50 Recommended Apps and Tools for Effective Virtual Classes

The pandemic has directly affected education around the globe, with many countries opting for virtual classes instead of having face-to-face gatherings. This dramatic change has brought new challenges to educators everywhere.

Fortunately, the internet is filled with a lot of great apps, software, and websites that teachers can utilize to be effective in their work. Yes, it’s possible to make online classes interactive, dynamic and engaging if the right tools are used. Even administrative tasks (such as computing grades and monitoring attendance) don’t have to be a hassle.

In this article, allow us to share with you 50 amazing tools teachers can use to make their work - and life - much, much easier.

Video Conferencing

1. Zoom

Since the start of the pandemic, Zoom has become the most preferred video conferencing solution, not only for business meetings but also for academic purposes.

Zoom’s free version allows up to 100 participants so it’s very much capable of accommodating large classes. As hosts, teachers can hold unlimited group meetings at 40 minutes per session. Private and group chat options are also available.

On top of that, Zoom’s whiteboard function can be pretty useful for online classroom settings as both teachers and students, if permitted, can annotate on the said feature.

2. GoogleMeet

With Google Meet, you wouldn’t have to download any software to get started. In fact, you wouldn’t even need a Google account.

There are, however, a lot of advantages when you have an account because Meet integrates with various tools such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and others. Another interesting Google Meet feature is that teachers can create a single meeting code that they can reuse regularly for their classes. This can help avoid confusion among students.

3. Skype

One of the pioneers of video conferencing, Skype has stood the test of time and continues to be widely used in professional and academic settings.

The platform’s free version allows up to 100 users. Participants can use desktop computers, mobile phones, or tablets to join video chats. It’s even possible to turn on real-time captions and subtitles during calls on Skype.

4. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is also ideal for distance learning since the service has many handy features such as screen sharing, file sharing, and whiteboard, among others.

Another interesting Microsoft Teams tool is the breakout rooms function where students can be divided into smaller groups to discuss topics.

5. Jitsi

On their official website, Jitsi describes itself as “more secure, more flexible, and completely free video conferencing”. The app can hold up to 75 users without any time limit. While computer users do not need to download anything, those using phones and tablets need to get the app on their devices.

Whiteboard

6. Whiteboard.fi

Whiteboard.fi is a free online whiteboard tool that can make e-learning fun because it’s pretty simple and straightforward. Students get to use their own digital whiteboards where they can draw, write, or solve equations. Meanwhile, only the teacher can view everyone’s work in real-time, allowing them to monitor progress or provide corrections during the process.

7. HeyHi

The HeyHi platform invites educators and learners to “communicate better with the help of our trusty whiteboard”.

Users can easily write and draw even from their mobile devices. Another wonderful thing about HeyHi is that it is a lightweight app that works perfectly on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and phones whether they are powered by Apple, Windows, or Android operating systems.

8. Limnu

Meanwhile, the makers of Limnu are firm believers that “showing is better than telling and doing is better than talking”. Users can sketch their ideas and collaborate with each other, making classes more fun and interactive.

To see how Limnu works, you can check out the 14-day free trial. Anything more than that requires either a Pro or Team premium account.

9. Miro

Another excellent service, Miro is a tool designed to encourage online collaborations through the use of its digital whiteboards. This visual learning platform can lead to livelier discussions in the online classrooms as students work with their classmates using Miro’s zoomable and infinite whiteboard canvas.

Students and educators can apply for a Miro account if they are from accredited organizations.

10. IDroo

IDroo guarantees users “instant real-time collaboration in your browser without the hassle”.

Designed specifically for online education, the whiteboard has many exciting features such as the freehand tool which allows users to draw nice, straight lines even with a mouse. The equation tool, on the other hand, can be used for entering math and physics formulas. Uploading photos, PDF files, and Word documents can also be done by dragging them onto the board.

To log in to IDroo, teachers and students only need to have existing accounts on Facebook, Google, or Windows Live.

Quiz and Test Makers

11. Kahoot!

This app turns tedious quizzes into fun, playable games for students. What’s more, creating a Kahoot! Quiz can be done in minutes so it’s really easy to use for teachers. Learners can answer using their own devices and then the teacher can later view everyone’s answers.

Kahoot's basic plan allows you to use the service for free but with certain limitations. Meanwhile, the Pro, Premium, and Premium+ plans give you access to advanced features.

12. Quizlet

Quizlet is perfect for creating short quizzes, homework, or even comprehensive assessments. Teachers can make simple flashcards for young learners or multiple choice tests for older students. The platform is fairly user-friendly as is, plus it offers a lot of amazing features for paid subscribers.

13. Quizizz

Teachers on a tight budget looking for a quiz tool could instead go with Quizizz. This is totally free but the catch is you’ll get ads while using the service. Learners can use any device and teachers can instantly get access to the data.

According to the company website, Quizizz is “loved by educators in over 50% of U.S. schools and 150 countries”.

