Best Remote Teaching Platforms

If the shift to remote teaching has you scrambling, you’re not alone.

Millions of teachers, instructors, and coaches are having to adapt on the fly, preparing lesson plans without their usual toolbox of hands-on activities and personal interactions with students.

Normally the one with all the answers, now your brain is bursting with questions.

  • How do you give engaging lectures?
  • How do you pass out assignments and tests?
  • How do you build relationships with students without meeting them?
  • Where do you even start?

Take a moment, take a deep breath, and rest assured that your friends at FluentStream have you covered. Quite simply, you start by choosing a remote teaching platform that answers the rest of your questions for you.

Remote teaching platforms are websites and apps built specifically for teachers (sometimes even by teachers) to manage all the different aspects of running a classroom from home. They connect teachers with their entire class at once to provide a more engaging and effective remote learning experience.

Lectures, assignments, grades, announcements, group work –whatever your unique teaching style, there’s a remote teaching platform that allows you to do it all in one digital space.

Now, we at FluentStream aren’t teachers. But we have been helping schools and private instructors better connect with their students for over a decade. We truly respect the tireless work and dedication teachers bring to their classrooms every day, and that’s why we really dug into the details of what makes each remote teaching platform special.

Below are our top five recommendations for remote teaching platforms that will greatly improve the learning experience of both you and your students.

1. Google Classroom

Google Classroom helps students and teachers organize assignments, collaborate together, and safely communicate from anywhere. The interface was designed with input from teachers, so it’s more intuitive than most other platforms to do everything from creating class plans to grading assignments.

The best part for many schools and teachers is that Google Classroom is included for free when you sign up for G Suite for Education.

Educators can use Google Classroom to:

  • Make announcements
  • Grade assignments
  • Post lecture recordings
  • Share presentations
  • Give quizzes through Google Forms

Students can use Google Classroom to:

  • Receive links and times for Zoom sessions and Zoom office hours
  • Monitor timed writing submissions
  • Check grades
  • Give each other feedback

2. Schoolloop

Schoolloop is a web-based platform that gives teachers access to all enrolled students, grades, assignment calendars, individual classes, and announcements. It also provides both students and parents with loopmail, the system’s email option.

Besides those basics, Schoolloop also includes a number of useful features including alerts of your current ‘at risk students’ and news from other teachers at your school.

Educators can use Schoolloop to:

  • Grade assignments
  • See which students are struggling
  • Send alerts to students and parents
  • Review news from other teachers

Students can use Schoolloop to:

  • Check assignment calendars
  • Check grades
  • Submit projects
  • Receive direct feedback

I primarily use it for grades and announcements. Occasionally, I will post content in the class ‘locker’ where students have direct access to the material, but otherwise, it works great for communication supplemented with accessible content, as you can attach materials to your announcements. Blackboard and Canvas are pricey, district purchased alternatives, but robust nonetheless.

Register students and parents on orientation/registration days.

Be aware of what student calendars look like — some teachers assign work and don’t change the due date (system default is the next school day) and that can create confusion for deadlines.
Teach students how to email their teachers individually, rather than all of their teachers when they did not intend to. I’ve had some laughs over this one.

3. LearnCube

LearnCube offers reliable video and audio service, digital whiteboards, interactive lesson materials, and many other features that teachers need to create an intuitive virtual classroom.

One of the biggest problems for online teachers is that they’re often stuck using web-conferencing software made for corporate meetings rather than classrooms full of kids. That’s why LearnCube is packed with features like multi-tabs, pointers, highlighters and video-sync to make sure lessons stay informative and engaging.

Educators can use LearnCube to:

  • Host video lectures
  • Record audio messages and instructions
  • Use a digital whiteboard
  • Share presentations
  • Plan interactive presentations

Students can use LearnCube to:

  • Review lectures anytime
  • Save virtual whiteboard notes
  • Access lesson plans
  • Ask questions see visual answers

4. Schoology

Schoology is an excellent remote teaching platform with a wide range of features including: video lesson recording, online gradebooks, attendance tracking, and workload planning. It also functions on any internet-connected device, ensuring that all students have equal access to updates and information.

Another standout aspect of Schoology is how it provides teachers with peer collaboration features so they can share best practices and lesson plans.

Educators can use Schoology to:

  • Record video lectures
  • Grade assignments
  • Track attendance
  • Share notes and ideas
  • Plan their curriculum

Students can use Schoology to:

  • View lectures on any device
  • Check grades
  • Message teachers with questions
  • Share notes and project ideas

5. Blackboard

Blackboard is a web-based platform that provides teachers and students with course materials, discussion boards, virtual chat, online quizzes, and more. Unlike some other remote teaching platforms, Blackboard is flexible enough to be both an online compliment to in-person teaching, as well as the platform for your entire remote curriculum.

In addition to its core teaching features, Blackboard also offers an academic resource center so all teachers and students can access the course materials they need without having to look in other applications.

Educators can use Blackboard to:

  • Manage course documents
  • Create discussion boards
  • Host virtual chats
  • Give online quizzes

Students can use Blackboard to:

  • Receive assignments
  • Collaborate on projects
  • Check grades
  • Access the resource center

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