In times of COVID, everyone is moving to online work, and the tech world has risen to the challenge with a great range of apps to accommodate this. Teaching English is a great option for working online. You can choose your hours, decide your pay, and create personalised classes. There are lots of apps out there to help you with your online teaching career, whether you’ve just started teaching or you are experienced and looking to improve.

The apps out there aren’t just for connecting with students, there are lots of other great ones too. There are apps to keep you organised, assign homework and keep track of progress. Then there are the fun ones that help keep your students engaged in learning and make classes more interesting. So, here’s a list of some of the best ones, organised into the different ways they can help you as a teacher:

Keeping Organised  

Google Classroom 

This is potentially the most well-known and is great for pretty much everything. Google Classroom allows you to create individual classes, invite specific students and keep on track of what you’ve been doing. Here are a few of its excellent features:

  • You can post announcements that get sent out to all of your students (or just specific students) and add attachments (files, video, etc.)
  • You can create assignments with due dates, attachments, and instructions. You can even use google forms to create self-grading quizzes.   
  • You can communicate directly with students.
  • You can give each class an individual theme, either pre-set or created by you.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Android and IOS devices

Edmodo 

Edmodo is another great option for keeping organised. It does many of the same things as Google Classroom, including creating assignments and monitoring progress. A bonus of this app is that you can communicate directly with parents via the app, which you can’t do with Google Classroom.  

Price: Free

Compatibility: Android and IOS devices

Tutoring

There are lots of apps that connect you directly with students. These apps can help you start teaching online either as a way to make some extra cash in your free time or as a way to start developing your online career. 

When it comes to tutoring apps, there are options both for those with and without qualifications. However, getting qualified with a TEFL certificate opens a lot of doors for online teachers. There are more options and most likely higher pay, so it’s certainly something to consider if you’re looking to develop a career as an online English teacher.

Italki

This app is one of the most well known. It’s great because you decide on how often you want to teach and for how much. On the downside, Italki can be quite competitive. Most teachers usually have a certificate and/or teaching experience. This one is great if you fit in that category, or it’s something to invest time in if you’re planning for a future career working from home. Teachers starting out often set lower rates so they can get good reviews and gain more students.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Android and IOS devices

Cambly

Cambly is a good option if you’ve just started teaching. Maybe you’re still working towards your qualification, or you’ve recently qualified and want a way to gain experience. The application process is easy – you need to be a native speaker, have a reliable internet connection, good quality headphones, and a reasonably good computer with a webcam. You get paid a set rate of $10.20 an hour for adults and $12 an hour for kids. You can also specify what you’re best qualified to teach, be it basic English or more advanced level exam prep.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Android and IOS devices

Palfish

Palfish is a good intermediary between Cambly and Italki. The application process is slightly harder as they require you to have a teaching certificate, but you don’t need to be experienced to start.  So, if you’ve just qualified this is a good option for you. A big bonus for this one is that you set your rate, with teachers usually earning between $16-20 an hour on average. The app also works entirely on either a smartphone or a tablet, so it’s well suited for working from home.  However, compared to Cambly which is global, Palfish focuses entirely on a Chinese market. This is something to think about if your time-zone isn’t compatible.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Android and IOS devices

Teaching tools

Lesson planning and coming up with creative ways to keep students engaged can be some of the most time-consuming elements of being a teacher. Luckily, there are lots of apps to help with this part of teaching too.

Kahoot

This app is doing amazing things for making learning fun. You can turn pretty much any topic into a game, which the students play while learning at the same time. This is great for younger learners (teen and below) and the perfect way to get students engaged with the information you’ve introduced, especially midway through class when attention levels are dropping

Price: Basic version is free.  

Compatibility: Android and IOS devices

Doceri

This app allows you to bring whiteboards into a virtual setting. This is useful for younger kids, as you can draw out simple things to keep them engaged. It’s also great for older students as you can outline harder parts or emphasise important points.

Price: One-time purchase cost of $30

Compatibility: Only for IOS devices

Educreations

This is another one that is useful for keeping younger kids engaged, which anyone who has taught online knows can be challenging. Both students and teachers can create videos for class. This is a great way to communicate new concepts visually. You can also share these videos on social media.

Price: Basic version is free.

Compatibility: Only for IOS devices.

Answer Garden

Polling apps like this one have become popular in a classroom setting. Students can send in their answers to a question, which appears on screen in a word cloud with the most popular words becoming larger. If you’re teaching groups online then this is a great way to get students interested.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Any device with internet.  

Storybird

This is a fun way to bring out a student’s creative side. Students can create stories or poems based on a series of images. This can be used at all levels and is great for allowing students to independently use language they’ve learnt in a way that keeps them engaged. The app is a little expensive, so potentially more for advanced teachers who are earning more.

Price: $8.99/month

Compatibility: Android and IOS devices

Memrise

This app improves on the many flashcard apps out there. Memrise has set classes based on groups of connected words. They use images and real voices to teach, so students are exposed to real language use from the beginning. Teachers can make classes, share them with students and monitor their progress.

Price: $8.99/month

Compatibility: Android and IOS devices

Hopefully, this list has shown you that there are lots of options out there for both the aspiring and the experienced teacher. Whatever your teaching goals are, there’s something for you.