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Pros: Teachers can design and deliver original or premade content through the site. Web integrations allow for a more interactive experience.
Cons: Designing quality content might be time-consuming, and paying for both the Pro version and marketplace lessons can get pricey.
Bottom Line: Share high-quality interactive lessons in a virtual classroom environment.
How Can I Teach with This Tool?
Koala is an interactive virtual teaching or tutoring platform that can be used as an alternative to classroom instruction. Teachers can also use Koala to design lessons. You can begin your lessons with a warm-up using one of the many web integrations, such as Boom Learning or a Genially activity. From there, you can offer direct instruction by uploading files, slides, or multimedia content and explaining them to students. You can also engage kids in guided practice either by using one of the free or paid Marketplace activities or by designing your own content, where you can assess as students respond, collaborate, and ask questions.
At any point, you can let kids take a brain break by opening up the Playground. There they can explore, customize their avatar, and collect rewards. At the end of the lesson, have kids collaborate on a Jamboard-style whiteboard by asking them to post a sticky note about what they learned during the lesson or a question for follow-up. Leave some time for questions and answers -- think Zoom, but more kid-friendly. Plus, since you can record the entire lesson, students who were absent can catch up on the content when time allows. Lastly, for one-on-one or small-group instruction, you can plan to go a bit more in-depth to provide extra support or extended learning activities.
To prevent confusion, teachers will want to spend time getting to know the platform and watching tutorials before attempting to engage with students at length. Since some of the content is slow to load, and teachers can't see exactly what's on each student's screen in real time, it's important to anticipate their actions and have a plan B in case of technical glitches.