Top Five Tools for Remote Teaching and Learning

Top Five Tools for Remote Teaching and Learning

Educreations is a unique interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool that's simple, powerful, and fun to use. It enables students to learn on their own terms, anytime, from anywhere. Today, more than 400,000 teachers use Educreations to reach millions of students inside and outside the classroom. The app is designed for teaching and learning on the go.

Advantages:

  • The Educreations interface is really simple and intuitive. You don’t need to spend a lot of time getting familiar with all the available features and options.
  • Teachers can record their voice and iPad screen to create dynamic video tutorials that their students and colleagues can access any time.
  • Educreations allows importing documents and pictures from Photo Library, Dropbox and Google Drive. Users can also display a custom map, insert a web page and snap a photo or search the web for the perfect image right within the app.
  • In addition to sharing videos with other Educreations users, it is possible to send videos over email, post them to YouTube, Edmodo and Twitter or save them to Dropbox or Google Drive.
  • Users’ videos are automatically saved to their Educreations accounts and are instantly ready to be viewed online and shared with others.
  • Teacher have the possibility to share their video lessons with students in a safe and private classroom environment. Moreover, they can have their students show what they know by creating their own videos.

Disadvantages:

  • The Educreations app is only available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.
  • The free version lacks some key features. For example, using the free version, you can’t export documents and presentations and get only 50 MB of storage space.

ONLYOFFICE, a multifunctional online office for collaborative work

ONLYOFFICE is an open-source office suite integrated with a multifunctional platform for collaborative work. It comprises powerful online editors for editing text documents, spreadsheets and presentations and several collaboration tools that make it possible to share documents with different permission levels, use different co-editing modes, keep track of all the changes made to documents and communicate in real time using the built-in chat. This solution comes as a SaaS (software as a service) or can be deployed locally on a private server.

Advantages:

  • The ONLYOFFICE online editors are highly compatible with Microsoft Office formats and support other popular formats including the Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF). The editors allow creating, viewing and editing text documents, spreadsheets and presentations of any size and complexity.
  • The online editors make it possible to collaborate on documents in real time. It means that several users can edit the same document simultaneously making changes, leaving comments and communicating via the integrated chat.
  • ONLYOFFICE offers two co-editing modes. Fast co-editing is designed to show all the changes while typing, and strict co-editing allows showing the changes after saving only.
  • The editors have various styling and formatting tools, allow inserting different objects and are equipped with plugins that provide additional features (for example, EasyBib, thesaurus, translation of any word or sentence, etc.)
  • The document management module is designed for creating, editing, sharing and storing text documents, spreadsheets and presentations in one place using the integrated ONLYOFFICE online editors. Moreover, users can store and play video/audio files and music, and also view images of all popular formats: BMP, JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIF, TIFF, AVI, MPG, MPEG, MP3, PDF, etc.
  • Apart from the online editors that are also available for iOS and Android, ONLYOFFICE has a desktop version for Windows, Mac and Linux that are easy connectable to the cloud. 
  • The ONLYOFFICE online editors can be easily integrated into collaboration platforms like Moodle, Nextcloud, Confluence, etc. to enable document editing and collaboration.
  • The ONLYOFFICE online editors can be deployed together with a collaboration platform that consists of several modules (document management, mail, CRM, projects, calendar, community) that can be used for various purposes.

Disadvantages:

  • The existing functionality is not enough to give online lessons due to the non-availability of a video conferencing tool.
  • The free versions of ONLYOFFICE doesn’t have some key features. For example, the document comparison option is not available for free use.

Zoom, a simple but powerful video conferencing and messaging service

Zoom is a video conferencing service with real-time messaging and content sharing. It is designed for simplifying video conferencing and messaging across any device. Despite the fact that there are plenty of similar solutions suited to every fancy, Zoom has a lot of useful options that make it special and worth trying. In other words, Zoom has plenty of helpful features you expect to see in a video conferencing platform.

Advantages:

  • Zoom provides HD video and audio with support for up to 1000 video participants and 49 videos on screen.
  • The built-in collaboration tools enable participants to share their screens simultaneously and co-annotate for a more interactive meeting.
  • Video conferences can be recorded locally or to the cloud, with searchable transcripts.
  • Zoom supports end-to-end encryption, role-based user security and password protection.
  • Zoom provides messaging streamlines workspace collaboration across the desktop and mobile clients making it possible to create private or public groups, share files and search content.
  • Expanded integration possibilities: Zoom can be easily connected with some of the most popular applications (for example, Slack, Okta, HipChat, etc.).
  • Zoom has clients for all popular platforms  including Windows, Linux, Mac and mobile apps for iOS and Android.
  • The Zoom Extension for browsers allows starting or scheduling Zoom meetings with a single click from a browser or within Google calendar.

Disadvantages:  

  • 40 minute limit on group meetings in the free version.

All the above mentioned tools and platforms have different functionality, are designed for different purposes but they have one thing in common. Teachers and students can use them to make remote leaning and teaching as productive as possible.

About the Author
Author: Sergey Zarubin
I'm Sergey. I'm 29 years old. I come from Russia. I used to teach foreign languages at a university but now I'm a freelancer. I find students on the Internet and give online lessons using different online tools and platforms.

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