If you provide online teaching in a digital classroom, or if you teach offline in a real-life classroom or training room and want to use digital tools for more engaging and fun learning, this post is for you!
Providing training online as a freelance trainer, a corporate trainer or as a teacher, is becoming increasingly popular. And the good news is that there are now some excellent tools, platforms. apps, and aids for you that you can use online to provide online training.
This list is often updated so please also let us know by email or in the comments at the bottom of this email, of any useful online tools that can be used for trainers and teachers.
Video Screen Sharing in Real-Time & Sharing Videos
Zoom is a platform that was originally designed for business meetings online and for companies to have an online space for employees. Zoom though has developed into an excellent tool for use as a virtual classroom and their software is now used by:
- Individual teachers (my yoga teacher in the UK is even using it now to provide online yoga lessons)
- Universities and schools to create large virtual classrooms for hundreds of students
- Businesses to provide staff and employees live online training as eLearning modules or real-time online classes and tuition.
Conclusion: Great for teaching online for both individual freelance trainers, and for both small and large companies. One of the best tools on the market for providing online training.
2. Skype Video
a) For Freelance Trainers and Individuals Teaching Online
Skype video has traditionally been very popular for video calls to family and friends but Skype is also increasingly being used by businesses these days and it is an excellent option if you are looking to provide both teaching and training online. Skype also, by the way, integrates nicely with Microsoft teams (see below).
As an individual offering corporate training online (i.e. if you are self-employed), you can use the personal version of Skype and this is an incredibly easy and cheap way to offer online classes and lessons 1-to-1. It’s also a great tool for researchers such as those doing Skype interviews for Masters and PhD research.
On Skype, you can easily share your screen with the people or person you are chatting with by clicking the overlapping boxes at the bottom of the interface. You will see these boxes when you are in a video call with someone (see image above).
b) For Company Training Online (and Co-working Space Online)
Skype is also excellent for Groups!
In addition to being an excellent option for team meetings and online co-working space, you can use Skype Groups for teaching and training employees and staff from afar.
Wherever in the world you physically are, you can provide external or in-house training online, for up to 50 people at a time.
Conclusion: Brilliant for offering 1-to-1 teaching and training online especially for teaching languages and for many one-to-one topics. Also a very good option for busineeses of any size.
3. MS Teams
If you are a fan of Microsoft and already use their software such as Microsoft 365, then you will very likely love their online collaboration software.
I’ve used Microsoft Teams and it is always easy even for those people not used to working and collaborating online. I prefer ‘Zoom’ for teaching online in all honesty but for team meetings and office chats, this is as good as any option (although not the cheapest).
Conclusion: Particularly good for larger companies and very easy to use for online teachers and trainers.
4. Google Hangouts (for Teachers)
Google Hangouts is another video conferencing service that is also great for those of you looking to provide live classes and lessons online. With hangouts you can:
- Share screens and files
- Use a shares hangout space to collaborate
You will need to have a Google account, so if you already use Gmail you will already have a Google account that you can use for Google Hangouts. The short intro video below gives you a flavor of hangouts and how you can use it as an online trainer or teacher.
Conclusion: Whilst Zoom is my favourite, Google Hangouts is more than sufficient and really quite easy to use for teaching online.
Paid Tools for Providing Training Online
Teachable is one of the world’s leaders and the biggest platform worldwide for placing your courses online as a trainer, for users to study in their own time and at their own pace.
Teachable also provides a very clean and stylish online school for you. Furthermore, it is very user friendly and offers very affordable plans that accommodate all trainers and teachers looking to add their courses online.
On Teachable, you:
- Create your school
- Add your content by uploading videos, text, images or whatever content you want to add and include in your lessons
- You set the pricing of your courses and design your sales page/s (inside teachable)
Here at Symonds Training, we ourselves use Teachable for our ‘Train the Trainer Online Course’ and for our sister site’s Blogging for Beginners online course.
