As the country continues to navigate the pandemic, many schools reopening in the fall are using an education model that blends in-person and online learning. If you’re like most K–12 educators, delivering classes both online and in person requires a shift in your teaching strategy and approach to engaging students and families.
Fortunately, there are a number of digital tools available to help you optimize the learning experience—whether you’re teaching in person at an elementary or secondary school, online, or through a combination of both. Here are five must-have planning and engagement tools that should be in every educator’s toolbox:
Parents and teachers are critical partners in education, and ClassTag is a communication tool that makes it easy to keep students’ families in the loop. Use the free app on your computer or mobile device to set up an online class community, direct message students and parents, share videos and photos, make class-wide announcements, and much more.
What better way than an old-fashioned scavenger hunt to get students engaged in their learning? With the app GooseChase, you can play the classic game online and create a fun learning activity on almost any subject. It’s also a great team-building tool.
For instance, students can take and upload photos of plants in their neighborhood as part of a science lesson, or they can capture images of shapes for geometry. Use the app to create a virtual field trip and have students answer questions about what they saw. Design your own online learning experience or choose activities from the app’s game library.
Effective educators know quick, meaningful feedback is an important part of any teaching strategy. For students to get the most from their education, they need consistent, timely feedback on their work. However, for many time-pressed teachers, providing prompt feedback has become a challenge.
With the cloud-based feedback platform Floop, students upload their assignments and teachers insert feedback directly into the electronic document for students to view and respond to in real time. The online tool is a great way to improve learning and engage students through interactive, actionable feedback. Plus, it can be a huge time saver.
Kahoot! is a popular online game-based education platform for elementary and high school teachers looking to engage students and review their understanding of a subject. The instruction tool makes it easy to design an online review quiz based on your current course content. You can play in class or use the online tool to connect with students using distance learning.
Kahoot is a creative way to assess student learning while also having a little fun.
There are many reasons to become a teacher. It’s a noble, rewarding career in which you can impact thousands of lives and influence powerful social change. But it’s not an easy job, especially during these unprecedented times in education.
TeachersConnect is an online community of educators where you’ll find support, ideas, and a selection of resources that can help you become the best teacher you can be—whether you’re teaching online or in school.
Do you want more strategies for improving your teaching online and in school? Consider earning a master’s degree in education. In the MS in Education (MSEd) online program at Walden University, you can work toward your master’s degree around your busy teaching schedule and learn new strategies and tools you can apply immediately to your career.
Maybe you’re not an educator but are thinking about becoming a teacher. Walden’s BS in Elementary Education (Teacher Licensure) online degree program can put you on a path toward achieving your goals. In this teaching degree program, you’ll prepare for teacher licensure while learning the skills needed for a career in elementary education. Expand your impact and career opportunities—and become a more effective teacher online and at school—by earning a master’s or bachelor’s degree in education. Get started today.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral education degree programs, including an MS in Education and a BS in Elementary Education. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for a period of seven years, from April 2019 through June 2026. This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs. CAEP is the only recognized national accreditor for educator preparation, promoting excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. Walden University earned CAEP accreditation by meeting rigorous national standards and demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement.
CAEP accreditation is based on a review of The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership’s initial teacher preparation programs—the BS in Elementary Education and the Master of Arts in Teaching with a specialization in Special Education—and advanced educator preparation programs—the EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration and the MS in Education with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Administration. Three of these programs were reviewed by Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs), which defines content-area standards for programs, and achieved national recognition: Master of Arts in Teaching with a specialization in Special Education, EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration, and MS in Education with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Administration.
MS in Education Licensure or Certification Note
The only MS in Education Specialization offered by Walden that is state-approved as leading to any educational license or certification is the MS in Education, Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Licensure Program), which has been approved in Ohio for leading to Building Level Principal Licensure (grades PK–6, grades 4–9, and grades 5–12). No other MS in Education specialization will lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.
BS in Elementary Education Licensure Note
Walden is approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching to offer a program leading to initial licensure in Elementary Education. Candidates must pass the required Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exams (MTLEs) before Walden can recommend candidates to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) for the license. Candidates are responsible for completing any other Minnesota requirements beyond Walden’s state-approved program and MDE is solely responsible for reviewing applications and issuing licenses. Individuals interested in an elementary education licensure in states other than Minnesota may qualify by virtue of completing a state-approved teacher preparation program; however, individuals must review their state’s regulations to ensure the program meets all requirements, paying particular attention to any requirements specific to out-of-state program completers.
Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide guidance on licensure issues; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure or endorsement.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.