The COVID-19 pandemic has led many to adopt the use of new technologies in their classrooms in record time. No sooner had widespread confinement begun than a large number of professionals learned how to use new technologies and how to make them meaningful in their classrooms, both face-to-face and via videoconferencing.

This has not been easy and has required a great deal of effort and hours spent discovering new tools, learning about them and adapting them to very diverse groups with different needs. There are many examples of free services that have been useful in these atypical months for teaching, such as sites for introducing games and gamification activities into lessons, open directories for research, or shared whiteboards and notepads. The latter have greatly favoured collaboration between students and the development of various activities that have helped in the revision of some units and have even been a strong outlet of some classroom projects.

Robust tools such as Moodle whiteboards, Microsoft Whiteboard, Jamboard or OneNote have been particularly helpful in these cases. Thanks to their options, which have been improved and polished over time, it has been possible to prepare everything from interactive units to escape rooms. Some of these utilities include functions such as audio, video, hyperlinks or passwords that give them great potential for preparing materials that are valid for many groups, even if they are confined. They are easy to adopt in existing virtual learning environments and this also ensures that they comply with the guidelines that high schools have set for privacy and compatibility with other available resources.

A case study was the use of a collaborative notepad. In different groups the students decided to present the different sections of the unit in the form of a game and were able to insert explanatory videos in which their oral interaction was assessed, with also interactive activities, Kahoots and various passwords that needed to be discovered in order to continue the lesson. In the end, the result was practical and quite fun, and was the result of the students themselves considering some guidelines from the teachers.

Thanks to the joint effort and the use of new technologies when it makes sense to apply them, both students and teachers were able to enjoy another way of teaching and learning while some groups were remote and could not come to high school.

Example of a page from a shared notebook to explain a section of the unit.

Example of a page from a shared notebook to explain a section of the unit.