It's easy to feel anxious, overwhelmed and frustrated if you're asked to create elearning activities and teach remotely because of a school closure.
You might be asking ...
- What are my students going to do?
- How can they continue learning at a high level?
- Can I maintain that teacher/student connection through elearning?
- How can I keep up with the demands of elearning?
Some ideas and examples to follow can help. Having some plug-and-play activities to assign students can help, too -- even if you need to adjust them to fit your students' needs.
We've got you covered.
In this post, you'll find 100 elearning activities, templates and tutorials. They'll help you create elearning activities that lend themselves to powerful learning when students are away from school.
Some ideas to keep in mind as you roll out your eLearning activities:
- Keep communication with students and parents at the forefront. Be ready for questions. Make your communication more thorough than you anticipate.
- Simplicity is key. Activities that are too complicated can be hard to follow through without the proper support.
- Make space for students' emotional needs, too. Their routine is disrupted. They don't get to see their teacher or their fellow students. Help them to make those connections while they're away.
- Don't be too hard on yourself. If you've never taught with eLearning activities, it'll be a learning process. Do your best. Learn and improve.
- Lean on others for support. Use social media and colleagues in your school/district to brainstorm ideas.
Here are over 100 remote learning activities, templates and tutorials you can use tomorrow:
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10+ Graphic Organizer Templates
Graphic organizers give students a process they can follow while they think. By providing constraints, graphic organizers keep students focused but still allow for freedom to brainstorm, think and apply concepts.
These graphic organizers are created in Google Drawings (drawings.google.com). Drawings is like a digital poster board, where you can add text, images, shapes and lines. Make a copy of these graphic organizers into your Google Drive by using a button below. Assign the file you just copied to your students through Google Classroom or your learning management system.
Using Microsoft Office 365? Open a file and go to File > Download as ... > PPTX. That downloads the file in PowerPoint format so you can assign it to your students.
Tutorial: How to make your own templates
Templates save us time. They give us ideas and get us started. And when we find a good one, students benefit. Want to make your own templates like the ones above? Click here to learn how!
More: 25 FREE Google Drawings graphic organizers (and how to make your own)
Sometimes, we just need some help organizing our thoughts — students AND educators. Graphic organizers can help. These "make a copy" graphic organizers can do the trick! Click here to view!
10+ Creative Google Slides Activities
Google Slides is more than a presentation tool for oral reports. Students can use it to design. To create visually. To make fun projects you never expected them to! By thinking a little differently about slides, you open a whole new world to your students.
If you don't use Google, don't worry! Most of these activities work just as well with Microsoft PowerPoint. Any Slides templates you find below can be downloaded as PowerPoint files (File > Download as > PPTX).
10+ Digital Writing Activities
Digital writing opens up endless possibilities. It can be way more than just writing an essay in an online document. Plus, when students can share their work with classmates or an even bigger audience, it can add motivation.
Check out these digital writing activities and templates to get started writing during elearning!
Publish for an audience: Sites
Students can write in documents. But what if they create a website instead? Share the link with others to spread the goodness around! Click here to learn about Google Sites!
Publish for an audience: Adobe Spark Page
Simple, beautiful webpages are easy to create with Adobe Spark Page. Use them to publish reports, essays, and more. Click here to learn about Adobe Spark Page!
10+ Video Project Ideas
Video projects equal instant engagement. Students love to bring their own video project ideas to life. And when they get to share their video projects with their peers, the interest skyrockets. That power has huge potential to be harnessed for educational gain.
But you don’t even need to use a video camera to create video projects! Lots of great, free web tools and apps let you create flashy video with text, images and existing video. Many apps are built to create fun videos that can demonstrate learning.
Lots of free digital tools can help your students create videos:
- Adobe Spark Video (spark.adobe.com) lets students combine images, video clips and more into video projects.
- Flipgrid (flipgrid.com) lets students record short video responses to prompts or questions from the teacher.
- Screencastify (screencastify.com) lets students record video of their screens, their webcams, or both.
Virtual Walking Tour
To show what life looks like from the street all over the world, create a walking tour with Google Maps Street View and a screen recorder like Screencastify. Click here to learn how!
