Tools to Help Teachers Make Smooth Transition to Online Education

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As the current pandemic rages across the globe causing massive  casualties and setting up new realities, the way education was delivered pre-pandemic will forever be changed. Distance learning and online education are taking over the stage with more schools and universities moving to online curricula and increasingly adopting remote modes of teaching and learning. In today's post we are sharing with you some useful digital resources to facilitate your transition to virtual-based modes of education and work.

I- Video conferencing tools

1- Zoom
Zoom features include:

  • Host up to 100 video participants, pro version allows you to add more
  • Record your videos and save them locally or to the cloud.
  • 'Multiple participants can share their screens simultaneously and co-annotate during screen sharing'
  • 'Support scheduling or starting meetings from Outlook, Gmail, or iCal'
  • 'Chat with groups, searchable history, integrated file sharing, and 10 year archive. Easily escalate into 1:1 or group calls'
  • 40 minutes limit on group meetings
  • 'Video Breakout Rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting into as many as 50 separate sessions for discussion, projects and more'.
  • Private and group chat; Virtual background; Whiteboarding
  • No need for Zoom account to join a meeting.You need a Zoom account to create a meeting
  • Works on the web, Android, and iOS
  • Premium version offers more features

2- Skype
Skype features include:

  • Supports up to 50 participants in a video or audio conference
  • 'Easily share presentations, holiday photos or anything on your screen during a call with integrated screen sharing'.
  • Call recordings and live captions and subtitles. No time limits
  • Supports private conversations
  • Background blur
  • Includes chat feature and call reactions
  • Skype saves your recording for up to 30 days
  • Works on the web, Android, and iOS
  • Skype video chat application is free

3- Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Meet Features include:

  • Supports up to 250 members in a single Teams meeting
  • Unlimited chat and search
  • '10 GB of team file storage and 2 GB of personal file storage per person'.
  • 'Real-time collaboration with Office apps'
  • Screen sharing and background blur
  • Share files with colleagues and work on them together.
  • 'Unlimited app integrations with 250+ business apps to choose from, including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello'.
  • 'You need an Office 365 account with the appropriate Office 365 license'
  • Works on the web, Android, and iOS
  • Paid version offers more features

4-  Google Meet
Google Meet features include:

  • 'Host meetings from anywhere with up to 250 participants, record for later viewing, or livestream to up to 100,000 people'.
  • Video meetings of unlimited length till end of September, after that 60 minutes limit for free users.
  • Integrated with G Suite, so you can join meetings directly from a Calendar event or email invite'.
  • Supports real-time captioning, scheduling, and screen sharing.
  • 'With G Suite, every meeting automatically includes its own dial-in details. Guests can dial in quickly with just two taps on their smartphone'.
  •  'Edit documents, presentations, and spreadsheets in real-time with the entire team and track every change with version history'.
  • 'Create a group calendar, organize files in a shared drive, and create group chats for up to 150 participants to keep the whole team on the same page'.

II- File storage and sharing tools

1-  Google Drive
Store, access, edit and share your files. It provides secure file back-up for your videos, documents, presentations and photos.

2- Microsoft OneDrive
‘Store photos and docs online. Access them from any PC, Mac or phone. Create and work together on Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents.’

3- Dropbox
‘Dropbox is a creative collaboration space designed to reduce busywork, bring your files together in one central place, and safely sync them across all your devices—so you can access them anytime, anywhere. And sending large files is easy, even to people who don’t have a Dropbox account. Features like the doc scanner, shared folders, offline access, and more make collaborating with others simple.’

4- Box
‘Securely store, manage and share all your files, photos and documents with 10GB of free cloud storage from Box.’

III- Project management and team Communication tools

1- Trello
‘Trello gives you perspective over all your projects, at work and at home. Some of its features include: Create boards to organize anything you're working on; use them solo or invite coworkers, friends and family to collaborate; customize workflows for different projects; add checklists of "To-Dos" on cards; assign tasks to yourself and coworkers; comment on items with your friends…’

2- G-Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides)
G-Suite provides you with an arsenal of tools to enhance your collaborative team work drawing on features that support real-time collaboration, instant editing, chat and many more.

3- Evernote
Evernote offers a number of interesting collaborative features that allow you to ‘share, discuss and collaborate productively with other. You can use it to : Create, share and discuss with the people who help get your work done, all in one app; search within pictures and annotate images to give quick feedback; develop your projects faster and let multiple participants work on different aspects.’

4- Smarsheet
A good project management tool that provides you with  helpful features such as the ability to: create, edit and share work with your team so that everyone has the latest information; add pictures and view attachments to keep work organized; stay up to date with notifications and complete approvals with a tap of the finger.’

5- Slack
‘Slack brings team communication and collaboration into one place so you can get more work done, whether you belong to a large enterprise or a small business. Check off your to-do list and move your projects forward by bringing the right people, conversations, tools, and information you need together. Slack is available on any device, so you can find and access your team and your work, whether you’re at your desk or on the go.’

6- Microsoft Teams
‘Communicate in the moment and keep everyone in the know. Stay connected with chat, calls, and meetings within your team and in private or small group conversations. Schedule and join online Skype meetings with HD video, VoIP, and dial-in audio conferencing options. Share your files, apps or desktop in online meetings and review the important moments later with transcriptions of recorded content.’

7- Asana
‘Use Asana to quickly capture tasks, to-dos, reminders, and ideas. Get updates from coworkers, organize tasks and projects for work, or manage your to-do list for the day.’

This is an updated version of this post