It goes without saying that most students probably learn better in classroom settings. But, as the costs of education increase, there are fewer opportunities for students to receive a high-quality education without spending exorbitant amounts of money on tuition and textbooks.  Remote learning tools can help bridge this gap by giving students access to educational resources regardless of location and allowing students and teachers the opportunity to interact and work together regardless of their physical proximity. More importantly, when used in tandem with onsite learning, they enhance education with a more efficient, interactive experience.

What Are Remote Learning Tools

Remote learning tools are educational technologies that allow students and teachers to improve the quality of education by increasing student engagement. Typically, these features will include live video streaming for online lectures, interactive whiteboards, and document sharing as well as integrated chat functions such as Slack. Many remote learning tools also offer some sort of grading function that allows students to receive feedback on assignments and turn in work digitally.

How Do These Tools Help Teachers While Teaching Remotely?

There are several ways remote learning tools for teachers can be used in their classrooms. First, they can allow students who are homeschooled or attending a different educational institution to participate in classes using video conferencing capabilities.  This allows students who would normally be unable to attend class to join discussions and lectures, increasing student engagement by allowing everyone an opportunity to learn together.

Many remote learning tools also offer collaborative document sharing that will allow teachers to provide students with assignments, readings, or other work that can be accessed, downloaded, and turned in through their preferred device. Students save time and effort by maintaining a digital library of coursework and other work they need for their classes.

Other tools allow teachers to conduct online meetings with parents or even other teachers to discuss student progress, uses of educational technology in the classroom, and any concerns that may arise regarding a student’s education.

Why These Remote Learning Tools Are Beneficial for Students

The best tools for remote learning help students by making the education process more interactive and allowing them to receive feedback in a timely manner. Educators who work with students remotely can turn in assignments and get grades back quickly, giving them firsthand accounts of how well their students are learning.

Various other tools allow for live chats where educators and students can communicate outside of scheduled online meetings or conference calls. This allows students to get immediate feedback on assignments, ask questions regarding the content they are learning, and improve their communication skills by interacting with others via text or audio.

All of these tools make it easier for teachers to provide consistent support throughout the week.

8 Free Remote Learning Tools to Increase Student Engagement in Class

  1. Google Hangouts – For those that aren’t familiar with Google Hangouts, it is a video chat platform that allows users to connect and interact through audio and video communication. It’s easy enough for students (and teachers) to use, and it can be used on most devices with a web browser.
  2. Skype – If you’re more familiar with Skype, another popular video chat platform, then it’s great for virtual meetings or chats with small groups of people. You can even make voice-only calls if necessary! All you need is a device with internet and a browser, and you’ll be up and running.
  3. Adobe Connect – This is another web-based platform that allows teachers to share documents and presentations with students online in real time. It has two different types of chats: one for students to ask questions or get feedback from the teacher, and one for video conferencing between the teacher and students.
  4. Google Classroom – This online platform lets teachers create classes, collect homework assignments, communicate with students, and share documents in real time. It’s great for educators that are teaching multiple sections of the same class or want to have a better way to manage their courses without being tied down by schedules or papers.
  5. i>clicker – If you’re a fan of clickers in your classrooms then this is a great tool to use with students that can’t make it in person. This platform turns any mobile device into a student response system so teachers can get instant feedback from their students through polls and quizzes.
  6. Hapara – This is another great tool for educators that want to save time and be more efficient in the classroom. It gives teachers access to all student accounts so they can monitor progress, assess how well students are learning the material by checking on missed assignments, and read through work that was turned in.
  7. Nearpod – This is a platform similar to Google Classroom that teachers can use to collect homework, give feedback on assignments, hold virtual meetings with parents and students, and share documents with the class. It is one of the best free tools for remote learning because of its interactive lessons that feature videos, quizzes, games, and more.
  8. Kahoot! – This final platform offers online quizzes that can be used as a fun way to review material or give a quiz over the entire course. Students answer questions that appear on their computer screens, and they can compete with one another for higher scores. It’s a great tool for educators to use if they want something other than basic text-based assignments, but don’t have time to create quizzes from scratch.


Remote learning isn’t just for students that have to work or can’t physically attend school every day. Educators that want to increase student engagement and make a better learning environment for all should look into these eight tools—although there are plenty more—to see which one might be a good fit for their classroom. Consider what you know about your students and what kind of learning environment would best support them, and you’re sure to find the perfect tool.

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