Teaching on Koala Go guide

Co-browsing 5/5

Interactivity 5/5

Value for money 5/5

Device compatibility 5/5

Koala Go is an exciting new online teaching platform which offers full interactivity on iPads – perfect for online ESL teachers! It is designed specifically with teaching in mind, and incorporates useful tools such as a great online whiteboard, fun “playground” rewards zone, screensharing and Koala web apps (a co-browsing system which allows both you and your students to browse the internet together, including interacting directly with interactive slides such as the Abridge Academy resources). 

Interested? Sign up with our link to try Koala out for free and save an incredible $48 on paid subscriptions!

Check out these videos from the Koala team showing you how to use the Abridge Academy resources on Koala Go:

Webinar

All the info!

Quick-start guide

Five easy steps

Parents guide (Chinese)

Link for parents: YouTube / Bilibili

 

Key advantages:

  • Ability for students to directly interact with Abridge Academy slides from any device, including computers, iPads and mobile phones using their web-apps (co-broswing) tool.
  • Great whiteboard tools, including adding images, writing, drawing, uploading files, etc. and screensharing feature.
  • Built-in rewards system, including giving on-screen stars and a fun “playground” zone to celebrate their achievements.
  • Download pre-made classroom templates from the Koala Go marketplace, or sell your own there for extra income! Great for whiteboard-based extension activities, games, etc.
  • Option to invoice your students through Koala Go too – great for teachers in non-Stripe-supported countries such as South Africa. 
  • No software downloads needed – both teachers and students simply join the class within their web browser. Students do not even need to create an account, just join via your link.
  • Compatible with all devices, including tablets and mobiles. 
  • Excellent value for money – there is a great free version (including two weeks free access to the co-browser) and the paid plan (unlimited use of the co-browser) is just $19/ month.
  • Very new system, with new features being implemented every week in response to teachers’ feedback – incredibly supportive development team.

Limitations:

  • Koala Go is still very new, so they are still ironing out a few bugs and adding in features
  • Free version only includes a two week trial of the web app (co-browsing) tool, which is required for using the Abridge Academy slides or similar interactive web-based resources. You can try it out for free but will then need to upgrade for unlimited web app access.

This guide will answer some common questions for teachers teaching with Koala Go and share helpful tips specific for using the Abridge Academy resources on Koala Go. 

Launching Koala Go and adding students

To get started, first visit the Koala Go website and click “open Koala Go in browser”. This will load your activities, which are classrooms you can customise and prepare in advance for your students. Be sure to pre-load your Abridge Academy slides in the Koala Go browser (see below) too!

Once you are ready for your class, you can invite students to join using the “invite” button at the top left corner within the Koala Go classroom. Simply copy the code and send it to your student via your preferred communication platform. They will first be placed into a “waiting room” from where you can authorise them to join the class.

Your code always stays the same, for all your students, so you can easily send it in advance of the class if you wish.

How to invite a student to Koala Go classroom

No, your class link always stays the same, for all students and every class. This means that you only need to send them the link once and they can easily join every week.

Koala Go now has a “waiting room” feature. When students click on the link, they are first placed in this waiting room (where they can play a fun game while waiting). When you are ready to let them in, simply authorise them to join. 

This means that if a student tries to join a class early, while you are still teaching your previous student, you can simply leave them waiting in the waiting room until you are ready. Similarly, if anyone tries to join your classroom whose name you do not recognise, they will not be able to crash your class.

Koala Go does not have a scheduling system, so you cannot schedule a specific class with a specific student beforehand. However, you can easily use other scheduling software such as Calendly or Doodle Calendar, including your Koala Go link in the meeting invite. 

Interactivity: Koala Go co-browsing/ web apps tool

This is where the real power of Koala Go joins forces with Abridge Academy! Koala Go web apps launches a co-browsing tool, which you and your students can directly interact with together. Note that a paid plan is required for this tool (two weeks access is provided in the free tier plan for you to test it out).

Simply click on the “web app” button (just to the right of the bottom tools menu) to load the Koala Go browser. Navigate to the Abridge Academy slides (you will need to log in), click on the full screen button, and you’re ready to go!

Yes! At the start of the class, before inviting your student, you can pre-load up the slides in the browser. This means it is all ready to go!

From the whiteboard screen, you can click on the web apps button (just to the right of the bottom tools menu) to open up the browser.

