Looking for tools to create a more diverse and engaging online lesson? The wide range of options makes it challenging. We have collected the best ONLYOFFICE plugins for online educators that you can install and use directly in the editors’ interface. Keep reading to learn more.
Online education: what’s special about it?
Online learning has become ingrained in our lives. It saved the educational process during the pandemic and is still used in schools, colleges, and universities today. There are many courses and teachers on the Internet that offer online learning. The possibility of education through digital tools gives you more choices and options for educators, platforms, lessons, and learning methods. For example, geographical restrictions no longer exist for students and educators. You can find a native speaker to improve your foreign language skills, even if you live far away from major centers.
Nevertheless, this method of teaching also imposes additional responsibilities on the educator. It is no longer limited to the way the information is delivered. Here are some aspects a teacher should consider when teaching online:
Content creation. With the online format, you can make tutorials, especially if you are running a training course or giving private lessons. Various multimedia resources are available online, which can be customized to fit the preferences of teachers or students. You may find it helpful to create a collection of teaching manuals, presentations, video lessons, podcasts, workbooks, and links to websites.
Communication. The online format involves dynamic interaction between the instructor and students as well as between the students. No one person in the learning process stands in front of a group of students. Everyone can contribute to course discussions and comment on the work of others. Student-centered communication is a feature and virtue of online learning.
Tools. Of course, you can find tools for all tasks. But will it be convenient to jump from one tab or application to another during the lesson? It is also worth remembering that jumping from one tool to another can disrupt a student’s attention and concentration. Additionally, take into account whether the tool is accessible to non-users before choosing one. It will come in handy if you are planning to involve your students in these tools for classwork or homework.
Using ONLYOFFICE, you get editors for text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and PDF reader and converter. However, many features of third-party services can be added with plugins. Once installed, they will be available in the Plugins tab. So you can access these features without leaving the editors.
Therefore, you get additional features not included in office suites, from organizing video calls to photo editing and searching for synonyms.
Now, let’s see which of them you can use for your online lessons.
Organize lessons with Jitsi
Communication and tools play a significant role in online learning, as they should fully compensate for live communication.
You can organize audio and video calls via the Jitsi plugin directly in the editor window, so you don’t need to leave it and launch any additional applications. In this way, you can see your students and the lesson outline. Another option is to create a collaborative project, which you can’t do without a live discussion.
Build diagrams with Draw.io
Sometimes a simple diagram can replace several pages of text. It presents all the information visually and shows the relationship of objects through lines and arrows. Students with photographic memory will benefit from this method, which helps them learn the information better. In addition, a diagram that summarizes the information of the entire lesson would not hurt.
The Draw.io plugin allows you to create a variety of diagrams: flowcharts, mind maps, Venn diagrams, infographics, networks, architectural diagrams, and more.
With the plugin, you can create your charts or diagrams from scratch or use various templates available. Once it is ready, it will be integrated into your text document.
Check your texts with LanguageTool
Even if you are a teacher and feel confident in your grammar and spelling knowledge, don’t ignore spellcheckers. You might miss a mistake because of the large amount of information. And your students can get it from you.
ONLYOFFICE offers the plugin for LanguageTool to quickly correct grammar and style mistakes. To check, all you have to do is highlight the text. All suggestions for improving your text will appear in the left-side toolbar.
Translate your texts with Google, DeepL or Apertium
Do you often work with texts in foreign languages? Using the Translator plugin, you can get a translation directly in your document without switching between applications. Based on Google, it supports all languages available through this service. Select a word, phrase, or passage of text in the document, select the desired language and get the translation in a few seconds.
Edit photos and screenshots with Photo Editor
A picture may need to be edited before it can be inserted into a text document or presentation. You can easily do this with the preinstalled Photo Editor plugin. The plugin has sufficient functionality: you can apply effects, frames, overlays, and stickers, change image orientation, crop and resize, adjust brightness, contrast, and color, draw, splash, add text, and make a meme with the writings above the image.
Insert YouTube videos
Students today are more likely to watch videos than to read text. You can supplement your lessons with videos to get them on the same page and explain the material in an easy-to-understand way. However, you should be careful, because improper use of a video without the author’s consent violates copyrights.
With the YouTube plugin, you can safely insert videos into your text documents or presentations. Just select the plugin and insert the URL to the video you want to use.
How to install
The plugin Google Translate, photo editor, and YouTube are already preinstalled in ONLYOFFICE. The others require installation.
In ONLYOFFICE Docs, you can add plugins directly from the editors using Plugin Manager, which is available from version 7.2.
Go to the Plugins tab → Plugin Manager. Then, choose the plugin you need and click Install.
Watch how to install plugins in our video:
In desktop versions, plugins need manual installation. They are available in ONLYOFFICE App Directory or on GitHub. In the description, you can check if a plugin is available for the ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors. To install it, follow the steps below:
- Archive all the plugin files and folders.
- Change the file extension to .plugin.
- Go to the Plugins tab, click Manage Plugins >> Add plugin, and browse for the .plugin file.
Do you have ideas for new ONLYOFFICE plugins, or have you already created a plugin and want to add it to the app catalog? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org