8 top digital tools for online lessons. A guide for parents.

Last Updated: 15 Apr 24
Someone having online tuition using a laptop.

Many great digital tools and platforms have emerged over the past years, as the world has adapted to remote learning. So, we have rounded up some of the best tools used by our teachers designed to engage and enhance the learning of all students.


Bramble is a popular choice for many of our teachers. It allows recording of all sessions, is a powerful whiteboard tool with sketching and annotating, and has built-in notebook functionality where you can drag and drop files.

Students can also take pictures of their work through the webcam, which can be annotated and shared. You can also review lessons anytime and keep them organised.

The free version is good enough and has unlimited lessons, recording and reporting features. The paid version is £10 per month and includes additional features, such as rooms and enhanced reporting.

Find out more here

Explain Everything

With Explain Everything, you can combine sketches, images, documents and videos to make powerful presentations. It allows you to enhance PowerPoint slides with voice recordings and annotations and is great for brainstorming with students.

One of Explain Everything's brilliant features is its ability to create videos and animations, which allows you to find alternative ways of explaining concepts to your students.

There is a basic version where you can create up to 3 projects for free if you’re just starting. If you like it and want to create more projects, the individual teacher plan is only £24 for the year and includes unlimited access to all features.

Sign up here

Microsoft Whiteboard

Microsoft has a great tool called Microsoft Whiteboard. This tool is easy to use alongside your lessons as a virtual version of the classic classroom whiteboard.

This is perfect for those who use Microsoft Teams – you just need to download the Microsoft Whiteboard extension – so sharing work and mindmaps becomes seamless. It’s worth noting, however, that it is limited in that you can’t use it alongside other video call platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts.

It is free for those with a Microsoft Office subscription (their personal plan costs £59.99 a year).

Find out more here

Zoom Whiteboard

Like Microsoft, Zoom has a built-in Whiteboard functionality. This is great for demonstrating something that your words or text alone can’t explain.

You can easily add text and highlight areas to emphasise important points. Students can also annotate and draw on the whiteboard, and you can add new whiteboards and save screenshots throughout the lesson.

Zoom’s Basic plan is free and includes unlimited one-on-one meetings and Zoom Whiteboard. It is perfect for tuition with one student. For added functionality, you can upgrade to their Pro plan for £119.90 a year.

Take a look here


Padlet is a popular tool with our teachers for sharing ideas and collaborating. You can create an online post-it board to share with students, making it ideal for brainstorming, collecting questions, and gathering your students' work in one place.

They have different themes, including canvases, maps, timelines and shelves, which can help encourage your students to be creative and learn in a way that suits them.

The free version allows you to create 3 padlets and includes 10MB of storage. Upgrade to unlimited padlets and 250MB of storage for £8 a month.

Download the app


Wordwall enables you to design interactive and printable lessons' activities and resources. Its many templates include quizzes, word searches, mazes, and more. You can also use it to set up and report on assignments.

This tool is great for creating custom resources, allowing you to tailor lessons to specific needs and learning styles. You can also save your own templates and build up a bank of resources to use over and over.

Wordwall’s free version lets you create 18 interactives and 5 resources. If you want to create unlimited resources, you can upgrade to the Standard plan for £5 a month ($6 USD).

Find out more here


Jamboard is a very popular tool with our teachers. It has a whiteboard that you can utilise as an interactive canvas where students and teachers can add in images, notes and documents.

Ideal for visual learners, Jamboard makes traditional whiteboard-style learning fun and engaging. You can save boards, making it easy to review them anytime.

Most of our teachers use Jamboard as part of their school’s Google Workspace for Education account. If you don’t have access to this, you can also use Google Classroom using a personal Google account for free, as long as you’re not using it in a school.

Access Jamboard here

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a well-known platform used by most teachers through their schools. Its functionality allows you to set up and run classes, as well as create work and communicate with parents.

Google Classroom has a built-in feedback and reporting function, meaning marking is easy. It also has integrations with many other tools that allow you to get creative in terms of lesson structures and tools, so lessons can be tailored to individual learning styles.

If you are a teacher in a school, you most likely will be familiar with Google Classroom. Like Jamboard, it can be accessed through your school’s Google Workspace for Education account. And like Jamboard, you can also use Google Classroom using a personal Google account for free, as long as you’re not using it in a school.

Check it out here

Which tool is right for me?

Picking which tools and platforms to use in your lessons depends on your teaching style and your student’s learning style. If you prefer giving traditional whiteboard-style lessons, Microsoft or Zoom’s Whiteboard function may be for you, as it easily replicates an in-person, classroom-style lesson.

If you want to give more interactive lessons that suit diverse learning styles, we recommend Wordwall, Bramble, and Explain Everything. These tools are great for capturing the student’s attention in different ways and allow you to tailor lessons to individual abilities.

It may even be that using a combination of these tools is the way to go, with many of our teachers opting to use Zoom Whiteboard in conjunction with Jamboard and Padlet. And, don’t forget there are many more tools out there that can enhance your online lessons. We recommend trying various free tools before deciding on 2-4 of your favourite platforms.

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