My five favorite tools to engage online learners

Hi, this is George Hanshaw, and I teach instructors and designers how to create meaningful learning experiences, and facilitate connections between learners and content. Today I am going to show you my favorite tools for engaging online learners.

Polldaddy is an easy way to take the temperature of your class. You can quickly create star ratings or the thumbs up or down. The simple rating system makes it easy for the learners to give you their input. I use ratings on multiple occasions, such as, a check in at the beginning of a class: "give me a thumbs up when you feel ready to get started" or for seeing how things may or may not be working: "on a scale from 1 - 5 stars how effective do you feel this tool is for creating engagement".

Thinglink is another fantastic tool because it engages at many levels. You can embed a video, audio, text, graphic within sections of a primary graphic. As long as you think from the perspective of meaning, you can create power engagement here.

Adobe Spark Page is a tool I use for graphical storytelling. Adobe gives us a simple way to blend graphics and text to come up with engaging materials.

Hapyak is what I use to create an interactive video quickly and easily. Pop up comments adding images, hotspots, chapters and quizzes directly to your videos is powerful for engagement and creating meaningful learning.

Flipgrid is my favorite tool for engaging in social learning. Many LMS's have a video response type of tool, but even those don't compare because of the way flipgrid uses a grid to set the responses up.

No matter the tool, remember that adults want something that is meaningful and they can use.

If you are involved with learning in any capacity, speak into my latest research by participating in a short microlearning study.

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