Interactive online tools for community building in the classroom

image of author Sara Natividade

Sara Natividade

2022.03.29

6 min read

Online tools for community building in the classroom

In the past 2 years, there has been a growth in the online interactive learning tools market which is great. But it can also become overwhelming. With so many options, you never know what to choose and what would suit your classroom the best. So we decided to ask a few educators what they have been using and get their thoughts on the best tools out there.

What are online interactive learning tools?

There are so many categories of tools that fall into the category of “educational.” They can range from helpful programs to repositories, to didactic and interactive games, to personal management tools, and to online learning software. For example, it can be a virtual meeting platform (like Toucan!), an app like Duolingo, or a tool for note-taking and personal management like Evernote or Goodnotes.

What they all have in common is that their ultimate goal is to make learning fun, efficient and enjoyable for both students and teachers, no matter the circumstances.

How do interactive virtual tools contribute to community-building in the classroom?

Games and online learning classroom tools allow students to have fun while learning various skills. They can also boost interest and motivation, which are essential for student comprehension and academic achievement.

The right online interactive tool for learning can turn “boring” lessons into moments of creativity and epiphany. And the best thing is, you can try them yourself - it will transform passive learning into active exploration.

Visme

Visme is a useful online design tool that educators use to create presentations, infographics, and concept maps for the classroom. It has tons of features (like free images and graphics) and customization options. What makes Visme special is that, contrary to other tools in the market, it is neither directed exclusively to the educator nor the student. It is an online interactive tool that benefits both teachers and pupils.

Overall, it is a good tool because it is easy to use, versatile, and it allows you to be creative and experiment - but it also has some templates to help you get started. It has both a free and paid version.

TED Talks

We know that TED Talks are not an online learning tool, they are more like a resource or repository. But the learning opportunities are endless. Their official website has thousands of speeches on a huge variety of topics. And there are even some TED Talks given by kids, which can be even more inspiring and interesting for younger students. And the best part? They’re free, and they’re guaranteed to catch your classroom’s attention.

Toucan

By now you must be convinced that creating a sense of community through fun interactive activities helps students grasp new knowledge faster. One way to encourage participation and creativity is by having students split into groups, where they can discuss certain topics or work together on tough problems. Toucan allows students (and teachers)  to move from group to group, as they would in person. You can create labeled Meeting Spots so that students know where to go to talk about specific subjects. They can also raise their virtual hands to catch the teacher’s attention. Not to mention, the different Themes make for a more fun learning environment that doesn’t feel so rigid!

Kahoot!

It’s impossible not to love Kahoot!. It is great for students, teachers, businesses, colleges, social moments - you name it. What makes it great for the classroom setting is that kids can access lots of games from its library, or they can make their own. It is a game-based learning tool that allows educators to create fun, interactive, and unique learning experiences. From our CEO, Antonia, “Whenever I walked into a classroom and heard the Kahoot music playing, I knew that it was going to be a good day.”

In case you need another reason to try Kahoot! with your classroom. See the pricing options here.

Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere allows educators to ask their students questions. It’s simple to use, students answer polls using any web-enabled device. Outside of a strict classroom setting, it can also help students feel comfortable communicating with their teachers about more sensitive or personal topics. And it helps keep students engaged throughout the entire class.

For more ideas on how you can use Poll Everywhere in your classroom read this blog post. See the pricing options here.

Quizlet

Quizlet is an alternative to Poll Everywhere. It also allows you to create interactive games and activities for your class, whether it’s for an asynchronous classroom lesson or for community building in the virtual classroom. Quizlet lets you use images, text, and audio. One thing we would have to point out is that the platform itself may not be as fun and vibrant as some of the other competitors. Still, it is great, and students love it for its more gamified style. Teachers love it because it helps students learn and memorize facts.

See the pricing options here.

Padlet

Padlet is a digital pinboard. With Padlet, classes are more fun, interactive, and interesting. The app looks good - there are fun patterns and colors and different backgrounds, which catch students’ attention. It is super easy to use, both for students and teachers. And it is the best way for kids to share ideas (even anonymously!), brainstorm, and start conversations.

It will definitely help students break out of their shells and participate more in class. If you need some inspiration, check this out. See the pricing options here.

EdPuzzle

Edpuzzle is a web-based tool for editing online videos and adding interactive content. In other words, it allows you to customize any kind of video. The videos can have voice-over comments, embedded questions, links, and more. Students can watch videos solo or via "live mode," where teachers can show a video for a group activity. One of its best features is the analytics report: it enables you to track how students are watching your videos and if they understand the content.

Say no more to classes where students passively watch videos. And hello to engaging sessions where students can work on their critical thinking skills. See the pricing options here.

Gimkit

Gimkit is a classroom game show where students answer questions on their electronic devices. The twist is that instead of earning points they earn virtual currency, which they can "invest" during the game to boost their score. They can compete against each other or collaborate in teams. What makes it great for teaching is that it allows you to view and download reports after every game. It is a mashup of Kahoot! and Quizlet, with some extra spice!

Overall it’s has a minimal setup, and it gives students agency, which increases engagement, participation, and interaction in the classroom. See the pricing options here.

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About author

image of author Sara Natividade

Sara Natividade

Sara knows some things about marketing, has 3 cats, loves to go for hikes and organize things by color!

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