Do you use free classroom tools?
The evolution of technology reached education years ago. Many classrooms incorporate technology in a variety of ways: some offer or allow laptops for students, and others are making efforts to go paperless. With so much of education happening online nowadays, your classroom needs the right tools to educate, collaborate, and complete projects. (Bonus: students will learn to use the programs that employers will expect them to use in the future.)
Technology can get expensive, especially on such a large scale, so free classroom tools are a huge advantage. Luckily, the two big providers of productivity suites, Microsoft and Google, offer their suites for free to schools. Other free collaboration and productivity options are also available to add higher levels of communication to your classroom.
Explore Your Options
Office 365 is "a line of subscription services offered by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Office product line." Although usually they require a paid subcription, Microsoft offers it for free for schools.
What it includes:
- OneNote, excellent for note-taking
- Teams, a collaboration tool
- OneDrive, for easy online access to files
- Forms, especially good for self-grading quizzes
How to get it: all you need is a valid school email address to sign up.
Microsoft Teams is a big draw of Office 365 Education. The collaboration program allows students to work together on projects; teachers can also use them to communicate and collaborate online with their classes. For video collaboration, Skype is your best choice, which can be integrated into Office 365.
What it includes:
- Google Docs
- Google Sheets
- Google Slides
- Gmail access to school email
- Google Drive and unlimited cloud storage
How to get it: you can sign up here.
For collaboration, G Suite’s applications are very collaborative and perfect for teamwork. However, G Suite does not include an option like Teams for project communication. However, it does include Hangouts, which allows classmates and classrooms to hold video meetings easily.
Other free classroom Tools To Consider
- Slack allows real-time chats and collaboration in a platform similar to Teams.
- GoToMeeting is perfect for scheduling and holding group meetings and sharing screens if your classroom requires it.
- Trello offers virtual organization through “boards,” which can be used in a variety of ways in your classroom, especially for task management and completion.
Take advantage of free classroom tools for your school now and enhance your students’ productivity and educational service exponentially.
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