Teachers Turn to Online Platforms

Norah Hussaini, Staff Writer


Flipgrid is a video platform that helps students share their ideas out loud instead of writing them down and turning them in. Students can have discussions and respond to each other, voicing their thought processes and opinions. Caroline Pinkston, freshman English teacher, just discovered Flipgrid this year. 

“Flipgrid was the first time that I’ve played around with an external tool that involved recording yourself talking out loud,” Pinkston said. “I found that some students who don’t like to write or maybe are not very strong writers were able to give really great responses on Flipgrid.” 

Most students are now online and may not be able to ask or answer questions in class due to shaky internet, loud noises or distractions. Pinkston feels Flipgrid is a great way to change that. 

“The biggest thing I find is that far fewer people participate over Zoom,” Pinkston said. “Flipgrid is a way for me to hear the voices of students that I might otherwise never hear over the course of the year.”


During COVID-19, online school is a weekly repetition of eight classes, bringing less of the social interaction and variation that in-person school does. However, freshman Biology teacher Allie Hill has brought a new form of fun into her classes this year. Hill uses Padlet, an online discussion board, to let students post memes. 

“This year where we are virtual without all of our external platforms, would be so much harder to teach,” Hill said. “I like adding variety and using various tools so we can get exposure to some different forms of learning. I enjoy Padlet because it’s a way for students to anonymously post and not have that added pressure if they don’t like to ask questions.” 

In addition to her meme Padlet, Hill also has another Padlet specifically for students to ask questions. For her, Padlet is a light and fun alternative to other platforms.

 “I used a Padlet because it’s easy to learn, there are good security settings and it’s fun!” Hill said.

Pear Deck:

Pear Deck is an online platform that lets students interact with and view their teachers’ slideshow presentations as well as type out answers on their own virtual whiteboard. Students can only see their answers, while teachers can see all answers and provide feedback. According to Lily Lee, French I and AP French teacher, this isn’t the only way to use Pear Deck. 

“I like using the drawing feature with mapping, and there’s also multiple-choice quizzes,” Lee said. “Pear Deck gives me a lot of ways to engage and help students out in class, and there’s so many activities you can use.” 

Usually, Lee shares the questions on her slides with Pear Deck and lets students have a few moments to answer the questions on their virtual whiteboards. Once done, she reviews the answers on Pear Deck, shares her screen and shows the common mistakes that were made. 

“We can’t do a lot of in-class games, discussions or activities,” Lee said. “Pear Deck lets me do those things and helps make things fun and a little more engaging online.” 


Quizlet is one of the more well-known external platforms. Its features include games, practice tests and flashcards. Chinese teacher Valerie Zhong favors Quizlet over other platforms. 

“I like Quizlet because lots of teachers put in their language sets and vocabulary sets, so I can copy and paste and modify it to save time and change it to what our students need,” Zhong said. “I think it’s handy, saves time and is versatile.”

 Zhong isn’t the only person who finds Quizlet to be the best online education platform. She has conducted surveys among her students to see which platform was polling the highest. 

“I gave them a list of all different tools and said, ‘Which ones do you think are helpful in your learning and which are less helpful?’ Quizlet came out on top all across the board,” Zhong said.