There are now more than 6.7 million students taking at least one online course , according to the 2012 Survey of Online Learning. This increase in enrollment has undoubtedly opened more Web-based job opportunities for professors.
If you have decided to be an online professor or giving instruction online has become part of your work with an organization, you’ll need to utilize technology to your advantage to help improve the learning process. By using the right tools in your classroom you can overcome the many challenges of online classes, because, after all, not having in-person instruction is no excuse for a subpar education.
Lesson planning should be simple. Planboard can help you schedule your entire academic year , view your students’ progress with tracking standards and share lesson plans with other teachers worldwide. As an online educator you need flexibility; fortunately, Planboard is also available on tablets, allowing you to lesson plan on the go. When you create tracking standards on Planboard you’ll also be able to adapt your lesson plans based on your students’ progress.
Online sharing is essential in a digital classroom. SymbalooEDU  is a free, visual bookmarking website that allows content sharing between students and their professor. You have the ability to personalize your Symbaloo by adding clickable “tiles” that are related to the subject matter you’re teaching. It can probably go without saying that when professors offer multiple resources students will have a better chance at success.
If you ever wanted to contact your students without having to give out your personal phone number, then Celly  is the tool you need. A communication platform that is designed specifically for professors employed by online schools like Penn Foster , Celly sends alerts, schedules reminders and promotes student engagement. You can stay connected to your students through this private network via text message, email, the Celly website or the Celly app available for both iOS and Android.
Have your students complete group projects with Glogster, an interactive visual platform . Just because online students don’t interact face to face doesn’t make working in a team impossible. With Glogster, students can work together to create online multimedia posters that include text, audio, video, images and data. Alternatively, you could use Glogster yourself and create engaging visual for your daily lesson plans.
Adding visual elements to your courses can enhance the material you present to your students. If you suspect you’re teaching a group of visual learners then including short videos and images  will be especially helpful. Jing makes it simple to capture video, animations and images and share them online. With Jing’s recording capabilities you can share what’s happening on your computer screen even if a student lives a country away.
Being a freelance teacher is now more possible than ever. If you love being an online professor and want to turn your career into a business, you can use the eProf Edu-Commerce Platform  to publish classes online and gain exposure. Having your own virtual classroom gives you more freedom to build your own curriculum, teach on your own time and set your own parameters. This app allows you to teach students from around the world by using your preferred teaching method, including webinars, collaborative whiteboards, screen sharing or Skype.