70 elearning activities, templates and tutorials

Ed Tech

Ed Tech | Thursday, March 12, 2020

70 elearning activities, templates and tutorials

70 elearning activities, templates and tutorials (1)

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 70 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 70 eLearning activities, templates and tutorials you can use tomorrow:

Quick Navigation: 70+ Elearning Activities, Templates and Tutorials

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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.

Venn Diagram Template

List similarities and differences when comparing two topics. Click here to get this template!

Timeline Template

Cause and Effect Chain Template

Lets students identify actions that caused other actions and their effects. Click here to get this template!

Fishbone Planner Template

Lets students list the advantages and disadvantages of a topic. Click here to get this template!

Flow Chart Template

Lets students display the linear relationship among several things. Click here to get this template!

Frayer Model Template

Provides a framework for a thorough understanding of new words. Click here to get this template!

Vocabulary Cluster Template

Lets students identify synonyms, antonyms and related words to a specific word. Click here to get this template!

Character Map Template

Lets students list important information about a character, like what the character says and what the student thinks of the character. Click here to get this template!

Sequencing Template

Students put tiles of information in order to demonstrate understanding. (Submitted by Justin Malin, Twitter: @justinrmalin) Click here to get this template!

Then and Now Template

Students compare events (like immigration) from the past and from current times. (Submitted by Katie Nicholson, Insta: @inthenicofhines) Click here to get this template!

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!

25 FREE Google Drawings graphic organizers
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).

Stop-Motion Animation

Put a concept in motion with animation in slides. By flipping through slides, students can make their ideas move. It's not as hard as you think! Click here to learn how!

WATCH: Stop-motion slides tutorial video

MORE: 11 tips for stop-motion animation

Google slides icon boards with the noun project icons ( thenounproject )

Infographic Templates

Create brain-friendly, verbal/visual infographics. Using these "icon board" templates, they're quick and easy. Click here to learn how!

Sticky Note Brainstorming

Get your ideas out visually. Organize them into clusters. Let students show what they're thinking! Click here to learn how!

Digital Interactive Notebooks

Ditch that composition notebook! Create digital interactive notebooks -- and use the pre-designed activities in this template. Click here to learn how!

Photo Comic Strips

Use the webcam on your students' devices to take pictures. Then add speech bubbles and turn them into comic strips to show what they've learned! Click here to learn how!

Student collaboration in shared Google Sides

Collaborative Shared Slides

Create one slide presentation for your whole class. Each student gets a slide. Create a collaborative digital learning space! Click here to learn how!

Using Google Slides to create Instagram stories in class (1)

Instagram Stories Activities

Give students a slides template that recreates the Instagram Stories experience. They show what they know with images and videos! Click here to learn how!

PDF Ebooks

Let students create books! Using slides, they can add images and text. Then, save them as PDF files to finish! Click here to learn how!

Choice Stories

Remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? Let students create stories or sequences where the reader chooses the next move! Click here to learn how!

Twitter template

Tweet for Someone Template

Use this template to let students create a Twitter message for someone they're studying. Click here to get this template!

30 interactive Google Slides activities for classroom excitement

Looking for even more ideas to use slides in creative ways? This post is full of them!  Click here to view!

30 google slides activities for classroom excitement

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!


This is how videos are planned out. Have an aspiring YouTuber -- or kids who want to work like them? Writing in a storyboard could be the trick!  Click here for a simple template!

timeline projects with google drawings


Timelines can get students writing, and they can feature deeper thinking pretty easily.  Click here to learn how!

Image annotation

Open a new Google Drawing or slide presentation. Add an image. Then, insert shapes and arrows to label and add details. Quick and easy. Click here to learn more!

20 Google Sites tips and tricks (

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: Sway

Sway, a free Microsoft tool, lets students create stunning webpages with great design, images, text, links and more.  Click here to learn about Sway!

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!

Better book reports

Students don't have to report on their reading through essays or -- worse! -- the traditional reading log! Check out these ideas for book reports. Click here to read more!

One story, many endings

What if that story you just read had a different ending? Let students create their own alternate endings with this fun activity! Click here to learn how!

Papers and research reports

Some handy Google tools can streamline research and writing for your studnets. Click here for ideas!

