Online education has taken cover for schools and colleges. With the power of digital learning, the homes have turned into classroom and information are flowing through smartphone screens and YouTube videos.


Many schools and universities have chosen to teach their student online amidst the lockdown and even after the reopening of schools the online teaching and learning will be here forever.


I was surprised to find that students are taking an interest in online education as much as they do so in the classroom.

Although the smartphone and laptops are available to most of the population, stills some are deprived of it. 


95% of students across Switzerland, Norway, and Austria own a computer or smartphone to use for their schoolwork, while only 34% in Indonesia do, according to the data by OECD.


Content of this post:

1. Is learning online as effective?

2. Microsoft Teams

3. New features of Microsoft Teams

4. Zoom for education

5. Features of zoom for classroom

6. Google Classroom

7. Features of google classroom

8. LiveBoard interactive whiteboard

9. Features of LiveBoard

10. Conclusion


Is learning online as effective?


Few think that online learning is not as effective as classroom study, but the data says something else. 


Some research has proved that on average, students can retain 25-60% more material when they are learning online as compared to only 8-10% in classroom learning. 


This is mostly because students being able to learn faster online as e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom setting because students can learn at their own pace, going back and re-reading, the recorded lecture, giving enough time to think about any concept.



Here are some best online teaching tools for teachers for free. Most of the tools are free for education and learning purposes. 


1. Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams provides free software tools for the live classroom, available for windows, android, and mac. 


Engage students with virtual face-to-face connections and activities, or you can set up a remote lunch to keep live classrooms connected and having fun and it’s free for students and teachers with a valid school email address.


There are a lot of free tools available to create study material for live classes. You can create the following study materials using these tools: Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Notebook, Survey, and Quizzes.


There are tools like Microsoft teams calendar which keeps your schedule organized and sharable.


Microsoft teams live events broadcast video and meeting content to a large online audience.


These tools help both teachers and students creating a perfect online learning place. Here is a brief Microsoft Teams review with features and tools provided.


New Features of Microsoft Teams application:

1. Schedule a meeting with your team or class

2. Join a meeting and hold classes, staff collaboration meetings, or training over online meetings

3. Participate in a meeting by sharing video, voice, or your screen during the online call.

4. Create learning activities for students with integrated Office applications.

5. Leave feedback for students, grade, and track student progress in the Grades tab.

6. OneNote Class and Staff Notebooks, which is a digital binder to use in your class or with your staff to take notes and collaborate.

7. Create classroom notices and posts. You can edit your post to get your students' attention, control who replies to your post and post across multiple channels.

8. You can even make video and audio calls.

9. Reply to a conversation: Channel conversations are organized by date and then threaded.

10. Get instant notifications for all activities on live class.

Microsoft team is gaining popularity since it was launched in 2017. With new features and tools, it has not only became favorite webinar software but also widely used for online teaching purposes since lockdown has been imposed.

Here are some useful links for setting up Microsoft team for online classes and webinar:

Microsoft Teams Tutorial For teachers and students

Download Microsoft Team For Desktop

Download Microsoft Team Apps for android and iOS

Microsoft Team is available for free for educations purposes, which includes unlimited chat, video calling, file sharing, storage, and more—for as long as you want.


2. Zoom for Education: Closure of schools and universities in different countries has made students and teachers find another way to be engaged with study.


Zoom is widely used in many countries, has become one of the first choices for online teaching, webinars, and conference.


A large number of startups and companies are using zoom cloud meeting, schools are using a zoom app to interact with students and people sitting on different corners of the world using this app to connect.


A recent update on zoom is that Zoom is temporarily removing the 40-minute time limit on free Basic accounts for primary and secondary schools affected by the Coronavirus. 


You can sign-in on the zoom cloud to see if your account has already been enabled. If you are not able to sign-in, click "Request Offer" below to request to the zoom administration that your school also be added for free zoom access for learning.


