Over the last 6 years running The PE Geek Workshops throughout the globe I’ve been able to get a real sense of the various challenges that teachers face with the implementation of technologies in their classes. One of the recurring issues teachers face is a lack of WiFi access in their gym or practical spaces, rendering activities that require reliable internet access virtually useless.
As a result of this very REAL situation impacting schools, we designed the workshop to be completed OFFLINE. Essentially this means that while a reliable internet connection is a nice element in a PE Classroom, its certainly not a deal breaker if you don’t happen to have it with ALL teachers leaving the workshop having the capacity to implement.
With this in mind please find 7 of tools & hacks teachers can use to complete various classroom & admin task even when there is NO WiFi.
1. Save YouTube Clips Offline
With a tool such as Clip Converter, its simple to download a local offline copy of a YouTube video. This gives you the ability to download the video ahead of time so that you can show it back in class without restriction. It also gives you the opportunity to archive any important videos that you use in your lessons that may one day disappear from YouTube. Best of all local playback means you won’t be that teacher in class who attempts to show a video that freezes repeatably throughout.
2. Complete Offline Assessments with Plickers
If you’re like me and started using iPads in your classroom when you only had access to your own teacher device, then you will LOVE Plickers. Essentially, Plickers are Paper Based Clickers or more specifically a student response system that makes it possible for you to gather answers to questions from your students at lighting speeds. The best part about the app is that it requires only one teacher device and ZERO student devices. Scanning your students Plickers cards also works offline through the mobile app. This means that you can use Plickers outside of the classroom in places where you may not have an internet connection.
A number of Physical Education teachers are using Plickers to ask a series of multiple choice questions related to learning objectives at the conclusion of the session.
See below for an excellent video showcasing how to setup and use Plickers
3. Work on Google Files Offline
If you aren’t connected to the Internet, you can still create, view, and edit files on:
- Google Docs
- Google Sheets
- Google Slides
- Google Drawings
You can turn on offline access for your entire Google Drive. Offline access is only available in the Google Chrome browser.
- Connect to the internet.
- Go to drive.google.com/drive/settings.
- In the “Offline” section, check the box. It may take a few minutes for the offline access setting to turn on.
4. iDoceo for Assessments & Lesson Planning
While on the more expensive side iDoceo is without a doubt the premier assessment, attendance and lesson planning application available for iPad. An all-in-one tool that consists of:
– Fully fledged grade book, configurable and with custom calculations and attendance
– Lesson planner: Week/Day views
– Diary: Day/Week/Month/Timeline views of a single class
– Timetable & Seating plans
– & much more
However the best aspect of the app is its ability to complete these actions in an OFFLINE state, which flies in the face of most modern day “cloud” based connected tools that require permanent internet states.
5. Read content offline with Pocket
The Pocket app is phenomenal for reading online content offline. Use either the mobile or desktop versions of this offline app available — including a Chrome extension. When you come across an article you want to save, all you have to do is share it with Pocket and it will be stored on your account. Make sure to sync Pocket before you go offline, then you can pick up and read anything you saved, even without an active internet connection.
6. Read Emails Offline with Gmail
.Ever needed to respond to a tonne of emails & been unable to do it until you get a connection? Well with, Gmail Offline it caches both your email and contacts so that you can write emails while you’re offline, although they won’t be sent until you have a connection again.
7. Offline Apps
One of the best aspects of the iPhone/iPad & Android tablets is that the vast majority of apps run in offline modes. This means that if you want to do virtually anything on a device then you can almost guarantee an app exists that will work offline to let you achieve it. Here are a collection of tasks and apps that work offline.
- Video Analysis – Hudl Technique (Once initial signup is completed)
- Video Delays – BaM Video Delay
- Video Editing – Pinnacle Studio Pro
- Timing – Seconds Pro (iOS & Android)
- Beep Test – Bleep Test Pro
- Heart Rate – iOS & Android
- The list is endless….
What are your favourite offline tools, apps or extensions that you use to get around situations when WiFI is lacking ?