11 Best Free Apps for Distance, Hybrid, Blended, and 1 to 1 Learning

Quizziz

This platform can assign quizzes to students in person or distance. You can do live quizzes or assign them as a homework assignment. It has preloaded questions so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. I’ve created a new quiz on the spot during teaching to see if my students were grasping new material. All you do is create your quiz and send the link to your students, it also works with mobile. The quizzes are fun and have power ups and memes to make if feel more game like.

The data reports will show you time on questions, most missed and best questions. You can turn this data report into a review session. Say goodbye to grading and your students get instant feedback. There’s also a fun leader board you can show during the quiz if you want to turn it into a game.

Kahoot

Kahoot is very similar to Quizziz but the big difference is students do a Kahoot together where with Quizziz students can work through questions at their own pace. With Kahoot all students see the same question at the same time and cannot see the next question until everyone answers. After the question the amount of correct and incorrect answers are displayed as well as the leader board. Kahoot is a fun quiz that you can either assign credit or prizes for.

Recently Kahoot updated to include a homework style quiz instead of the live one at a time version. This makes them almost completely like Quizziz. The data report can be downloaded and examined to help guide teaching.

Quiz Whizzer

The third and last quiz game app is Quiz Whizzer. It’s like Kahoot and Quizziz in that you will get instant feedback on what your students know, it’s fun and engaging and can be employed from a distance. The thing that makes the whizzer different is as students answer correct they move forward and are racing against the rest of the class. You can create your own game board or choose from boards already created by others.

A screeshot of Quiz Whizzer and steps to create games

Google Classroom

An entirely free class management system. Google classroom can do anything you want it to do. You can run your entire class here without any other software. It integrates with google drive so all your files and your students save. You can create modules, assign activities/homework, grade, email students, set up a calendar, and even assign groups for distance group projects. My advice is to go to google classroom and start playing around with all it’s features. Be creative and have fun.

Epic Pen

If you don’t already have a built in screen annotator epic pen is the best free version. As you are giving live lessons you can write all over the screen, highlight, erase and use color. There is a paid version that gives you a couple more add ons. I still use the free version. I use Epic Pen to annotate while I record lesson videos.

Screen-Cast-O-Matic

A free screen recorder as long as you keep it under 15 minutes. You can use this and epic pen together to record your lessons. You can record just the screen, just you or both. I usually record myself along with the screen so students can still see my face and expressions. Screen-cas-o-matic integrates with youtube so you can publish directly or you can save the video to your computer.

YouTube

A free place to host all your videos. You can integrate these with your own website or google classroom. Create your own channel then send video links to your students. You can also organize your videos into playlists that can serve as modules for your students. It takes a minute to learn YouTube and best practices but it’s worth it in the long run.

Google Drive

I used to recommend dropbox over google drive but they changed their free storage and want everyone to pay now for less storage. Google drive continues to be free and it’s hard to hit their storage limits. You can store EVERYTHING here and I highly suggest it. If your computer crashes your resources survive. You can share anything in your google drive with students or colleagues. You can work on an activity together and see changes in real time. Google drive comes free with any gmail account which is also free. It’s worth setting up the free email address for.

Remind

Use the remind app to do just that, remind. You can remind your students of upcoming zoom meetings, homework assignments, due dates, tests, field trips, etc. You can also communicate with parents to keep them in the loop of important dates. Users of remind can also communicate with each other like text messaging. This is great for distance learning because it keeps you in contact with your students when you cannot physically see them.

Quizlet

Quizlet is primarily a flashcard study app. It’s great for vocab, facts, formulas, dates or anything else that requires memorization. Students can set up the cards or you can. You can also use Quizlet to play games and quiz your students. The app helps students become independent learners a develop good study habits. Since it makes flashcards digital it does not rely on having materials which is great for distance students.

Zoom

The new king of distance learning, it left google hangouts in the dust. Zoom has a free option but I’m not sure how much longer. If they decide to rescind the free version I will go back to google hangouts or google meetings. You can video call all your students, if you have the webinar version you can do this without students seeing each other. Zoom has functions like screen sharing, annotation, whiteboard, chat and file sharing.

My favorite zoom function is the breakout rooms. This allows for group work and socialization. This definitely helps with the isolation factor of distance learning. You can put students into groups with an objective or just let them chat. You can move between the groups and monitor. Students can be working on assignments or projects together this way. Everything you did in the classroom can be accommodated virtually through zoom.

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