Best Online Learning Tools for Students and Teachers

Best Online Learning Tools for Students and Teachers

The current pandemic and social context has accelerated the adoption and development of home-based, e-learning platforms. Online teaching and learning has become a necessity even as many teachers and students were not prepared for this. In areas where internet access or equipment are not readily available to educators and students, there has been a rush to put the much needed systems in place.

Teachers are quickly learning to deliver lessons effectively via these educational platforms while students, in particular those with little experience with online systems, are trying their best to get the most out of the new learning experience. As for the platforms they have at their disposal, there are thankfully more than a few available. Here is a list of the most useful e-learning platforms available online at this time.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is one of the leading platforms recommended by many governmental institutions. The virtual classroom offers the possibility to upload materials, post visible announcements and to evaluate student performance. Every user will need a Google account to get started and to access the materials which are stored in a common online location.

The app was launched in 2014 and it is currently used by millions everywhere in the world. The interface is accessible in any language, from a desktop computer or from phones and tablets. It offers synchronous teaching options when everyone is online at the same time and asynchronous teaching when teachers upload materials online for students to read at their own schedules.

Sanako Connect

Sanako Connect is being used in over 100 countries, 36,000 classrooms and moulded with 50 years experience. The language labs and language teaching solutions improve students’ speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

  • Students and teachers access sessions from anywhere using laptop, Chromebook or tablet
  • No login details needed for the students, students join via an unique link (no data privacy issues)
  • You can pair students and add them to group discussions
  • Audio and text-based communication tools between teacher and students
  • File sharing from teacher to students
  • Exercise creation for model imitation, gap-fill exercises and much more
  • Ability to collect, review and feedback on student’s audio recordings and work

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Zoom

One of the most used e-learning platforms lately is Zoom. Zoom offers the possibility to organise classes with up to 500 participants in the free version. Teachers and students can interact in real-time, in video or in audio mode. They can create virtual attendances and check the presence of students in the virtual class. It is available for personal computers, phones and tablets, both for Android and iOS devices.

Zoom offers multiple possibilities to interact:

  • Shared screen for better understanding by students
  • Classes can be recorded for future reference
  • Online checking of attendance and involvement
  • Virtual classes can be secured
  • It is possible to access YouTube, links and other online materials
  • The teacher can restrict the interactive chats when required

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is another strong contender in the online learning space. It offers some interesting features including:

  • Class formation and management
  • Online sharing of learning resources
  • Announcement posting with notifications for students
  • Classes can be divided into groups for specific projects
  • Tests and evaluations

Edmodo

Edmodo is another popular e-learning platform that offers the possibility for parents to join in the fun, facilitating involvement of all three parties in the learning process. However, parents can only participate in a limited number of activities. Edmodo is free, accessible from any device and allows a controlled e-learning environment. The teachers can see the messages and content shared by the members. It is possible to share texts, video and images.

EasyClass

EasyClass is another popular free platform with an intuitive interface, resembling the one of Facebook. Teachers can give homework to students in EasyCass, and send them reminders for important events such as tests and assessments.

Conclusion

With the convenience of e-learning comes disadvantages as well. The obvious shortfall of e-learning is the lack of physical contact and interaction, which for some participants in particular younger students, are really crucial for learning. Online learning platforms also have their limits when it comes to teaching technical or practical skills, but this can be compensated with individual exercise by students at home.

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