Using Apps to Improve Communication with Students

One of the challenges of the online classroom is finding ways to connect with students, to build relationships as you might in a face-to-face environment. To achieve this, you might want to look beyond your LMS to some tools that can engage, connect, and inform.

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One of the challenges of the online classroom is finding ways to connect with students, to build relationships as you might in a face-to-face environment. To achieve this, you might want to look beyond your LMS to some tools that can engage, connect, and inform.

There are many free apps available, and it's important not to overwhelm yourself or your students with too many communication options or ones that are difficult to use or have high technical requirements in order to use them.

In an interview with Online Classroom, Lindsay Leach-Sparks, a music instructor who teaches at the North Carolina Virtual School, University of North Carolina-Pembroke, and Rutgers University, talked about how she selects and uses apps for her classes, which range from online to blended and from high school to graduate level.

When Leach-Sparks selects apps to use in her courses, she does so with one goal in mind: to facilitate the “best contact possible with the students.” The following are a sample of some of the apps she uses and how she uses them.

Apps come and go, and keeping track of what's available can be difficult; using too many can be counterproductive. To help in your selection of apps, Leach-Sparks recommends the following: