The internet changed the way of gathering and sharing information. It is now easy to get information online. Learning online gives you more flexibility. You can choose your own entertainment and time. Teaching online opens up a new world of opportunities.
A virtual classroom is a type of online learning environment where teachers and students can interact using various online tools. The virtual classroom offers tools to interact with students and to share learning materials like leaning materials, PowerPoint presentations, videos, audios and can conduct online quizzes, assignments, or exams.
Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google for creating, distributing, and grading assignments. You can add materials to your assignments, like YouTube videos, Google Forms survey, and saved items from Google Drive. To create a class, first, sign in to Google Classroom, then select Create a Class, give Section, Subject, and Room to create a class. You can invite students to your class, by sending an inviting link, or by sharing the class code. You can share the code with students so they can join your class. You can control your classes from mobile using the Google Classroom app.
Moodle is an open-source free course management system, for blended learning, distance education, flipped classroom, and other e-learning projects. You can download Moodle and install it on your own server. You can easily customize your Moodle site using a theme, your logo, and color schemes. You can use Moodle using their cloud-hosted Moodle solution by paying an annual fee. You can also try it for free for 45 days.
There are a number of virtual classroom solutions available like Edmodo, Schoology, Blackboard Learn, etc.
Audio Recorder and Editor
An audio recorder and editor is an essential tool to record crisp and clear audio for your online classroom. You can directly record audio using the software and can add effects to your voice. Background noise is the unwanted sound present in the background while recording the audio. It will make it difficult to listen or concentrate on the lessons. It will also reduce the overall impression of your class no matter how perfect is your topic. The audio editor will help you to remove unwanted background noise with a click of a button.
Audacity is a free and open-source digital audio editor and recording application software, available for Windows, macOS, Linux. The noise reduction feature in Audacity will reduce the constant background noise. easily.
A Virtual whiteboard is a blank space where people can write, share, and interact in real-time from different locations. You can create whiteboard animation videos using online tools. You can simply explain the complex subject easily and to bring the subject matter to life using whiteboard animation software. Open board is a free interactive whiteboard for Schools and Universities. Open board can be used both with interactive whiteboards or in a dual-screen setup with a pen-tablet display and a beamer.
VideoScribe is a popular whiteboard animation tool. You don’t need to be an artist to draw an image, the VideoScribe can draw images automatically. You can select your own images, VideoScribe converts it into SVGs. You can give proper music for your videos. After editing you can download your video locally as an mp4, wmv, mov, avi or share it directly online to YouTube, Vimeo, Sho.co, and can export as an image sequence. There are a number of similar tools available online like, Doodly, Animaker, Powtoons, etc.
Screen Recording Tools
You can record your computer screens to prepare an educational or an explanatory video. Using a screen capture tool you can capture any area of your computer screen and add narration from your microphone and video from your webcam. Screencast-o-Matic, Camstudio are some free tools to record your computer screen. CamStudio is a free screen recorder that can record all screen and audio activity on your computer and creates AVI video files. Movavi video suite is a complete solution to record and edit videos.
Video conferencing allows peoples in different locations to hold face-to-face meetings without having to move together into a single location. You can take classes remotely through smartphones, tablets, laptops, or on a desktop using a video conferencing solution. Zoom is a video conferencing solution offering a bunch of features to improve the online teaching experience. In Zoom, you can easily drag and drop video tiles and rearrange the order in which students appear in your Gallery View. This view gets locked into a fixed configuration, so it won’t shift when a new person enters into the virtual classroom. You can host video meetings with Skype. Skype offers live subtitles, so the users can read the words that are spoken during an audio or video call.
Digital Story Telling tools
Stories are important in education, storytelling tools help you to create story strips or comics. The Storybird is a storytelling tool that supports Google Classroom imports and can add student accounts to integrate with your existing classroom tools. There are a number of storytelling tools are available like Smilebox, Animoto, pixton, etc.
Video and Audio Gears
Besides this software, you need a stable internet connection, an electronic device like a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop, headphones, and microphones, webcam, etc. The graphic tablets or drawing tablets is a computer input device to create hand-drawn images, animations, graphics, using a special pen-like stylus, similar to drawing using a pencil on a paper. Wacom, XP-Pen, Huion, produces different types of drawing tablets for every need.