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The best free virtual teaching resources for educators, whether you’re in-person or online

Author: Anna Moss

I’m Anna Moss, the founder of Mind the Test. I received my BA in Linguistics from the University of Chicago, and after that, I taught English online for five years while also traveling the world and tutoring test prep. I actually spent two years in Bangkok tutoring kids who wanted to come to America for college, which was really interesting. After leaving Thailand, I studied a Master’s in Psychology & Education at Cambridge. When I finally came back to America last summer, I knew I wanted to keep tutoring, but I wanted to do more for my students than just raising one score on one test–I wanted to teach them how to learn, and how to use the test prep content in real life. I didn’t see any company doing that, so I decided to start my own tutoring company. My focus is dually on test prep and perfecting the process of writing essays and research papers.

Thanks to video calls, amazing resources like Khan Academy, online practice tests, e-books, and digital review games, the entire learning process can be done digitally for everything from test prep to Language Arts to history.

My students absolutely adore learning through Kahoot and Quizizz, both in the classroom before and now at home. I use them in every class as a form of formative assessment and an integral part of the learning process. One of my favorite recent moments occurred before everything moved online. I was teaching a small group class in a client’s home, and as usual, the class had migrated from the main “classroom” area to the TV to play a challenging review Kahoot game. One particular question stumped everyone–we had not yet learned that particular grammar rule, and I wanted them to figure it out for themselves. When the correct answer appeared on the screen, everyone cried out indignantly–”What!? How is that right!?” The only student to get it right piped up and explained the grammar rule. Every set of eyes was focused on him, every brain was fully engaged, and when he was finished, everyone knew the rule and how to apply it–and it was much more memorable–and fun–than it would have been had I stood at the front of the whiteboard and told it to them.

I hope that now that teachers, students, and parents are becoming more comfortable with online learning, these amazing resources continue to be used when learning migrates back to the classroom.

When I work with students, both in-person and online, I frequently assign homework involving Khan Academy and online review games that I’ve made on Kahoot and Quizizz. I also have students use a website called Memrise for memorizing vocabulary; it’s much less well-known than the much-beloved Quizlet, and it is primarily intended for foreign language-learning, but I love Memrise because it integrates certain features that research has found to vastly improve long-term memory retention. These features, active recall and spaced repetition, are possible but somewhat difficult to incorporate into a study plan without the aid of technology, and Memrise makes it incredibly easy. 

In terms of one-on-one video tutoring sessions, you can’t beat Zoom. The breakout rooms are a must-have for large and small classes alike, the screenshare annotation feature is fantastic, and it rarely glitches out and interrupts class. 

I hope you enjoy these educational technologies as much as I have!

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