this online teacher toolkit, please let us know. Feel free to share this article. Our goal is to help online teachers optimize their business, attract more students, and make more money. We’d love to hear about what you’re struggling with and what questions you need answered.