Conclusion: Teachable is the best option if you are looking to add your own online course as a trainer and so that your users can individually study your course online in their own time from anywhere.
Thinkific is similar to Teachable.com in what it does in that they are both platforms on which you, as a freelance trainer or teacher, can add your courses and sell them.
Having tried both Thinkific and Teachable though, I found Teachable far easier to use and to do everything technically and I love the classroom design that students see when they are logged into Teachable.
You might though find Thinkific easier so it can be worth trying out a demo version.
Conclusion: If you are looking for a one-to-one platform for putting your online courses live for people to do in their own time, worth trying out.
Free and Paid Tools & Services for Online Teachers and Trainers
7. We Transfer
WeTransfer is something I suspect you might have already used given it is one of the best tools on the market for transferring large files securely across the Internet.
There are both free and paid versions with the free version allowing transfers of up to 2 GB and the Pro-package lets you send files up to 20 GB.
So, if you want to send large files to team members or to students (such as to send them the digital handbook), this is a great way to avoid clogging up your email box, if you have lots of large files to send and receive.
Conclusion: If you are transferring large files online for any reason, WeTransfer is arguably the best service online and you can use the free version!
Socrative is a handy site given that they enable you to easily and quickly create your own interactive quizzes that you can share on your digital classroom.
You can also use Socrative if you wish to create digital classrooms (up to 20 classrooms) with up to 50 students in each class.
Conclusion: I have not used the classrooms feature but this is certainly a good option for making quizzes for your digital classes.
Goconqr – whether you are a student, teacher or freelance trainer, GoConqr is one of my favorite sites for easily and quickly creating classy looking:
- and for creating study planners and a course builder
Conclusion: On GoConqr, I often use their Flashcard and quiz feature and find them super easy to use.
You are most likely familiar with YouTube and have at one time or another watched a video or two on this platform.
We have recently just created our own YouTube Channel (would be incredibly grateful if you subscribed) and this is a great way to reach out to potential students if you are a freelance trainer offering training and your own classes and lessons online.
Conclusion: As a freelance trainer or online teacher, YouTube can be a wonderful resource for building a following and building interest in yourself as a brand, as the teacher trainer. And it’s free. You can also potentially make money from the ads that show if you build enough followers.
If you haven’t already been using Grammarly, where have you been 🙂
Grammarly is a plugin you can attach to your browser or to MS Word to get it to automatically check your grammar. Hey – we all make mistakes when writing!
You can set the language i.e. American English or British English and Grammarly will highlight any badly constructed sentences or spelling errors.
Conclusion: If you do nothing else on this page, at least install Grammarly on your Google Chrome browser if you use Google Chrome. Grammarly is FREE and brilliant!
12. ConvertKit Mailing List
As someone teaching online, it is essential that you have direct contact with your students and prospective students. Remember MySpace or Friends Reunited? These sites do often go out of business and, with them, you lose all of your followers.
There is a simple solution though! You need a mail list from day 1 of your business being online and this is super-important!
Indeed, the key to being able to keep people informed of your new courses and to build up a rapport to build trust with potential students is to have a digital mail list.
You need, in other words, to be able to market your courses online to find students!
This means that you have people sign up to your mail list and the easiest way to do this is to offer a freebie (an incentive) such as we do on this site with our freelance trainers FREE 7-Day email course.
ConvertKit is arguably the best mailing list software online and it is one of the most popular with online business owners, especially with online teachers and online trainers.
Conclusion: The best mail list software available and it is essential to build your mail list from the very start to ensure you have a direct way to always target your existing and potential students.
12. Fotor (Drag and Drop Design)
Fotor is an incredibly easy to use design package that you do NOT NEED any design skills to use.
As an online teacher, you will no doubt need to design graphics for your PPT PowerPoint slides, or for your online classroom, as well as for all other documents you will use as a teacher.
