Teaching is no longer constrained in classrooms; it has become virtualized. There are a number of teaching platforms available online that provide more convenient and inexpensive methods of teaching. Most of the online teaching tools are free of cost but in some, advanced features can be used by upgrading the account on paying a minimal fee.
Students can interact with their teachers using these online tools. The online tools provide all the required features that are helpful for the students to learn and the teachers to create the study materials. Following are some of the teaching platforms that can be used for creating a learning environment.
Top Free Online Teaching Platforms
Platform 1: Nicenet
Nicenet is an online virtual classroom platform where students and teachers can interact with each other. It is a not-for-profit organization which was founded by Nathan Dintenfass and Ben Archibald in 1995.
It is an organization of internet professionals who devote their time for the services of education community. The virtual classroom programme is termed as Internet Classroom Assistant (ICA) where the users can get access to powerful tools.
b) User Account
It is available to use for free of cost. Teachers can create a class while students can join that class by accessing a unique key specified for that class. Both the users can login into their accounts and can interact with each other in the virtual classroom session.
It is a learning environment that includes features viz. conferencing, scheduling, document sharing, personal messaging and link sharing. It is a very convenient tool and takes only two minutes for setting up the class. Using the conferencing feature, teachers and students can create a conferencing class on various topics.
The scheduling feature would help in scheduling the class on specified time. One can display the upcoming assignments and events in the meantime that students can check. Using the document sharing feature, teachers and professors can share the documents with their students. Teachers can publish their documents online while students can complete and submit the same using that online platform.
Teachers can analyze the assignments and send feed backs to the students. Using the personal messaging feature, individuals can communicate with each other. They can comment privately, discuss the topics and give private feed backs. Using the link sharing feature, one can share the links to various internet resources related to the topics.
Platform 2: Haiku LMS
Haiku LMS stands for Haiku Learning Management System which is an online tool helps in creating a web-based learning environment.
b) User Account
One can register on the website for free. Using this tool, learning as well as teaching becomes very easy and convenient. After registration, one can use the tool easily as it does not require any training.
It is efficient as well as affordable online software. Minimal fee is required to get the advanced features but the basic features are available free of cost.
The online tool has a number of great features that are helpful for web-based learning. The website creator feature, announcements can be made via email messaging and reminders can also be sent. It has online calendar option which is simple to use and events can be added to the particular dates using the option.
One can add the content viz. audio, text, picture, video and html files and share the same with other teachers. One can drag and drop the content the way one wants. The collaborative activities section allow the students to interact online, make comments, participate in discussions and use wiki projects where students can post all kinds of content viz. links, text, photos and videos.
Using assess and report section, assessments of work done by students can be done using the assessment tool. Teachers can create tests, polls and quizzes. They can take attendance online. Using the grade book section, teachers can make assessments, enter grades and make comments towards students’ performances.
Using the statistics option, review of the all the work done can be done. All the courses can be categorized as course catalog. There are a number of other features that are available in the tool helpful for studying.
Platform 3: Soshiku
Soshiku is an online tool that helps in managing the assignments submitted by the students.
One can save notes, manage tasks, attach files along with the notes and send messages to others. Using the partner up section, one can share files, assign particular tasks and collaborate with others.
Notification regarding the same can be sent via email or sms that helps in notifying as well as reminding the students about the assignments to be done. The online tool can be accessed free of cost. Using this tool, doing homework would become very easy.
It is a powerful tool that manages school as well as college assignments. It helps in tracking the assignments and stating when these are due so that these can be completed on time.
Platform 4: Engrade
Engrade is a user-friendly platform which helps in uniting tools, data, people and the curriculum in the school.
b) User Account
There is a different section for teachers where they can register themselves freely. There are around 550,000 teachers who have joined this online community that they can use for teaching purpose.
Another account is of Administrator which is perfect for individual teachers who can conduct small classes. It includes online grade book, curriculum organization and management apps that can be accessed using this account.
The districts & states section of the account helps in integrating various districts that help in the improvement of parent communication, student accountability and data management.
The online tool can be accessed from anywhere using iPad, iPhone, Android or Google Apps.
There are six different study modes that can be used in the online tool viz. flashcards, speller, test, space race, learn and scatter. Using the flashcards, one can familiarize with the study materials. The speller modes works in 18 different languages where one can type what we hear. Under the learn section, one can track the progress of the study we have done.
Using the test option, one can prepare for the test. Using scatter, one can match the words with their definitions. The space race mode lets one to earn points when we type the words before the definitions disappear.
One can get instant access to student data, attendance, grade, discipline and at-risk alerts. Users can connect with each other for twenty four hours. They can communicate via private messaging, SMS and email.
Curriculum and assessment vendor can be easily connected on this online tool. It is safe and secure as the information can be kept private on secure servers.
Platform 5: Quizlet
Quizlet is an online tool that helps in providing a free atmosphere to the learners.
There are a number of sections about which sets are available viz. History & Geography, Languages & Vocab, Arts & Literature, Standardized Tests, Professional & Careers and Math & Science.
The website provides sample study sets that have been created by the users in various study topics viz. Biology, French Animal Names, Literature Vocabulary, German Food Adjectives etc. One can create a number of such sets on our own.
Platform 6: Schoolrack
It was launched in November 2003. Artia Moghbel is the founder of the website. Its mission is to connect the students, teachers and parents for studying purposes. It was awarded with WebAward in 2008 for outstanding achievement in website development
Schoolrack is an educational platform that helps the parents, students and others interact and create a studious environment free of cost. It is rather an educational blog where they can discuss about the study topics.
b) User Account
There is a different login account for teachers, students and parents. They can register themselves free of cost on the website and take advantage of the online teaching platform. Though registration is free it can be upgraded with a small fee.
One can share files, documents and other study related information using this platform. Discussions can be held online and does not require the students to attend the classes. Another good feature of the online tool is that students as well as their parents can receive an online report grade and analyze their performances. One can also send private messages to the other person. It is very easy and convenient to use.
It is a classroom website which is simple and flexible. This website has different features for teachers as well as for students and parents. The website provides a classroom portal which has calendar, clip art and files as some of the features that they can use. It is simple to use and does not require any technical knowledge. Students and parents can study by making groups to access the collaborative features.
Under the mailing lists section, one can send a number of email messages to a number of persons at once. One can keep tract of the email addresses and store them as well. And hence it is not required to remember them.
Under the discussion boards section, private discussions can be made with the students and their parents. Using the search option available at the website, one can search the name of the teacher, school and location.
Teachers can post assignments to the students while students can complete and submit the same on the website. Report grades can be sent to the students once study has been completed.
The websites are password protected and hence downloads as well as the classroom discussions are well protected using these passwords.