Unconventional Learning Tools for Students And Teachers

Unconventional Learning Tools for Students And Teachers

Various studies have proven that a large number of students excel in the essential courses, math, and science for instance when the instructors incorporate hands-on and active learning techniques where students can participate in discussions and problem-solving versus being taught in a lecture-style setting. To enhance the learning experience, there are several software options, websites, and applications instructors and students can use to make assignments, projects, and tasks more interactive and enjoyable.


Dotstorming is a collection of tools that allow students and teachers the ability to collaborate while brainstorming, planning, and decision making. This software could be useful for class discussions and group projects amongst other activities. Instructors can use the voting boards to list options that get students engaged in the task or activity and allows them to get a clear view of the decision-making process in real-time. Students can use the walls feature as a whiteboard in group projects to present and merge their ideas. Instructors can use this same tool on Dotstorming to present and collaborate ideas and have students engage and create conclusions using virtual stickies. The collage feature enables a group of participants to draw together on either the same or individual canvases in real-time. 


Brilliant is a learning platform that encourages problem-solving and critical thinking through interactive lessons and assessments. Teachers can apply for a free account and gain access to over 60 courses with mind-bending problems and puzzles. Students can use various exercises to improve critical thinking skills in the following subjects:

  •         Foundational Math (Perplexing Probability, Algebra, 3D Geometry, Pre-Calculus, etc)
  •         Advanced Math (Statistics, Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, etc.)
  •         Foundational Science (Scientific Thinking, Chemical Reactions, Electricity & Magnetism, etc)
  •         Advanced Science (Quantum Objects, Solar Energy, Gravitational Physics, etc)
  •         Foundational Computer Science (Data Structures, Search Engines, Algorithm Fundamentals, etc)
  •         Advanced Computer Science (Cryptocurrency, Quantum Computing, Computer Memory, etc)


At one point in time during Biology class, I recall my instructor stopping the lesson at hand so students could draw the mitochondrion and all of its properties that were displayed on the projector. In this digital age, students can use NoteLedge, take a photo, and add the properties as the Teacher is leading versus the long and drawn-out pause. Not only do students have access to various templates, pens, and other editing tools for taking notes, they are also able to use the audio option to record and create videos all in one session. It also allows students and teachers alike to drag and drop images or texts from online resources into notes with a web clipper. NoteLedge has an option for students and teachers to export notes to PDFs with audio and videos, as well as switch to presentation mode to present to an online audience. Noteledge is great for those out-of-the-box projects!


A monthly membership to streaming platform MasterClass will give you access to over 100 of the world’s leaders in categories that range from writing, design, cooking, music, science, storytelling, design, and more. Students can take advantage of one video or an entire course to gain extra knowledge. Instructors can use the content to enhance their courses as well. Masterclass Instructor Shonda Rhimes can instruct you on pitching your show while Jessie Krebs is leading a course on surviving in the wilderness and Serena Williams is giving tennis lessons.


Imagine stepping into a room where people were searching for the same answers as you. Quora is just that, a question-and-answer forum open to millions of people who have the answer to your Quora’d questions. Quora allows users to vote, by giving a thumbs up or down, to promote high-quality responses. This lets other users know if the responses are actually credible or found useful. Users not only find content based on education, but various topics and conversational pieces/articles arise on the homepage depending on the users’ interests. Believe it or not, some members have built a strong reputation for submitting credible facts and responses to various questions. Any question you think of typing into the search bar on Google has probably been searched on Quora.

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