Learning on a computer was very inconvenient and unapproachable in the past. It was possible to find lessons on a CD, but they were very limited and it was a hassle to get them and go through them effectively.
Today, the internet and computer technology have gone very far and online learning has become incredibly efficient. With just a simple browser and internet connection you can instantly access various online learning tools.
Not only can they be accessed easily, but they also offer improved learning capabilities through personalized, collaborative, blended, real-time, and engaging lessons.
Additionally, the timing couldn’t be better, as younger generations are tech-savvy and find it easy to learn how to use these tools to improve their skills.
On the other hand, teachers can quickly create online classes and harness all the benefits of this type of learning. The two most important factors of online learning tools are their features and the value they offer.
Today we will introduce some of the best learning tools regardless what kind of style they have or which area they focus on.
1. Project Share
A lot of people use this tool.
Project Share has a huge variety of different courses that both teachers and students can use for free. Apart from the fact that anyone can instantly log in and use courses which are already available, teachers can also create courses of their own and add them to the database.
All of the lessons that you can find here have many Web 2.0 tools that make learning more convenient, such as blogs, wikis, forums, drop boxes, various chat tools etc. No matter what knowledge you might be looking for, you can definitively find it here, as content repositories have even more content.
In fact, bloggers and webmasters have a variety of useful tools at their disposal, which they can use in combination with Project Share to further enhance their learning.
Teachers create various tests through quizzes and other tools and all of the results that learners achieve get added to their grade books.
Teachers on Project Share also monitor how students are performing and create reports on their progress.
Prezi is a presentation platform where users add their videos, images, slides and other type of content. The spatial narrative of the platform gives flexibility and mobility, as learners can navigate through presentations back and forth, viewing whatever they want.
This is a great platform for visual learners and if you don’t like reading a lot, it might be just the thing you are looking for. All elements on the screen can be enlarged or isolated, allowing learners to view the content in front of them at a wider angle or in more detail.
There is this narrative that presentations have become obsolete, but you cannot compare Prezi to PowerPoint presentations. There are many engaging elements within presentations here, from quality visuals to navigation.
Edmodo is an interesting tool that nurtures a blended learning style. This is a comprehensive learning platform where learners of all levels, grades and ages can find something interesting.
The first thing you need to do is choose one of the countless of courses available and when you do, you will get credentials which allow you to join a class.
It has a unique feature “Note”, through which teachers share files with students, talk about issues, give announcements and collaborate. The other important feature of this online learning tool is “Assignments”, through which students can access files or links to complete their assignments. The Assignments card also shows when people have finished their assignments.
Through this tool, teachers provide quizzes, questionnaires, and tests in various formats and they are delivered to the whole group. The results of completed tests are added to a grade book which students can export.
Teachers also create polls to discuss important collective issues and improve lessons.
This is a tool that was able to perfect the flipped classroom learning model. This model allows students to go through various content from their computers and then choose what they want to learn from it and apply it in real life.
The platform is designed to provide learners vital foundational knowledge through online learning and then solidify it and learn it even better with practical courses.
TEDEd is a serious learning platform where there are a lot of professional online teachers who create lessons which are further enhanced by designers. What is interesting about this platform is that courses can be viewed in two ways, thematically and conceptually.
No matter what kind of lesson a learner chooses, all of them are designed to be watched and encourage learners to learn more about the topic.
The learning stage where users watch videos also has quick quizzes that offer them choices through which their future assessment is determined. The second stage includes short questions, as well as answers through which learners solidify their knowledge.
In the end, students are offered new resources through which they can explore a certain area of the subject they are interested in.
5. Crash Course
A YouTube channel might not exactly be considered as a “tool”, but Crash Course is certainly an amazing learning instrument through which many people get a lot of accurate information.
The videos you can find on this channel pack a lot of well-researched information on various subjects such as politics, astronomy, history etc.
They are course-based videos that can have multiple episodes and the content is delivered very quickly, while sticking only to the essential knowledge. This means that the videos can be watched and understood easily. The fact that there is a bit of humor makes watching Crash Course even more fun.
No matter which topic you are interested in, the videos that you can find here will have you glued to your screen for hours, having fun while learning. What is even better is the fact that their content is really inspiring and makes you want to look for more knowledge on your own.
The name says it all, Coursera is all about online courses. This platform has a large network of universities and professors from around the world. Together they work on providing quality courses to students, and after finishing them they receive certificates as proof of their acquired skills.
This is a serious platform where everyone can get valuable knowledge either for free or for a fee.
Coursera stands out from similar tools, because it has a group of recognized professors working together on providing high-quality courses that give students practical and actionable knowledge allowing them to pursue careers they never thought possible.
What’s even better is that Coursera has made important partners including Google, through which companies can judge the projects of their students. This is a great opportunity for learners to show what they’ve learned and potentially pitch ideas to those companies and even get funding or employment.
Online learning tools have made a great impact on how we get our education today. Even if you are unsure which tools you need there are databases you can utilize to find the right tools for your situation.
More and more official institutions are getting similar solutions and accepting this kind of education as viable. In fact, today some online certificates can be of greater help for finding a job than a college degree.