When people think of distance learning, they often associate it with something entirely different from it.
There’s a lot of truth in that many people think that distance learning only refers to getting academic degrees and training.
Still, many don’t realize that there are tons of other advantages to the technology available today that can be used to advantage students everywhere.
Distance learning has never been so easy! This article discusses the best edtech tools for distance learning.
What is Distance Learning?
Distance education is defined as an educational process in which students do not have physical contact with their teacher but instead use other means of communication.
Some common forms of distance education include videoconferencing, television broadcasting, and online teaching.
Distance education can be very cost-effective because it can save money on building and staffing costs.
The most cost-effective type of distance education is online coursework. Online programs are also flexible, allowing students to study around work schedules or family commitments.
There are various tools that professors can use when designing an online course, including multimedia presentations and interactive discussions, all from any location where Internet access is available.
Distance learning, also known as online learning, e-learning, or web-based learning, can be defined as the educational practice of providing education to students outside of traditional face-to-face classrooms. Most instruction in which instructors are not physically present with learners.
Distance learning may occur through various modes of delivery and communication (one-way broadcast or two-way transmission).
It includes learning programs and methodologies that use electronic instructional media such as video conferencing, email messaging, multimedia computer platforms, the Internet, interactive television, and radio broadcasting technologies like podcasting.
Edtech Tools for Distance Learning
Skyping is an excellent way to stay in touch with loved ones while away, and Skype provides an experience that mimics face-to-face conversations.
For example, a student can video chat with family and friends around their dinner table. Moreover, You can use Skype to conduct professional interviews for internships and post-graduation career placement jobs.
Although many options exist for students who plan to study abroad, such as Voxer, FaceTime, and Google+ Hangouts, Skype remains one of the best Edtech tools in distance learning because it is more cost-effective than other apps. Plus, it’s free!
Dropbox is a great file-sharing tool that allows you to share large files quickly and easily. For anyone who does business on the go or has to share information often (like with co-workers or clients), it’s perfect.
These best edtech tools for distance learning are free and handy for sharing small documents with your colleagues (or even friends!) and keeping photos and other media backed up securely in one location.
Dropbox allows users to store files on cloud servers, which means they can access their documents from any computer with internet access.
This makes file sharing much more accessible than sending large files through email attachments or posting them on websites like YouTube and Facebook.
Dropbox also has a mobile app available for download on iOS and Android devices, making it easy to share files.
Students should use Dropbox instead of other cloud storage services like Google Drive since Dropbox offers 2GB of space for free, whereas competitors charge $1 per month for 1GB of storage space.
3. Google Drive Section
Google Drive is a free service to store, share and work with your documents and files from anywhere.
With unlimited storage space, you can securely access files from any device. Keep all of your projects, documents, and other important content organized with Drive.
Also, it allows you to create documents collaboratively with others. Uploaded documents are safely stored on Google’s servers and are easy to access from anywhere at any time.
Plus, Google Docs lets you work on docs together in real-time and get notified when there’s a change made in one of them using the co-authorship feature.
You can also use Google Slides to make presentations online. It has many valuable features like inserting images or videos, adding comments, etc. This tool makes sharing slides more accessible than ever before.
In addition, you can also take advantage of an extensive library of templates that come preloaded with sample text so that you don’t have to worry about creating a new presentation from scratch every time. You need to add your pictures and videos, edit text where necessary, and voila!
4. Evernote Section
Evernote is a powerful note-taking tool that syncs notes and files across multiple devices, so you can use it at home or on a mobile device when you’re away from your computer.
It lets you take a photo of handwritten notes, record an audio note or snap a picture of whiteboard scribbles—all of which it turn into searchable text.
Evernote also works with LinkedIn Learning, so you can easily find video content on LinkedIn’s network and download it to Evernote. Tag all your notes with keywords like [notebook] so they’re easy to find later!
5. Adobe Spark
You can use Adobe Spark’s video animation app to create animated videos with text, images, video files, and custom audio recordings.
These files can then be exported to various social media platforms, making them one of my favorite Edtech tools. Additionally, Spark supports quizzes and surveys to improve student and teacher engagement.
At times I use GoAnimate (also made by Adobe) with my students when they are practicing phonetic rules or trying to recognize a pattern in spelling words! My only complaint is that you cannot embed these videos into Moodle. However, you can easily export them from Spark to share on your website!
6. Learning Management Systems
Many teachers now rely on Learning Management Systems (LMSs) such as Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, Schoology, etc., integrated into many schools’ curricula. While these LMSs may vary slightly in design and functionality.
It offers similar features just like other best edtech tools for distance learning which include online discussion boards where students can ask questions and post comments about course material.
It also works as an assignment tool where assignments are submitted electronically, and grade books where instructors track student progress throughout each course.
7. TeachersPayTeachers Section
TeachersPayTeachers is a free marketplace where teachers can sell lessons, units, and kits to other teachers.
The site has more than 2 million registered users who have purchased hundreds of thousands of lessons since 2007.
Teachers can also create their store, similar to eBay or Etsy, to sell items they’ve created. (No Classroom? No Problem!).
It provides an opportunity for teachers who may not be able to afford curriculum resources to earn some extra cash or credit toward classroom expenses by selling what they do have—things like handouts, notes, and materials.
8. ISTE Standards
State standards are easy to identify when you teach in a classroom: They’re on posters in your teachers’ lounge, and they’re probably mentioned during at least one of your teacher training. But when you teach online, how do you know what students should be learning?
ISTE’s standards address these questions and give new meaning to state standards by providing an international standard of what students need to know across several subject areas.
Several resources are available for educators, including interactive activities that allow teachers to test their understanding of each standard through technology-based quizzes.
9. EduGain Systems Inc.
EduGain is a cloud-based learning platform designed to help K-12 and higher education instructors engage students through mobile devices while offering new analytics, e-portfolios, and direct access to student work.
The company offers three main products: EduGain Core Learning Management System (LMS), EduGain Classroom Response System (CRS), and EduGain LMS Analytics.
For companies without an LMS or CRS, education offers its products either as SaaS or customized licenses.
10. Google Classroom
The Google Classroom classroom is Google’s free education tool that you can use to share documents and communicate with your students. It integrates with many other edtech platforms, such as Moodle, Canvas, and Blackboard.
With it, teachers can create and collect assignments, provide feedback to students in real-time (through both an assignment checklist or commenting on student work), and streamline classroom discussions through a built-in messaging system. You can even see a live record of all assignment submissions.
A classroom is one of the potent best edtech tools for distance learning —if you teach at a university level or are looking to take things online within your school district.
This platform works best if you have a large class or are trying to build a virtual community among students who don’t attend classes together.
Teachers can use it for synchronous and asynchronous purposes, and its ease of use makes it accessible even to people who aren’t super tech-savvy.
Canvas is one of the leading EdTech platforms in higher education. More than a hundred higher education institutions use Canvas by Instructure as a platform for delivering on-campus and off-campus courses. They also use it to, earn credits, and track student progress.
Both educators and students like Canvas because it enables students to work at their own pace without being bombarded with assignments.
Educators like it because they can manage their courses efficiently and keep an eye on how well students are doing throughout their coursework.
Traditional colleges and universities do not just use it: even MOOC providers like Coursera use Canvas to deliver on-demand courses that you can access online.
Distance education is becoming more and more popular as lifelong learning and career advancement. Most of these best edtech tools for distance learning has great technological inputs which help distance education program be successful.
You can enjoy teleconferencing, video conferencing, podcasting, course management systems, and social media from anywhere in the world.