Digital Tools Help Break down Virtual barriers

Kicking off the 2020-2021 school year entirely online has resulted in changes to how the curriculum is being taught and how students are learning. Digital learning tools are one distinct adaptation that has become a new norm for students participating in virtual learning. Common digital learning tools include Flipgrid, Jamboard, and Quizizz. These tools are being integrated into the everyday curriculum to help better engage students across virtual barriers.

Flipgrid allows students to share video discussions, and has been commonly used for student introduction videos. Jamboard offers an interactive digital whiteboard, where students can draw, insert images, add sticky notes, and highlight objects for the rest of their class or group to see. Quizizz provides students with quizzes, games, and study groups in a variety of subjects.

“I think Quizizz, Jamboard, and Flipgrid are fun ways to keep us interactive through online learning,” senior Caris Nebb said. “Our teachers are really trying to make remote learning less miserable by using these digital tools, and that I appreciate.” 

Besides making remote learning more fun, students also claim that digital learning tools help to create group settings similar to those they previously had in the classroom.  

“In senior engineering we’ve been using Toggl and Padlet,” senior Lucy Ostrowski said. “Even though there can be a few difficulties with using online tools, I really like these tools because they let our groups gather our thoughts and manage our time without actually seeing each other.” 

Digital learning tools allow for students to interact and engage during a time when there is no in-person connection and collaboration. Students as well as teachers agree these tools are valuable for their ability to continue to connect people during virtual learning.

“I think the most important digital tool that I use are breakout rooms in Zoom,” STEM teacher Melissa Havel said. “Social interaction is what we are all missing from this learning at home situation we all find ourselves in, and by flipping my teaching, I use the majority of the 90 minute periods for labs that the students do in breakout rooms.”

Digital tools are being put to use in a majority of online classes, and are bringing back some of the collaboration and communication that virtual learning lacks. According to students and teachers, although digital learning tools can result in technical difficulties at times, they are a much needed addition to online learning.

Photo Credits: Ruby Widergren
Zoom, Quizizz, and Flipgrid app logos. Digital tools such as Zoom, Quizizz, and Flipgrid are being used to connect students and teachers during virtual learning.

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