14. ProProfs Quiz Maker

ProProfs Quiz Maker brands itself as the “world’s simplest way to create online quizzes”. This cloud-based tool can be ideal for creating online exams and quizzes for assessing students’ learning. The drag-and-drop interface is also a nice touch.

ProProfs Quiz Maker is accessible online for free but if you want to keep reports and tests private, you will have to go with a paid subscription.

15. Fyrebox

Made for website owners and educators, the free quiz maker Fyrebox can be used for market research or virtual classes. The service “automatically records the participants and their answers”, which makes checking quizzes much easier for teachers.

16. Vocabtest

As its name implies, Vocabtest is a platform that can be used for learning vocabulary. English teachers and students will love the free tools on the website. Actually, even those who want to enjoy a “competitive online vocabulary game” for fun can log-in to VocaBuzz to test their vocabulary skills.

17. ClassMarker

ClassMarker’s “easy-to-use, customizable online testing solution” is good for business and school use.

Teachers can quickly create quizzes and tests for their students. Grades are also instantly calculated so the tool can be a great time-saver.

18. EasyTestMaker

With EasyTestMaker, you can “create, print, and publish your tests online”. So whether you are printing hard copies of your tests or are making one for your online classes, this can be a practical tool. You can even make alternate versions of tests to prevent cheating among students.

19. Hot Potatoes

A classic exercise maker, Hot Potatoes was created by the University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Center. Although the interface may appear technical, you actually don’t need JavaScript or XHTML to get started. All you have to do is to answer questions.

Activities

20. Seesaw

Seesaw invites teachers to “support every student with activities”. The activities found in these resources are made by fellow teachers. You can either customize them or create your own, depending on your students’ needs and grade level.

21. Gimkit Live

As a high school student from Seattle, Josh Feinsilber launched Gimkit in 2017 because he “didn't find school engaging”. Now the tool is a favorite among students and educators alike because it takes learning to the next level with its fun gameshow-style activities.

GimKit Live can be used not only during online classes but for home assignments. Meanwhile, its KitCollab tool allows students to enter questions you can use for future games.

22. Scratch

Designed for learners aged 8 to 16, Scratch is a platform that allows students to create animations, games, and slideshows with the use of graphics, pictures, and music. As anyone can easily imagine, these tools can make learning fun and engaging.

According to its official website, Scratch is and will always be free - meaning no licenses will be required for using it in the school or home.

23. Photomath

This award-winning app aims to make mathematics “easy to understand and master” for learners. Photomath helps students comprehend math concepts and formulas by providing clear, step-by-step explanations.

Math doesn’t have to be complicated and intimidating with Photomath.

Video Creation

24. Loom

Sometimes a spoken instruction does much better than a written one. With Loom, you can create a short video to send to your students so you can explain an assignment or project without having to call them individually.

You can use Loom to record yourself, your screen or both at the same time, ensuring that your class understands the task at hand.

25. Animoto

Another cool DIY video maker to check out is Animoto. Teachers and students can make different videos such as short introductions of themselves or maybe a book trailer or a dance performance. Best of all, the software is easy to use because of its drag-and-drop interface.

The possibilities are endless and, better still, you don’t need to download any software to get started with Animoto.

26. VideoForm

As with other video creation platforms mentioned in this list, VideoForm can be used for creating interactive clips. Teachers can send recorded lectures while students can reply with their answers to questions through their own videos. The built-in analytics is also a good addition to help teachers monitor student performance.

27. WeVideo

WeVideo describes its software as “multimedia creation that's easy and fun”. It’s also ideal for all grades and subjects because it’s very user-friendly.

This is also a great remote learning software because it inspires creativity and collaboration among learners. It is also cloud-based so users can have any device and still enjoy access to WeVideo.

28. Kinemaster

When it comes to mobile video editing, Kinemaster is perhaps today’s most popular app. This service can be particularly great for students who only have mobile devices at home. The interface is simple enough for beginners to understand. The free version is loaded with interesting features (such as color filters, cropping, text animation, and others) but the videos will have the Kinemaster logo at the top right part of the screen.

29. YouCut

Compared with Kinemaster, YouCut has fewer features but is overall much easier to use. The simple interface makes it a good pick for students who may not have much experience editing videos.

Messaging

30. ClassDojo

ClassDojo claims “95% of U.S. schools” are using their platform. This software aims not only to connect teachers, students, and parents but to “build amazing classroom communities”.

Teachers can share updates about class performance or recent activities using photos, videos, or text. Additionally, they can contact parents through private chats. What’s more, ClassDojo has a feature that instantly translates messages into more than 30 languages.

31. Remind

Specifically designed for education, Remind is a tool that hopes to make “communication easier for educators - not more complicated”.

Teachers can send messages to students and parents to share announcements, homework, and so on. Exchanges can be done privately or via group chats. You can also attach files, photos, and links. On top of that, Remind messages can be translated into over 90 different languages, which can be useful for non-English speaking parents.

