9 Engaging Digital Tools that Teens Can Use for Effective Remote Learning

15 November 2020


Not all teenagers thrive in a traditional school environment. Group classes typically teach kids who may have varying skills and learning levels. This generic teaching system leaves many students bored or struggling to keep up. Those falling behind can end up with lower confidence levels and feelings of inadequacy. 

Digital tools and remote learning tools that provide that added push can help teens catch up with their lessons and rebuild their academic confidence. Remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has merged as a practical solution that allows teens to complete their curriculum while maintaining social distancing norms. 

Digital Tools and Remote Learning Have Multiple Benefits

Modern-day teenagers are exposed to interactive technology from the time they are born. They are tech-savvy, making it exceedingly easy for them to adopt digital learning tools and use them to advance their academic skills. Online tools, when used effectively, can contribute to overall personality development and foster social bonds. Here’s how:

  • Signing up for group projects and integrated social media apps allows kids to continue interacting with friends and peers. They can avoid feelings of loneliness and isolation since apps have chat functions and features like sharing videos and images. 
  • Teenagers can join classes and learn at times that match their biological clocks. 
  • Students learn to create study plans with proper time management. Remote learning encourages kids to be responsible and accountable for classes and homework.
  • Connecting with mentors and advisors trained in teen psychology helps kids with issues they may not feel comfortable discussing openly in conventional school settings. 
  • Online tools allow kids to learn at their own pace and enhance their ability to come back to lessons that they had trouble understanding the first time.
  • Saving chapters and concepts makes it easy for teens to review them repeatedly until the ideas are clear and then move on to new materials.
  • Parents can get their teens supplementary help with areas of difficulty, whether that’s math, science, history, or geography.
  • Students have the option to read up on more extensive information about topics that interest them, particularly, inspiring greater overall interest in related subjects.

The internet has hundreds of digital tools that can help teens with their curriculum. Here are a few selected apps that parents can choose to give that additional boost to their kids.

  1. Spelling and Grammar

Spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills are critical for effective learning. Decoding and coding text is highly essential for teens to have a firm grasp on the medium used to impart education. Learning to spell correctly and adding the right punctuation helps students make sense of their materials. Such skills, along with appropriate word usage, phonics, and grammar, are indispensable for academic proficiency. Tools like SpellQuiz include word games, listening, typing, and comprehension activities for kids and adults of all ages. 

  1. Speech Therapy

Difficulty with speech has an impact on every aspect of a teenager’s life. When it’s difficult to express thoughts and feelings, kids may find it hard to ask questions in class or build lasting friendships and peer groups. Difficulty in making themselves understood, ineffective communication, lisping, and stuttering can result in teens growing up to be self-conscious and withdrawn, often shying away from social contact. 

Signing up for online speech therapy helps with these issues. Licensed speech trainers provide one-on-one interpersonal remote learning classes to overcome problems and build confidence. Students can take lessons from a secure home environment without worrying about the opinions of classmates. 

  1. School to Home Communication

Texting tools help streamline communication between teachers, parents, and students. Some of these apps are available in over 100 languages and keep parents informed about their kids’ progress in class. Caregivers can receive images, videos, messages, and documents of all class activities and events. Possibly, the best advantage is that families can request communication in the language they prefer. Children whose parents are not fluent speakers of the school’s primary language will find it easier to stay involved in their family’s education. The digital tools translate messages and convey them via text messages or a mobile interface. 

Both desktop and mobile versions are available for easy use. Considering how many parents are away at work throughout the day, staying updated with the kids’ activities at school is made more convenient thanks to tools like these. 

  1. Practice Test Apps

One of the most effective learning strategies is testing your knowledge from time to time. Taking mock exams allows students to test how well they have digested the curriculum. Some of the questions are designed to examine if kids have understood the concepts and are able to apply them correctly. Parents can find and choose from digital tools that focus on specific tests such as the AP world history practice test, their state’s standardized yearly tests, or college entrance exams.

The results are available instantly and give students a clear overview of the areas where their knowledge needs to improve. Since the apps have mobile versions, learners can take exams on the go. Getting enough practice also helps take away much of the stress and nervousness associated with actual exams.

  1. Online Tutoring 

Not only do teens have individual learning paces, but they also have different styles. Private, online tutoring applications include a range of techniques for imparting education. Students can choose to work on games, assignments, activities, and lessons in the question-answer format. They can pick the subjects where they need extra explanation, complete with the facility of getting daily progress reports to track improvement. Such apps provide remote learning in multiple subjects and in languages that students find easy to understand.

Digital tutoring can include gamified apps like Duolingo, which imparts lessons on dozens of available languages. The classes are fun and exciting and tap into the concepts of video games. Learners get incentives for completing levels and are allowed to unlock more advanced features and rewards as they go along. 

  1. Note Taking Training 

Taking notes in class is one of the most critical skills that teenagers should pick up to help them when they enter college. Remote learning apps now allow students to put down notes on the device they’re using in the classroom and print the information for review later. Formatting options allow students to highlight key areas or link related snippets of information.

These apps make it possible to share the materials with friends and use them for group projects and assignments. Using the notes to work on homework is easy, as is sharing the completed documents when submissions are due. Evernote is one such digital tool that’s well respected.

  1. Science Experiments

One of the main downsides of remote learning is the lack of access to lab spaces available in actual schools. Teenagers miss out on the fun of learning about chemicals and their reactions by working on experiments under the supervision of trained teachers. Since practicing at home is not a workable solution for many higher-level courses, the next option is digital tools like Physics Studio and Chemist - Virtual Chem Lab. 

Physics Studio is a digital tool designed for use on a mobile phone or tablet. The application has an interactive touch screen with lessons in the form of games. Concepts like atoms, electricity, magnets, and inertia are only a few of the thousands that come to life in detailed videos that learners can watch and enjoy. 

Similarly, the Chemist - Virtual Chem Lab has different virtual apparatus complete with more than 200 inorganic chemical reagents and over 60 organic chemicals. Students can have fun mixing chemicals to see how they’ll react. As a bonus perk, mixing something incorrectly only has virtual consequences. Periodic tables and apps that reveal fascinating details of the world are other useful online tools.

  1. Learning About the World We Live In

Staying at home during the Coronavirus pandemic is an excellent time to foster curiosity and learn more about the environment and world we live in. Several authoritative, global organizations now have digital tools to welcome teens and kids to discover the earth. A good example is National Geographic, which has unveiled a complete selection of subjects designed for kids of all ages. 

Courses include but are not limited to: Climatology, Geography, Conservation, Biology, Ecology, and Social Sciences. Parents can sign up teens for the fields that interest them the most. NatGeo also has some timely features on the American political system that help teens understand the process of running for president and winning other elections.

  1. Coding Languages

The digital era has made coding essential. Writing code teaches kids and teenagers to be creative, think logically, and communicate well. Understanding how the technology works and changing things to work according to their specifications helps develop confidence. 

Kids as young as five years old can learn to write code. They’ll develop skills like analytical thinking, planning, logic, and applying their new math skills to real-world situations. Planning and organizational skills that come from programming help young people prepare for a world where technology is an integral part of everyday life.

The Coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home guidelines should be regarded as an excellent opportunity to advance skills. Parents can select from the mind-boggling range of digital tools that help their teenagers not only keep up with the regular school curriculum but also advance their skills in other spheres of interest. Taking advantage of online apps and remote learning could help learners develop a well-rounded personality, excel in academics, and become prepared for a college education.

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