10 Great Tools for Student-Teacher Communication

Laura is a writer and recent Cambridge graduate with particular experience in the area of education technology. She has worked with a variety of different education companies and is active in the 'edtech' community on Twitter, so she prides herself on always being in touch with the latest developments and exciting new tools in e-learning.

Great communication between students and teachers is the cornerstone of the best educational relationships. The best teachers are marked by how they communicate information to their students and how well they create feedback and debate mechanisms to ensure that a free-flowing stream of ideas and questions is always active between learner and educator.  And with the advent of education technology, a wealth of brilliant new tools present themselves to the modern educator to stay effectively connected to students at all times and in a myriad of exciting different ways…

1. Bubbl.us

This brilliant online mind-mapping tool allows groups to collaborate on planning and brainstorming ideas around a particular topic. Teachers and students can use it to keep in touch and collaborate on new projects inside and outside the classroom.

 

2. Brainify

Aimed more at slightly older students, Brainify is a brilliant social-bookmarking site specifically designed for students and teachers. Use it to create dedicated lists of educational websites and share them with students – or to allow students to show you the sites they’ve been using. Great for creating different lists of resources to share quickly and simply with students working on different topics.

 

3. Dropbox

A fantastically simple way to share files, Dropbox means you can instantly send assignments and essays from anywhere in the world to a single common place where they can be accessed by students and teachers alike.

 

4. QuizSnack

This great tool is a quick, simple way to create polls and surveys and embed them in online blogs or articles. It’s a great way for students to communicate with teachers about feedback, preferred topics and other issues.

 

5. Twitter

Twitter is unlike almost any other online medium in its instantaneous, intense connectivity. Students and teachers can connect using school or class-specific hash-tags, or use it to tweet updates and information about school trips and expeditions.

 

6. Astrid

This simple-to-use, open-source to-do list allows peer groups and class teachers to share reminders, tasks and notifications – a great way for teachers to stay on top of student progress or for students to divide up different aspects of a communal task.

 

7. Edmodo

This safe and brilliantly simple platform designed specifically for student-teacher communication allows assignments to be set, grades to be tracked and homework to be submitted all online from anywhere. School notices can be communicated via the site too, making it the perfect tool for weekend or holiday student-teacher communication.

 

8. Screen Chomp

This great iPad app enables teachers to create learning content, combining audio and whiteboard-style visuals to create videos, which they can then upload for students to watch online. A great way for teachers and students to communicate and learn even outside the classroom.

 

9. Quizlet

A fantastic free learning tool, this site allows teachers to create online quizzes and flashcards on a range of content, which students can then use to help them study outside the classroom. Many of the pre-existing quizzes might also be useful for time-strapped teachers.

 

10. My Big Campus

An amazing resource, My Big Campus combines many of the tools provided by other communication platforms all in one place. From flipped classroom resources, document sharing and educational videos to discussion boards, video chats and blogs, it’s a power-house of potential for student-teacher connectivity!

 

What are the best tools you use to communicate with your students? Let us know below!

 

Images courtesy of Flickr.  Image 1, kev_hickey_uk. Image 2, Ian Lamont. Image 3, Jon Gosier. Image 4, espiche. Image 5, lydiadarnall.

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  • M.Cairns.

    Really good tools thanks! Already was on to Dropbox and Twitter but will definitely try some of the others- my big campus sounds particularly like it might have great potential.

    • FractusLearning

      Thanks Madeleine! Yeah, I can’t imagine how we managed to do anything before Dropbox. Definitely give some of the others a go and let us know what ones work best for you. Thanks again for the comment!

  • http://twitter.com/jainiminhas Jaininder Minhas

    No learning is possible without communication and in a technological expanding society, where more and more of digital content is being incorporated in classrooms, the need for advanced communication tools to facilitate interaction among students and teachers has become all the more important. Apart from the list of tools mentioned in this post, I would like to mention about WizIQ which is an online learning and teaching platform that connects educators and students through its WizIQ Virtual Classroom technology. It has features like audio/video conferencing, text chat, screen sharing and content sharing that support real-time interactions between teachers and students. Another popular feature of virtual classroom is the ease with which students can communicate with their teacher without interrupting a live class. In comparison with the real world, where students have to raise their hand if they have comments or questions, WizIQ enables learners to do the same, albeit a virtual hand. It also enables students to respond to polls and provide real-time feedback to instructors, thus, bridging the gap between learning in the real world and online learning. To learn more about the WizIQ Virtual Classroom, you can refer to: http://www.wiziq.com/Virtual_Classroom.aspx

  • http://profiles.google.com/dlynam Dave Lynam

    This is a great list! Another resource is Flashcard Stash (http://flashcardstash.com). It is build on top of a dictionary and is a powerful learning tool!