To go back to the whiteboard, click the large cross in the top right corner of the browser. This doesn’t totally close it though, it is still running in the background – so you can easily flick back to the slides later and continue from the same point you left off. 

Yes, you can open the Koala annotation tools by clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the screen during the co-browsing session. Note that this also automatically enables the annotation feature for your students too. 

If you wish to annotate on the slides but without your student also having the ability to draw on the screen, you can instead use the drawing tool built into the Abridge Academy lessons (pen icon at the top right of the slides).

When you screenshare with software like Zoom, it is one-sided. Only you (the teacher) can click and directly interact with the slides. Students can only annotate on top of the static screenshare. 

With co-browsing, both you and your student are directly interacting with the slides simultaneously. You can both click, drag-and-drop, type in text boxes, draw with the Abridge Academy slides drawing tool, etc. This is so much more engaging for students, and really makes the most of all the interactivity built into the Abridge Academy slides.

Koala Go whiteboard tools

The Koala Go whiteboard is a great place to supplement Abridge Academy slides with your own activities and games. The whiteboard is available in both the free and paid plans.

Adding images to Koala Go
To add images, simply drag and drop them from your computer onto the whiteboard. You can then resize and move them around on the page.

Adding text to Koala Go
To add text, select the text tool in the bottom tools menu. Alternatively, use the sticky notes tool to create colourful text boxes – great for games, phonics alphabet cards or dialogue bubbles.

Creating activities in Koala Go whiteboard

Absolutely, yes! Before inviting a student, you can prepare various activities on the whiteboard, add images, design fun games, write text, etc. These are saved so you can prepare even days beforehand then come back to the classroom, or re-use a classroom you prepared previously for a different student (note that you would need to erase any annotations your previous student had made on top of your original template!).

All changes are automatically saved, so you don’t need to do anything! Simply close the classroom and enjoy the rest of your day. You can then come back to that particular classroom just before your class by selecting it on the “activities” list on your Koala Go homepage. 

Made some amazing Koala Go whiteboard templates? You can share these with other teachers by publishing to the Koala Go marketplace. Soon they will also have the option for you to sell your templates too – a great extra income. 

Similarly, you can also buy pre-made Koala Go whiteboard templates with various activities, games and tasks you can do with your students. 

Screensharing and document sharing in Koala Go

If you are also using your own computer-based resources with Koala Go, for example PPT slides, you can use Koala’s screensharing tool to share your whole screen or a particular application window. This feature is available in both the free and paid plans.

This can also be used to share web-based materials such as the Abridge Academy slides, although (unlike the web apps tool) your students will NOT be able to directly interact – it is just passive screensharing. 

If you have documents such as worksheets which you would like to upload to the Koala Go whiteboard, thus allowing students to annotate, Koala Go now also support PDF and PPT file uploads. Simply click on the file upload button in the bottom left corner of the whiteboard.

Currently it is not possible for students or teachers to annotate on the screenshare in Koala Go. 

If you are screensharing the Abridge Academy resources, you as the teacher can use our built-in annotation tool to draw on the slides. However, students are unable to use this tool – if you would like them to be able to draw, you will need to purchase a paid Koala Go plan and use the web-apps tool instead of screensharing.

YES! As of April 2022, Koala Go now supports PDF and PPT file uploads. This means that you no longer need to screenshot your worksheets to add them to the whiteboard! Simply click on the upload button in the bottom left corner of the whiteboard then select the file.

Koala Go reward system

During the class, you can click on the “reward” button in the top left corner to give stars to your students. Once they have achieved five stars, this changes to a “playground” button. 

Koala Go playground is a fun, video-game style environment where students can play, plant trees, grow their learning forest and celebrate their achievements during the class.

You can award five reward stars within Koala Go. Once these five stars have been awarded, playground is unlocked!

Once your student has earned five Koala Go stars, the “reward” button in the top left corner turns into a “playground” button. Simply click this to enter the playground.

In the Koala Go playground, you can easily navigate by:

  • Using your computer’s arrow keys
  • Using your computer’s mouse – click on where you want to go and hold
  • Using your finger – on iPads/ other touchscreen devices, hold your finger on where you want to go

Koala Go is a place for fun and creativity! Students can walk around collecting seeds, which they can plant and gradually nurture into trees. Occasionally fun surprises such as cute animals may appear too! 

Additionally, this is a great environment for practicing English skills such as giving directions or talking about nature 🙂 

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