Top 5 classroom tools for distance teaching

A teacher’s job can be complex at the best of times. In the middle of a global pandemic, it becomes even more so. Last school year, teachers rose to the occasion, switching to distance learning with little preparation time. As the new school year begins, many will still be using distance learning techniques like classroom video conferencing. Here are our top five classroom tools for distance teaching.


Canvas is a complete learning platform from Instructure. This cloud-based program works for both K-12 schools and higher education as well. The platform is scalable, from a single classroom to a large university.

Canvas offers a complete learning management system for distance learning. The program includes course content authoring, customizable student assessments, standards-based grade books, mobile communication, and more useful features for teachers at all levels.

Integrated features like Canvas Studio for video sharing, Portfolium for portfolio building, and MasteryConnect for student performance data make managing a classroom a breeze. It’s no wonder over 30% of higher education institutions choose Canvas for their distance learning initiatives.


We all know that there are plenty of useful, educational videos out there. But as a teacher, how do you turn a video into an actual lesson? That’s what Edpuzzle is all about.

The first step is the video. Choose one from YouTube or some other site, or create and upload a video of your own. Next edit the video to make it into a lesson. Add your own voice lessons and embed interactive questions for your students to ensure they’re paying attention and understanding the subject matter. Finally, assign the newly minted lesson to your students and check their progress as they complete the assignment.

You can include all sorts of interactive questions. Multiple choice or true/false questions can be automatically graded within Edpuzzle’s system. Student answers to open-ended questions are sent to you for assessment. You can even add notes throughout the lesson, giving context, i

nstructions, or added information to make a more thorough study. The possibilities are endless and the lessons are engaging and informative. Best of all? The basic plan (with space for 20 videos) is free.


GoGuardian is a leading provider of classroom technology tools. They offer web filtering for safety and security, classroom management, Chrome device management, and other helpful options for the K-12 space. GoGuardian Video Conferencing, is a great way for teachers to connect with students remotely and manage distance learning classrooms with ease.

The video conferencing platform allows teachers to deliver lessons with audio, video, chat, or virtual lecture options. Need a little one on one time with students who are falling behind? The platform allows that as well. And everything is safe and secure, GoGuardian’s specialty.

The program is compatible with Chromebooks, PCs, and other desktop devices running the Chrome browser. Teachers can see what students are doing on their devices during class time, allowing them to keep everyone on track and focused. You can even control mics, webcams, and recordings remotely.

Google Classroom

If you’re distance teaching and haven’t explored the free tools from Google Classroom yet, you’re missing out. Imagine the Google Office suite translated into a K-12 experience and you’ll understand the powerful functionality of this technology.

Your Google Classroom lets you integrate Gmail, Google Docs, and other G Suite options into a paperless classroom management system that boosts communication and enables collaboration. Create classes, send out assignments, track progress, grade work, send feedback, and manage everything in one place.

This tool is free for schools and comes alongside G Suite for Education. Teachers and students can log in and work from any computer or mobile device, and the Classroom technology meets top security standards. It even integrates with other educational resources like Classcraft, Pear Deck, and Quizizz.

Khan Academy

You’ve probably heard or seen the commercials for Khan Academy, but did you know they offer free distance teaching resources? Khan offers video-based lessons for K-12 students. Their lessons range from 1st-grade math, reading, and language arts to AP-level courses.

This non-profit organization has a passion for students, resulting in expert-created, standards-aligned lessons that are free for learners and teachers alike. Teachers can assign videos, articles, and practice exercises. Then they can track student progress with ease.

And the lessons go beyond the usual math, reading, science, and history. You’ll find practical courses like computer programming, life skills and emotional learning, and even test prep courses to prepare students for the SATs or LSATs.

Current events have changed the way teachers and students connect, but with these tools and others, education can continue to progress. In fact, we think you might like some of these tools so much you’ll continue to use them after classrooms reopen and students return.