Digital Poster Presentation
Seesaw (seesaw.me) is a class collaboration portal. It includes a powerful creative canvas where students can record their screens, add images, draw on the screen, record voice and more. Combine images and text on the screen and record a presentation. Click here to learn how!
One-Question Deep Dive
Instead of answering lots of questions, students can go deep with one question. A screencast video with Screencastify (screencastify.com) can capture that deep dive. Click here to learn how!
Slide Presentation Videos
Replace student oral reports with videos. Students create slides in PowerPoint or Google Slides. Then they record their screens as they present their slides. Click here to learn how!
Thinking About Thinking Advice Videos
When students discuss their metacognition -- thinking about how they think -- the results can be powerful. They can share a tip or trick in a Flipgrid video reply. Click here to learn how!
The Who Am I? Game with Pixelization
Students pick a person and print a picture of that person. They write out several facts. Then, they record a Flipgrid video with the pixelization filter on. They read the facts, encouraging the viewer to guess their identity before turning off the filter. Click here to learn how!
30-Second Book Talk Challenge
When students pick a book they love, they want to tell others about it! In this challenge, students share the best reasons for reading a new book. Click here to learn how!
When students learn from home, they don't get to make those face-to-face connections with their teacher and classmates. Create a Flipgrid topic just for students to catch up with each other. Click here to get started!
20 video project ideas to engage students
These video project ideas are sure to get your students thinking -- and excited about learning! Click here to view!
Catch the Flipgrid Fever! 50+ ways to use Flipgrid in your class
The possibilities for recording Flipgrid videos for learning are endless! Here are lots of ideas and resources to get you going. Click here to view!
10+ Ways to Use Maps Digitally
Maps fit so nicely for so many content areas and grade levels. They're a perfect fit for geography and social studies. Locations are a big part of novels and stories. Math and science connect with maps well, too.
Lots of great mapping tools online can create great engaging online activities.
Google Maps Street View
See the world from the street. With Google Maps Street View, students drag the yellow "peg man" onto a road. Then they see the world in 3D as if they're there. Assign students to do some exploring 20 locations to tour virtually with Google Maps Street View
Creating stories with Google Earth
Google Earth has creation tools that students create a story with maps. They can add placemarks, lines and shapes, Street View, slides, and more. It's great for creating a virtual trip, doing a "day in the life" project, or place-based math problems.
Retell history in a map
In MyMaps, have students drop pins on locations of important events in a story or history you're studying. Add relevant details and images to each pin. Video Tutorial: How to Use Google MyMaps
Take a Google MyMaps road trip
This road trip activity, created by educator Craig Klement, takes students to different locations on the map to complete activities. It's a different lens to see math activities and can be used for distance learning. MORE: Take a road trip with Google MyMaps
On-demand virtual field trips
With lots of apps and tools available for free, students can experience life in other parts of the world. With many, they can do it from their homes. 20 virtual field trip ideas and activities
20 ways Google MyMaps can enhance lessons in any class
Maps cross all content areas and grade levels. By creating custom MyMaps, students can see the content they’ve studied in a new light. Click here to view!
60 ideas for using Google MyMaps in any content area
Google MyMaps can be used in all content areas and grade levels. What are some different and innovative ways to use this G Suite tool across the curriculum? The #Ditchbook community shared 60 ideas. Click here to view!
Tech Like A PIRATE is now available!
10+ Sites for Early Finishers
"I'm done. Now what do I do?"
When it comes to elearning/remote learning, it's important to have an answer to this question! While at home, students may have extra time on their hands. They may want something stimulating to do. Or they may finish their assignments and want to keep going.
Provide these sites as an option to students after they finish their class work. Don't assume that they won't use them because they're not required for a grade. They may surprise you!
Each time you answer a multiple choice vocabulary question correctly, you generate enough money for the United Nations World Food Programme to buy 10 grains of rice to help reach Zero Hunger. Click here!
Homes are sorted on Dollar Street by monthly income one end showing the poorest, the other the richest and everything in between. Click on any picture to view images and learn more about families around the world. Click here!