Free Google Slides & PowerPoint themes for teachers (plus lesson ideas and activities to use in class)

Free Slides/PowerPoint templates

In this post, we pair free SlidesMania templates with activities your students can do. Click here to get these templates!

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!

Book Reports/Reviews

Students can share about books they've ready, what they learned, and what they think about them.  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!

Number Talks

Have students explain their thinking and critique the reasoning of others as they work through a math problem. Click here to learn how!

Student-to-Student Connections

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!

20 video project ideas to engage students (1)
Catch the Flipgrid Fever! 30+ 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!

catch the flipgrid fever 30 ways to use flipgrid in your class
8 YouTube-inspired ideas for class videos

Many of the most popular YouTube videos fall into several genres. We can base student video projects off them for lots of learning fun!  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

Google Maps Treks

Street View Treks take students to remarkable places around the world. They can then explore with guided Street View tours, videos, audio, and more. Visit Google Maps Treks

Google Earth

What sets Google Earth apart is its ability to see elevation changes from the air. Look at 3D renderings of buildings, mountains, and more. They make for great screenshots students can add to work. Visit Google Earth

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.

MORE: Creating with Google Earth: 10 ideas to try

Google MyMaps

MyMaps creates custom maps. Students can pin a location and add text, images, links, and more to that pin. MyMaps can be shared with the class, too. Visit MyMaps

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

Display free WiFi locations

If students need places to access WiFi in your community, you can create a MyMap to display where they are and provide details. Visit MyMaps

Google Tour Creator

Create a virtual reality tour. Use images from Google Maps Street View or your own 360-degree images. View them in virtual reality. LISTEN: N.C. educator Darcy Grimes explains how

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!

Tech Like A Pirate book cover

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!

Free Rice

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!


GeoGuessr uses Google Maps Street View to place you on the ground somewhere in the world. You must use context clues to guess your location and pin it on a map.  Click here!


This site puts a flashy twist on civics-related topics, puts a ton of resources in teachers’ hands and lets students play REALLY fun games. Click here!


Kids are curious. Wonderopolis is a site that asks and answers interesting questions about almost anything. Click here!


With Code.org, students can find self-guided coding activities and tutorials. They’re leveled for all ages, from elementary school up. Click here!

MORE: 20+ ways to celebrate Hour of Code in any class

Street View Treks

Street View Treks gives a first-person view to some of the most spectacular locations in the world, from Mount Fuji to the Grand Canyon to the Taj Mahal in India. Click here!


Duolingo works a lot like Rosetta Stone, guiding students methodically through language lessons. But it’s free! Click here!

5 Clue Challenge

Students watch these short videos. They get 5 clues to guess the animal, location or person. Click here!

Dollar Street

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!

Google Quick Draw!

Quick, Draw! tells you what to draw. Then, Google’s artificial intelligence tries to guess what you’re drawing. 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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  • 101 Practical Ways to Ditch That Textbook, Matt's insanely practical guide full of new teaching ideas.
  • 101 Ways to Ditch That Textbook with G Suite, tons of practical, creative ways to use Google tools in the classroom.
  • 50 FREE Templates for Teachers, with templates you can copy and download to assign directly to students.
  • 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!

    Interactive Digital Posters

    Forget the glue sticks, markers and magazines to cut for pictures. Create interactive posters with Google Drawings. Click here!

    30+ digital escape rooms (plus a step by step guide for creating your own)

    Digital Escape Rooms

    Escape rooms are popular and fun! Students can learn by immersing themselves in digital escape rooms. Create your own with our guide or use one of 30+ examples  Click here!

    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!

    Offline Activities

    Not everyone has reliable internet access at home. For schools with this problem, assigning activities that can be done offline can help. Click here!

    Caption This!

    What was that person thinking? What would he/she have said? Use photos and historic art with speech/thought bubbles to answer those questions. It's visual and fun! Click here!

    Tutorial Videos

    Are you a visual person? Prefer to watch a video? In this post, you'll find video tutorials and strategies for some of our most popular ideas. Click here!

    Mosaic Art

    Want your students to express themselves creatively with art? These mosaic art activities turn a photo into something special! Click here!

    Memorable Techy Learning

    Want to grab students' attention? Make learning memorable? Our tech can help! This resources page is devoted to the ideas from my upcoming book Tech Like a Pirate. 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!

    Child sitting in a chair with a laptop

    Looking for more remote learning resources?

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