Distance learning has revolutionized education to a great deal and the Internet has played a crucial role in this breakthrough innovation. This has brought effective learning to people who can’t afford formal education, or don’t have time to physically attend a class. Distance learning has enabled people to work, earn and learn a new skill all at the same time. To make your experience more fulfilling and worthwhile I have sorted a list of best online tools and services available to ease that experience for you;
It is a near-impossible that someone associated with the field of education is not aware of the “omnipresent” PDF files. Adobe, ever since contributing to providing learning solutions has come up with a web conferencing software to ensure best quality webinars, training, and collaborative experiences. It’s a tool that can help businesses and educational institutes to connect, share and learn all in one place that too like the comfort of their homes.
WeVideo brings a group video making tool, making collaborative video making a lot easier. Now you don’t have to go through the pain of sharing clippings with one person, taking all the burden of editing and compiling the project when with WeVideo all of you can do so, remotely. You can combine videos of an entire group with an extensive range of visual and audio effects, easy to use interface, minimal costs, and a free sign up option.However, users report a lower video quality in the free signup case. You can easily download videos for future use. This tool creates an atmosphere of closeness, which rather is the main thing absent in distance learning programs.
A.nnotate is an online service for document storage and annotation, with PDF, office and word formats supported. The user can upload the desired documents from their computer or source them online. The interface is a bit complicated but perfect for more tech-keen people. The uploaded documentis treated as an image and sent to the user where they can perform annotation.
After the introduction of this service, the seemingly irreplaceable PowerPoint instantly started feeling old school. Prezi is the Hungarian short form of presentation. As the company likes to put it;“it is a visual storytelling (zooming) software, an alternative to the traditional slide-based presentation”. It is a collaborative platform to develop more interactive and visually appealing presentations. All you need is a high-speed internet connection to support tools like this and you’re ready to rule the world check the best internet deals here. Your creativity is the only limit.
Scrible, in a way, is a relatively simpler version of A.nnotate. With Scrible you can save web pages for later use, bookmark websites in the cloud, Store files in the cloud, build your own library of articles, organize them with tags, full text search your library, annotate articles, make comments on web pages and share annotated articles with others. Initially, developing the software was rather a personal need for the CEO,Scrible has grown into something with greater utility for a wide range of audience.
An online timeline tool to manage your projects in the form of a timeline. Following the simple chronology, the interactive timelines can be shared anywhere online and printed too. One can sort subjects like social studies, history etc. easily at Dipity with an option to add photos, videos, and text, thus making it a real work of art.
As part of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) movement, Coursera is an online distance-learning platform offering courses, specializations, and degrees from well-renowned and reputable universities. Two Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller founded this platform. It prides itself on providing a vast variety of subjects ranging from engineering, humanities to marketing, data science and much more.
Udacity, working on the lines similar to Coursera is a for-profit organization offering MOOCs. As the company’s founder likes to put it, the company’s name Udacity comes from the company’s desire to be “audacious for you, the student”. It originally offered university courses but itis more focused on skill development courses for professionals now.
It won’t come as a surprise now that how YouTube is contributing to distance learning of skills at large. There’s hardly anything that you can think of and is not available as a video tutorial. Many famous bloggers, institutes, teachers, professionals, and experts post video tutorials and documentaries teaching one skill or the other.
Schoology is a Course/learning management system for schools up to 12th Grade. It allows both students and instructors to create, manage and share material. It is available in multiple languages including English, Spanish, French, Malay, and Japanese.
edX is considered to be a leading site for accessing MOOCs available in English, Mandarin, French, Hindi, and Spanish. edX is a non-profit organization providing university-level courses in a wide variety of disciplines to a student body from across the world. It consists of weekly learning programs supported by text, video and audio resources. Videos available are similar to discussion groups, textbooks, and discussion forums.
Blackboard is a virtual learning management system serving more like a traditional blackboard. It offers some great features like announcements, chat, discussions, and mail for communication, course content, calendar, learning modules, assessments, assignments, grade book, and a media library.
Khan Academy is primarily a not for profit organization created in 2005 by an educator and entrepreneur Salman Khan with the aim to set an online platform to help educate students in various disciplines, producing short tutorials like YouTube videos and practice exercises and supporting material for teachers and educators.
Hence, with the advent of MOOC’s and other types of online education, it has revolutionized the prospects of teaching and learning. With an array of options to explore, it sometimes gets confusing as what to choose but the above list of resources will reduce the labor to a bare minimum. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
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