Resources for Distance Learners





The Basics of Online Technology Skills for Adult ESOL Students 

Susan KlawESOL for Parents and Caregivers Specialist at ENB- and  Leah Gregory -Program Coordinator / Teacher East Boston Harborside Community School- have developed a new curriculum supplement The Basics of Online Technology Skills for the Adult ESOL Student. The curriculum is in two different formats– the Face to Face Teaching and the Remote Teaching Formats.  The skills covered are the same in both formats, but the order of the activities differ. 


The supplement covers:

  •      How to set up and use a Chromebook
  •      How to set up a Gmail account and use email
  •      How to download and use Zoom on both a Chromebook and a phone
  •      How to use Google Classroom


1. Face to Face Teaching Format (Curriculum)    


2. Remote Teaching Format (Curriculum) 



In the face of massive layoffs and closings across the Commonwealth, ESOL teachers, programs, and English for New Bostonians (ENB) has made the pivot to break the isolation and keep Boston’s immigrant community engaged in the business of learning. ENB’s team is assisting teachers to go virtual, in the way that works best for students and teachers.
Students in ENB-supported ESOL classes range from those who have advanced degrees from their home countries, to those who are non-literate; from those who use smartphones and computers every day, to those who have not ever downloaded an app or used a mouse.  ENB has developed a list of available essential tools that students and instructors can use below.
For Communication

Besides the incredibly popular Whatsapp, there are other alternatives to stay connected with students and colleagues. Check out these useful guidelines from  literacymn.org when using Whatsapp for teaching/tutoring (PDF) 


Mighty Text: Text from your computer, sync’d with your Android phone & number



MySMS : Use mysms on your Windows PC, on your Mac or on the web in your preferred browser.

For synchronous instruction


Zoom currently is, without a doubt, the most popular app for remote teaching in real-time. The one feature that Zoom has over other video conferencing options, and does fairly well, is breakout rooms. This is important as we strive to provide students with an experience that can be as similar as in the physical classroom in terms of interaction and collaboration. 


Useful resources from literacymn.org : 

Zoom Host Checklist – This checklist is designed to provide trainers and hosts with step-by-step instructions for leading a Zoom webinar. The following instructions address features available on computers using the Zoom app or web portal. 


Zoom Role Responsibilities – This guide gives an in-depth overview of the meeting privileges available to webinar hosts and co-hosts.


Zoom Technical Support Language – This guide provides technical support language for common in-meeting issues pertaining to audio, video, and chat features. Hosts and co-hosts can copy and paste the prepared instructions into the chat box in order to assist participants quickly. 


Similar Apps to consider: Google Meet

It is also possible to achieve this degree of collaboration and interaction with Google Meet by installing the Google Meet Attendees and Breakout rooms extension to your Chrome browser. For added features, such as reactions and raising a hand for questions, you can also add the Nod – Reactions for Google Meet extension. 


For Asynchronous instruction

Edpuzzle:Make any video your lesson- Choose a video, give it your magic touch and track your students’ comprehension.”  With Edpuzzle, you can assign a video to your class and assess comprehension within the app. If you log in with your Google Account, it offers seamless Google Classroom integration.

Similar Apps to consider: PlayPosit; Powtoon


Screencast-O-Matic: “Video creation for everyone. At Screencast-O-Matic, we don’t believe that video recording and editing should be difficult, or cost a fortune. Our simple and intuitive tools help you get the job done easily.” With this app, you can create your own instructional videos that fit the needs of your students.

Similar Apps to consider:  Screencastify (Chrome extension)


Links to other available distance learning resources:
  1. Tips for Distance Learning
  2. EdTech Center’s Guide
  3. ProLiteracy


Quizzes and Review:

Quizizz offers “free tools to teach and learn anything, on any device, in‑person or remotely.”

This app lets you create flashcards, give quizzes, and review material in a game-based environment.

Similar Apps to consider: Quizlet; Kahoot; Socrative

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Canvas – The free version of Canvas offers a comprehensive and robust environment to manage your course materials and assignments. 

Other apps to consider: Schoology; Google Classroom