20 sites for students with free time on their hands
When students are done with an assignment or project, how can they spend extra time wisely? These sites give them something academic to chew on. Click here to view!
Looking for more teaching ideas like these?
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30+ Ready-to-use Interactive Lessons
Are you looking for ready-to-use interactive lessons that you can assign directly to your class? These interactive lessons come complete with tutorial videos and all of the links and resources your students need to complete the tasks. These lessons are perfect for asynchronous work time during remote learning and can be assigned directly to Google Classroom.
Applied Digital Skills lessons
Google's Applies Digital Skills curriculum has over 100 lessons for upper elementary through adult learners. Below are some of our favorites. Click here to see the entire curriculum.
Create an All About a Topic presentation
In this applied digital skills lesson students pick a topic and share information about it by creating an interactive presentation. The example presentation walks them through sharing about themselves and things they care about. This is the perfect way to introduce creating their own Google Slides presentation. Later they can use the same lesson but present on a topic they have learned about in class.
About a Topic Google Applied Digital Skills lesson
Show Appreciation with Google Slides
In this lesson students will create a slideshow presentation that shows their appreciation for someone.
Show Appreciation with Google Slides Google Applied Digital Skills lesson
Create a Photo Journal in Google Docs
Adding their own photos students will document their experiences in a journal in Google Docs
Create a Photo Journal in Google Docs Google Applied Digital Skills lesson
Research and Develop a Topic
Students will identify credible sources online the use basic coding skills to make their research document interactive in Google Docs.
Research and Develop a Topic Google Applied Digital Skills lesson
Collaborate to Tell a Story
Collaborating with others while working on a project is an important skill. In this lesson students will build upon each others' ideas while responding to a prompt in Google Docs.
Collaborate to Tell a Story Google Applied Digital Skills lesson
Design a Poster About You
This lesson walks students step-by-step through introducing themselves to their classmates by creating a poster you can print (or "hang up" digitally) with Google Drawings.
Design a Poster About You from Google Applied Digital Skills
Create an Infographic
Summarizing information in an engaging way is a skill that students will always be able to put to use. Using Google Drawings students will create an infographic to communicate information.
Design an Infographic Google Applied Digital Skills lesson
Also check out Creating eye-popping infographics with Google Drawings for more ideas.
Create a Guide to an Area
Create a Budget in Google Sheets
Who doesn't need practice with budgeting skills? This lesson will help students learn how to research and compare costs in a spreadsheet.
Create a Budget in Google Sheets Google Applied Digital Skills lesson
Create a Blog with Google Sites
Google Sites is easy, I mean really easy, to use and website creation and blogging are fun and great skills to have. In this lesson students will learn about safety and security while also creating their own blog.
Create a Blog with Google Sites Google Applied Digital Skills lesson
Build a Digital Portfolio
A digital portfolio is a great way to showcase the work done over the course of a semester, year or even over several years. Students will learn to use Google Sites to create a webpage to share their work.
Build a Digital Portfolio Google Applied Digital Skills lesson
PBS Learning Media interactive lessons
PBS has created and shared tons of media rich, engaging, digital lessons for a wide range of grade levels and subject areas. You can view all of the interactive lessons here and search by subject area or grade level. Also check out this interactive lesson for teachers that walks you through how to use these resources with your students.
Teacher tip: Combine these activities with the Applied Digital Skills lessons above to give students an opportunity to learn something new then show what they know using Google tools.
These lessons are listed in grade level order beginning with K-2 through 9-12.
What Edison Teaches Us About Success
In this lesson, geared towards grades 3-5, students will study the character traits of Thomas Edison and look into how they contributed to his success.
What Edison Teaches Us About Success PBS Learning Media interactive lesson
Storytelling with Words and Pictures
Students in grades 3-6 will explore story elements and structure and write a story of their own.
Storytelling with Words and Pictures PBS Learning Media interactive lesson
Making the Case for Health
In this lesson for grades 5-8 students will examine an effort to address youth obesity while developing an argument for healthy changes they would like to make in their own school.
Making the Case for Health PBS Learning Media interactive lesson
Straight to the Source: Primary and Secondary Sources
6-8th grade students will learn to identify primary and secondary sources as they watch video clips from a documentary.
