Digital Tools for English Teachers

7 Best Digital Tools for English Teachers

While a bad workman blames his tools, a good English teacher utilises all of the digital ones at their disposal. Technology has made it easier than ever to create more engaging lessons, encourage students to be active participants in their learning as well as make organising your calendar a no-fuss job. So what are these tools? Read on to learn more. 

Digital Tools for English Teachers
7 Best Digital Tools for English Teachers 4

Top 7 Digital Tools for English Teachers

Kahoot

Although it can help engage young learners and motivate teenagers to use their phones for good during class, don’t be fooled into thinking that is Kahoot’s only use. This game-based learning platform is a great tool for recapping vocabulary or grammar points for any age group. 

Not only is it simple to use, but you can incorporate it as part of online or in-person lessons. Group lessons are generally better in either case, due to the competitive, point-scoring element of the games. 

As a teacher, you can choose to create your own games, tailored to the lessons you have planned. Alternatively, you can opt to buy pre-made games to save yourself some time. Ultimately, you’ll end up with a library full of material that you can reuse indefinitely in future lessons. 

Canva

Whether you’re looking to jazz up some lesson slides to capture the attention of young learners or create a more professional-looking handout for a Business English course, Canva has an array of templates to choose from.

What makes this digital tool all the more interesting, however, is that its usefulness does not stop there. Canva also has an online translator tool, which is extremely useful in breaking through language barriers without forsaking the design, making it easier to engage with students. In addition to the various templates, you can also sign up for free, get verified as a teacher, and create your own virtual classrooms.

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Through these virtual classrooms, teachers can share material directly with their students, and students can also create and submit their own work. Teachers are then able to leave feedback. All of this can be done on Canva, replacing the need to send out or receive assignments via email and download files. 

Virtual meeting platforms

Gone are the days of distance being an obstacle. Virtual meeting platforms now prevent students from missing out on their English lessons when they’re sent abroad on work trips, or head to their holiday homes over the summer. 

Zoom is one such platform that offers free online meetings, up to 40 minutes with a maximum of 100 attendees. A basic whiteboard feature is also available for any explanations or examples you might want to give. Should you want longer lessons or additional features, there are various subscriptions to choose from. 

Google Meet is another popular choice and offers free online meetings of up to 60 minutes with a maximum of 100 participants. The whiteboard feature opens up to a Google Jamboard, which all of the students will receive a link to and can be used collaboratively. 

With so many platforms to choose from, doing your research is key to ensure you find the one most suited to your classroom needs. 

PayPal

If you’re working freelance with clients all around the world, you’re going to want a payment system that is easy to use and globally trusted. PayPal is, therefore, a great option – especially as your clients won’t need an account to pay for your services. 

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You’ll be able to create and send invoices via the platform which will send an email to your customer that contains a secure link. Moreover, you could add a PayPal checkout button to your website, which you could use to sell ESL resources you have created to other teachers. 

It is important to bear in mind that you may encounter students who aren’t comfortable paying via PayPal. In this case, you may need to have an alternative option available, such as bank transfers. 

Mailchimp 

Keep clients coming back to you by staying fresh in their minds with tools like Mailchimp. While your ex-students may have stopped lessons with you a while ago, keeping them informed about your services and any new offers could mean they return for a refresher course. 

Emailing newsletters doesn’t have to be all marketing and no play. You have complete control over the content that you send. Why not continue to spark interest by sharing fun facts about the English language or bite-sized information, like your top 3 phrasal verbs? These are things that could set you apart from other ESL teachers. 

You could also use Mailchimp to spread the word about your services by conducting surveys via email and sharing those results on your website. If you’re idiomatic tidbits aren’t doing the trick, then you can let data do the rest of the work. For more ideas, check out techblogcorner.com

Calendly

For those of you already using tools like Google Calendar or Office 365 Calendar to organise your teaching schedule, you can now go that one step further towards optimising your time with Calendly.

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This digital tool allows you to set your availability during the week and create events potential clients can book, such as trial lessons or meetings. It even syncs to your calendar to avoid scheduling clashes. 

While there’s a lot to be said for the personal touch of an email or a phone call, in busy periods Calendly is a tool that will maximise your time and stop any potential new client leads from getting buried in your inbox. 

Google Drive

Did you forget to print out that handout for your lesson? Did your thumb drive full of resources accidentally go through the washing machine? Never find yourself in a tough spot again by using Google Drive. 

One of the many advantages of using this tool as a teacher is that you can upload and organise all of your lesson plans, resources, and even registers. So long as you have access to the internet and some kind of device, you can log in from anywhere to access everything you need. 

What’s more, you can also exchange material with other teachers. By sending each other the links you can cut down on the time you spend lesson planning. Just make sure the security settings are changed accordingly to allow access.

Equipped with all of this information, the next step is incorporating these tools into your working life to see the difference that they make for yourself. For those who don’t teach English abroad but are now feeling inspired, here’s a great blog article to help you get started. 

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