32. Slack

Contrary to popular belief, no, Slack isn’t only for business use. These days, college students and instructors are also utilizing the software for private and group chats. The good thing about this tool is that it integrates with many other programs and apps such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Outlook Calendar, and more.

33. WhatsApp

Mostly known as a social media chat software, WhatsApp can also be used for online classes as a messaging tool for teachers and students. In addition to end-to-end encrypted personal messages, WhatsApp users can create chat groups to have everyone in one place.

34. Snapchat

Snapchat makes chatting fun since users can access filters to add their personality to videos and photos. This app is popular among youngsters so it’s probably a good choice if you are looking for an engaging messaging tool for your class.

35. ParentSquare

ParentSquare promises parents, students, and teachers a “safe and secure platform for all school-to-home communication”. Users can enjoy private chats, group messaging, and even district-wide announcements. Teachers can likewise send documents and forms via ParentSquare, eliminating the need to send separate emails.

Attendance Tracking

36. Jibble

Although widely used at workplaces, Jibble is free software that can also be used for tracking student attendance. The platform instantly generates reports and timesheets so teachers no longer have to do that manually.

37. MyAttendanceTracker

The app’s name already says a lot about what it is and what it does. MyAttendanceTracker helps teachers “track and report attendance online with ease”. This web-based service is accessible free for anyone with access to the internet.

Aside from schools, MyAttendanceTracker can also be utilized for monitoring attendance of yoga classes, church gatherings, and others.

38. TeacherKit

Aside from letting you track student attendance, Teacher Kit is an all-in-one software that also has features for recording grades, managing classes, and sending messages to parents and students.

TeacherKit is available for users of iOS, Android, and MS Windows.

Other Tools

39. Additio

Additio is an educational technology software that can greatly benefit teachers because aside from attendance checking, it can also be used for planning lessons, taking notes, calculating grades, creating custom reports, managing resources, and connecting with students’ families.

You can get Additio via App Store or Google Play.

40. Trello

Primarily used by companies, Trello is a web-based project management tool that can promote collaboration among students. Learners can break down big projects into smaller tasks (or ‘cards’) in the software and then create checklists, assign team members, and set due dates, among other features.

41. Dropbox

Dropbox allows users to back up files and share them easily with others. This could be a practical tool for collaboration among students, especially since a free account basically gets the job done.

Documents, photos, and videos can be accessed from different devices as you download and install Dropbox via iOS, Android, Mac, or Windows. Alternatively, you can sign-in with dropbox.com and just use the tools there.

42. Epic

For elementary classes, Epic is a great resource for finding age-appropriate digital books. Young readers will be thrilled to see thousands of interesting stories and educational books on the platform. Besides, Epic has a massive collection of over 40,000 titles from more than 250 publishers across the globe.

43. Pocket

Formerly known as Read It Later, the Pocket app aids learners by making it possible for them to “save articles, videos and stories from any publication, page or app”. This could be useful for compiling references to study at a later time.

44. WolframAlpha

The official website describes WolframAlpha as a “unique engine for computing answers and providing knowledge”. Achieving accurate calculations can be done hassle-free with this tool. On top of that, users can also generate reports and perform analysis. You can easily discover facts from different fields of study, ranging from math and science, to society and culture.

45. GroovyGrader

Instead of calculating student grades on paper, you can check out Groovy Grader on iOS or Android. This app not only computes grades but also allows teachers to view 50 or more grades at the same time.

Groovy Grader is available both on iOS and Android.

46. Educreations

Another great teaching tool, Educreations lets teachers create and share multimedia lessons for their classes. Features include animations, diagrams, and videos, among others. You may even record narrations to go along with your video tutorials for clearer audio quality. Students can also make their own videos and you can later provide feedback on their work.

47. StudyBlue

Need to create digital flashcards for your high school or college class? StudyBlue is the perfect platform for that task. Aside from creating your own, you get access to more than 500 million flashcard decks made by other users - covering topics such as agriculture, American Sign Language, chemistry, computer science, history, and many others.

Additionally, you can upload study materials and practice quizzes on the StudyBlue site.

48. TED

Instead of giving a long lecture online, you may want to consider looking for a TED Talk that covers the topic at hand. These freely available diverse and captivating speeches are delivered by experts so it’s guaranteed that your students will gain new knowledge after watching the videos.

49. Nearpod

Nearpod is a single platform that offers educators “multiple ways to teach”. Its amazing features include providing you with real-time insights into students’ understanding of lessons through interactive games and videos.

Nearpod is definitely worth checking out, especially since it’s also a wonderful resource containing thousands of activities covering different subjects and grade levels.

50. Viper

For doing plagiarism checks, Viper comes highly recommended because this Windows application yields accurate results. This tool can quickly detect plagiarized content so cheaters won’t be able to get away with passing copy-pasted material.

Viper is available for free as downloadable software for Windows users.

Author:

@Mark Rosario

Date:

08-06-2021

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