Straight to the Source: Primary and Secondary Sources PBS Learning Media interactive lesson
Latino Americans Share Their Experiences
This interactive lesson for grades 6-9 guides students as they examine the challenges three famous Latino Americans faced during their journey to success.
Latino Americans Share Their Experience PBS Learning Media interactive lesson
Invent Apps That Help Others and Build Empathy
This lesson takes students through a discovery of how new apps help improve the lives of people with disabilities or illness. In a final project students in grades 6-12 will use the design process to create their own app addressing a problem facing others in their community.
Invent Apps That Help Others and Build Empathy PBS Learning Media interactive lesson
Why is "fake news" so effective?
In this interactive lesson students will study fake news, trust in the media and the history of yellow journalism. Students in grades 6-13+ will use the five key points of media literacy to critically analyze media.
Why is "fake news" so effective? PBS Learning Media interactive lesson
Students explore why tensions often exist between law enforcement officers and people of color. In this interactive lesson for grades 9-12 students will learn about perspectives from police and the community and what steps have been taken or proposed to try to improve the situation.
Police Reform PBS Learning Media interactive lesson
Who, Me? Biased?: Understanding Implicit Bias
Implicit bias influences our thinking and actions without us even realizing it. In this lesson students in grades 9-12 will examine implicit bias and how it influences our thinking.
Who, Me? Biased?: Understanding Implicit Bias PBS Learning Media interactive lesson
Google CS First units
Google's CS First is a completely FREE computer science curriculum that makes it easy for any teacher to bring computer science into any class. Students learn through self-paced video lesson tutorials using a block based coding language called Scratch.
The lessons are hands-on for students and provide everything they need. Teachers can have as many students and classes as they want.
8 easy ways to combine coding and content with CS First
You don't have to be a computer science expert or teach a coding class to use CS First. These activities integrate very easily into other subject areas and are perfect for taking "show what you" know options a step farther by integrating computer science as a choice. Check them out here.
Do More with Google Classroom
Teach better. Save time. Make a difference.
The short how-to tutorials on Google Classroom are EVERYWHERE. But how do we teach well with it? In this book, you'll find practical ideas to do great teaching with Google Classroom and thrive.
10+ More Elearning Activity Ideas
Elearning activities can take all shapes and sizes. Students can draw from a wide variety of tools -- even some they can use when they're not online!
This last section is a compilation of other various activities that could be used in elearning activities. They're linked to resources that share lots of other ideas for you to try, too!
These self-paced learning journeys will lead students to deeper learning. Create your own or choose from hundreds in the free "Teachers Give Teachers" Hyperdocs gallery. Click here to learn more!
K-2 Student Activities
Early elementary students do elearning activities, too! Their unique needs need special strategies sometimes. Former kindergarten teacher Kris Szajner shares templates and activities to try. Click here!
Curate Lists and Collections
Information is everywhere. Organizing that information in meaningful ways is powerful. How can we teach our students to effectively curate content? And how can we organize the resources available to us as educators? Learn more here!
More Remote Learning Resources
There have been lots of resources shared by educators on social media. We will continue to update this list as we find them or as they are created. If you know of more not listed here please share them in the comments.
- 10 Jamboard templates for distance learning
- How to create Google Meet breakout rooms for differentiated learning
- 80 back to school activities for the remote learning classroom
- The Remote Learning Checklist: Tools, tips and ideas
- Flipped Learning ebook by Nate Ridgway and Stacey Roshan
- Offline ideas for #RemoteLearning from @Filibuster3, @VictoriaTheTech, @KristinOropez
- A Quick-Start Guide to Distance Learning by Stephanie DeMichele
- A list of education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings
- Making the transition to remote learning from Microsoft EDU
- "Learning from home" Discovery Library playlist from Flipgrid
Looking for more remote learning resources?
Our eLearning page has TONS of resources for bringing learning directly to your students no matter where they are!
- 70 remote learning activities templates and tutorials
- Distance learning lesson planning guides and templates
- FREE ebooks for getting started or taking your remote teaching futher
- More resources added all of the time!