With Fotor, you can literally drag and drop graphics and images that are supplied on Fotor, into pre-made templates. So easy.
Conclusion: Fotor is so easy to use given that, as mentioned, you do NOT need to be a designer. Brilliant tool!
13. Canva (for Educators)
On a par with Fotor and very similar, is Canva. For online educators you have two choices:
- Canva for Education (free service) such as if you are an offline school looking to use online resources for creating teaching materials.
- Standard Canva – such as if you are an individual, ie. freelance trainer or online teacher, who needs to create a professional design but without you having any design skills. Drag, drop and download!
Conclusion: Use either Canva or Fotor and you can design images, graphics for your lesson plans in minutes. Two amazing tools with FREE and a very inexpensive paid version for advanced features.
14. 5 Minute Lesson Plan
Some of the very best online teaching tools for providing eLearning are the simplest of all.
The 5-minute lesson plan drives you to saving lesson planning time and towards, as the title suggests, being able to effortlessly create a quality lesson plan in 5 minutes. And it works!
Conclusion: If you are a teacher or corporate trainer who needs to make lesson plans, DO try this tool!
15. Poll Everywhere
Poll Everywhere makes creating and generating poll results super-easy. This software integrates with:
- Google slides
Conclusion: If you want to make both offline real-life classes and online training classes and sessions more interactive and more fun, why not create a poll? If you do, it doesn’t get much easier than by using ‘Poll Everywhere’.
16. Quizlet (for Teachers)
Quizlet is al alternative tool for you to ‘Poll Everywhere’ for creating interactive games and activities.
You can use Quizlet for offline real-life classroom teaching or for your digital classroom lessons. Quizlet lets you create a game based on images, text, and audio that you add to this app.
Conclusion: I recommend to certainly give ‘Quizlet’ a trial to add more activitiy into your training days, worlkshops and classes. Very easy to use!
Padlet is a tool that I absolutely love and cannot recommend highly enough.
This is a digital pinboard that your students can use and this is a great tool for making your training sessions or classroom teaching more fun, interactive, and interesting.
Conclusion: Using Padlet is fun and I find that it really makes corporate training sessions that i run more interesting. It’s great even for corporate training games and activities and games.
Extra Tools for Teaching Online
18. New Portal: Meetup.com Online Groups
Great for Freelance trainers looking to teach online.
Meetup.com has traditionally been a site that is used worldwide for organizing events, workshops and get-togethers. They in fact have over 35 million users!
Meetup has now also introduced an Online Groups service and this means that you can now also organize events online through their system, using video-conferencing to actually offer classes to teach online via meetup.com
Meetup.com does it all as you might have read in our post on meetup.com for freelance trainers. In other words, you can teach everything from yoga classes, to book reading clubs to wellness workshops and presentation skills workshops.
Whatever you can think of, someone organizes it somewhere in the world and meetup.com is one of the biggest portals worldwide for offering events and then building the attendees list and taking payments.
19. Symonds Training PowerPoint PPT Training Course Materials
- Creating training course materials is very time-consuming!
- Finding good activities to include in the training to make the training and teaching enjoyable is not easy.
- You might not have the experience or interest in designing PPT PowerPoint slides
- And you might not be highly experienced in pedagogy (learning styles)
You have to research the topic area in-depth and even if you are already familiar with the topic, creating a training program around it is not easy.
The solution – Buying Digital Training Course Materials
Buying pre-designed packages that are designed by professional researchers and who have expertise in these fields and who have pedagogy and teaching experience at the highest level.
These digital training course materials include:
- PPT Powerpoint slides
- Digital teacher’s notes and handbook
- Students’ handbook (digital copy)
- eCertificate that can be customized and printed
This list will get bigger and I will review the ones already listed regularly. If you know of any great tools for
- classroom teachers wanting to use digital tools for more interactive learning
- online teachers and corporate trainers
Then please add your comments below or email us directly.
Dr Paul Symonds
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