Features of Zoom in the classroom:

1. HD video and audio: Bring HD video and audio to your meetings with support for up to 1000 video participants and 49 videos on the screen.

2. Built-in collaboration tools: Multiple participants can share their screens simultaneously and co-annotate for a more interactive conference.

3. Meet securely: Encryption for all meetings, role-based user security, password protection, waiting rooms, and place attendee on hold, until an admin approves.

4. Recording and transcripts: You can even record your meetings locally or to the zoom cloud, with searchable transcripts.

5. Streamlined calendaring: Support scheduling or starting meetings from Outlook, Gmail, or iCal.

6. Team Chat: Chat with groups, with searchable history, integrated file sharing, and 10-year archive. You can switch to one to on-call or group calls easily

Zoom Meetings for desktop and mobile provides many tools like Microsoft team to make every meeting a great one.

Important links for setting and downloading zoom apps on your device:

The Value of Video Communications in Education

Download the Zoom Apps for iPhone or Android

Download Zoom Client for Meetings

If we talk about comparison on Microsoft team vs zoom, both are great tools for online teaching and interaction, Microsoft team with some new tools and features are making its way to revolutionize the online education system.

3. Google Classroom: Launched in 2014, Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google for schools that target to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments. 

The main purpose of Google Classroom is to make easy the process of sharing files between teachers and students.

You can either create your classroom or join a classroom created by your faculty of mentors. 

You can also see the member of your classroom, the assignments uploaded by them, and grades associated with them.

Features of Google Classroom:

1. Give better feedback faster using the comment bank tool.

2. Assign and grade coursework securely—and reuse or collaborate with team members.

3. Post, comment, and facilitate classroom discussions. You can post easily the content, and it is visible to all the students in the classroom

4. Keep materials and resources organized conveniently in the Classwork page

5. You can manage and view guardians, students, and co-teachers on the People page

6. Eliminate distractions by giving quizzes in locked mode

Thousands of educator-approved apps integrate with the Classroom. These apps spark creativity and create endless opportunities for learning along with the resources provided.

Important links for setting and downloading zoom apps on your device:

Apps that work with Google Classroom

Login on Google Classroom

If we talk about comparison with Microsoft team and Google Classroom, the Microsoft team is surely giving more tools and features rather than just managing assignment uploads and discussion platforms.


4. LiveBoard Interactive Whiteboard: LiveBoard is a new generation interactive whiteboard app for visual collaboration. 

You can work, teach, draw, sketch, brainstorm, socialize, and share remotely with this amazing collaboration platform. 

It doesn't matter how far you are from your students and team, you can make your real-time collaboration fun and productive easily using this app.

With 4.1 rating and 500,000+ downloads on google play, this is one of the easy to use apps for visual collaboration. It is completely free to use.

Features of LiveBoard:

1. Real-time collaboration app with an interactive whiteboard

2. Instant messaging - with built-in messaging you don’t need to switch the app

3. Realtime drawing and whiteboard sharing with an unlimited number of participants via the internet

4. Unlimited online whiteboards to draw on

5. Share your creations via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Google+, Viber) and email

6. Save your drawings from the whiteboard learning into your gallery with just one click

7. Snap a picture or upload full images from your device to draw on the whiteboard

8. Unlimited undo and redos to retrace your steps

9. Text tool to add notes and descriptions

10. Essential geometric shapes to complete any drawing

11. Palm rejection - rest your hand on the board without making any changes

12. Full access control - control who can make changes to your whiteboard

13. AI power shape recognition - with magic pen, you can draw like an expert

14. Mobile-friendly user experience - easy access with a stylus or just fingers

15. Reach drawing tool-set - snap, draw, type or insert a picture

Useful Links:

LiveBoard Interactive Whiteboard play store download link

Conclusion: 

The online education system has been improvised. With lockdown, learning is still going on among students. Teachers are meeting with students online, holding webinars, and guiding them.

The true power of digital learning is on its way. Together we can make the world a better place to live with a new way to educate ourselves.



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