Online learning is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and many educators are looking to access distance learning tools to support students during this time. We recognize that educators are being challenged to think outside of the box to best support their students. We’ve been chatting with educators, including the Edulastic Innovator Team, and learning about the best ways to create lessons and teach from home. A common thread that’s stood out is how educators are creating their lessons directly in Edulastic.
While Edulastic is more commonly known for assessments and standards-mastery tracking, it’s also great for teaching new information. Within the platform, you can access distance learning tools for lesson creation and tracking. From designing quick assignments to creating full length lessons, educators across the country have turned to Edulastic for online lessons.
Here are four powerful features in Edulastic for creating remote lessons:
1. Embed Videos and Multimedia
Images, audio, simulations, and video are a great way to engage students and present new information. It’s extremely easy to add multimedia to any question type or assignment in Edulastic. Add informational multimedia and scaffold it with text, or consider recording a quick video, adding it to your lesson in Edulastic, and asking your students to respond using a variety of technology-enhanced question types. This is a great way to deliver new information to your students from home.
Betty Scola, a Media Specialist from New Jersey, recommends using Screencastify to record your screen and your voice, and then embed the video into Edulastic. Betty emphasizes that this is easy to do and helpful for students!
Jen Lee, a high school and college chemistry teacher from New Jersey, encourages embedding videos right into Edulastic, so students don’t have to leave the page. Jen explains, “Students get distracted easily! Embed videos or lab simulations right within Edulastic so that students do not have to leave the Edulastic page to go to Youtube.”
2. Live Teach via Google Hangouts
Give your students real-time instruction or feedback face to face with Edulastic’s Google Hangouts feature. This recently-released feature is a great way to interact with your students, teach a full lesson, and stay connected all on Edulastic.
While your students are listening and interacting with you on Google Hangouts, they also can follow along by filling out a worksheet or taking notes in an essay response question on Edulastic. This makes remote instruction more personable and is especially helpful when explaining new material. Here’s more information.
3. Upload a PDF with Guided Notes
Many teachers have lesson plans and worksheets prepared months before the given unit or topic rolls around. If this is the case with you, Edulastic has a solution! The SnapQuiz feature allows you to upload premade worksheets or assignments in PDF form into Edulastic. You then add “widgets” on top of the worksheet for students to respond to. This makes your ability to access distance learning easier than ever before!
There are many applications for Snapquiz. For example, you can use it to have your students take “guided notes” while listening to a pre-recorded video or while attending your live Google Classroom Hangout. Dan McGovern, an 8th grade teacher from Ohio, explains, “You can use a pdf and still have guided notes for your students with fill in the blank lines. Especially when guided notes are a requirement of an IEP.” Your students respond on the computer, and Edulastic still grades everything for you.
4. Question Types to Match Your Ask
Choose from over 30 different technology-enhanced items when creating a lesson on Edulastic. Using drag and drop or a graphing question instead of multiple choice, for example, helps create interesting and interactive lessons for your students, and can increase attentiveness to the new material.
Dr. Kara Pickens, an ELA teacher from Indiana, often uses Edulastic for lesson delivery. She recommends assigning a lesson that has many different components — like different question types, opportunities for reflection, and fun multimedia — because it keeps students engaged. Kara starts with an essay response question that allows students to reflect on their feelings or their day. Then, she moves onto the heart of the lesson which includes embedded videos, fill in the blank questions, multiple choice questions, and much more.
Check out Kara’s presentation on tips and tricks for accessing distance learning:
Other Quick Tips
The opportunities to access distance learning features on Edulastic are endless! Here are a few more ideas to incorporate when creating online lessons on Edulastic.
- Redirect assignments to students who want to review the lesson. You can redirect lessons as many times as you want to give student unlimited practice!
- Provide “hints” for students, so they don’t get frustrated. When creating a question from scratch, you can type in “hints” for students to open up if they get stuck.
- Use Drawing Response questions to encourage student creativity. These are open-ended questions that allow students to draw on the scratchpad. Learn how to create them here.
- Premium feature: To support younger students, students with disabilities, or English language learners, you can enable the read-aloud feature. This adds voice to your assignments and helps students who may struggle with reading.
An important part of keeping learning going while being remote is continuing to guide students through lessons – especially in ways that are engaging and interesting for the students. These tools will help you establish your lessons online. As you access distance learning tools, remember to start simple and expand from there. You can get creative with distance learning and offer support and exciting lessons to your students from home. From embedding videos to live teaching, the opportunities for engaging lessons and interactive assignments are endless.
We are here to support you every step of the way. We have added additional distance learning features to help with lessons and assessments; you can read more about our response to COVID-19 here.