With the midterm exam period looming, classes are at risk of becoming monotonous as educators work tirelessly to meet the curriculum requirements. Your students’ readiness is of paramount importance – they need to be equipped with the skills, motivation, knowledge and confidence to succeed.
Here are five creative tools to breathe life into your resources:
Animaker is an amazing tool which allows you to create animated videos to illustrate concepts without spending hours. Users can start by choosing pre-built animations, including characters and text, to build videos of up to two minutes (for the free version). An animated video illustrating a difficult concept might be just what your students need to come to grips with their work! YouTube offers some great examples created by fellow educators or you can visit Animaker’s website to try it out for yourself.
Prezi is presentation software that allows you to see the bigger picture with engaging transitions that keep students captivated. The bigger picture can often be the missing link in a student’s understanding, and the logical flow of a well prepared Prezi can be that link. You can create presentations or customise templates and share the link with your students.
Another amazing animation tool, Powtoon, is easy to use and has storyboards available for inspiration. The software allows educators to create animated videos that can assist in captivating learners’ attention or be sent to them in a flipped classroom environment.
The educator can simply copy the link or export the video to have interactive discussions about the video.
Some information is best represented visually and infographics (a visual representation of information or data) and posters are ideal for this purpose. Piktochart is a very useful tool that allows you to create infographics and posters. Piktochart is easy to use and has beautiful templates that provide you with a variety of options. The infographics can be exported as images and shared with your students.
Need some pictures to enhance your learning material? Pixabay comes to the rescue and offers a library of over 1.4 million free to use stock photos. Simply visit the website, find the perfect picture or photo, and use it to create beautiful learning experiences.
These tools will never replace the day-to-day classes, but they might just add enough fun to inspire and motivate your students to embrace their learning journeys and have a great midterm exam period! Bonus – if you’re using the ITSI platform, any of the video links (URLs), images and presentations can be shared directly into your students’ textbooks via the Educator Console to enhance their learning journey!
Nicolas Matthee is an educational researcher at ITSI. His work focuses on Cognitive Psychology, Educational Neuroscience, and Pedagogy. He further specialises as a Ritual Studies specialist with a focus on Ritual, Liturgical and Thanatological Studies and how they relate to different technologies and cyber contexts.
He is a research associate at the Department of Practical Theology at the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Pretoria. Non-academic related expertise includes game and 3D graphics development for computer and mobile environments.