Distance Learning RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS
VIRTUAL CLASSROOM TOOLS
Virtual Classroom Options
Below are the options immediately available to you at no cost to anyone – (School, families, teachers, students). HKM either already has an account or accounts with these providers, or they are free for the duration.
Almost all of these tools will require some setup on the part of the host and meeting attendees. At a minimum, the software will probably need to be installed.
Each resource is explained below:
Zoom is the present default for most online meetings and classrooms nationwide. Recent issues with security have led to recommendations to use other, more secure platforms.
The company’s President has said that if they can’t close these security loopholes they would take the whole platform off-line. With the largest number of users in the online meeting space, Zoom can sometimes have connectivity issues.
Zoom is an authorized app for HKM Chromebooks – meaning that anyone with an HKM Chromebook can install Zoom from the Chrome Web Store without Administrator access.
Skype was purchased by Microsoft and folded into its Office365 platform. It is baked into Outlook and other Office apps, which is surprising as Microsoft seems to be looking to kill the product off.
What MS wanted when they bought the company was the technology and the talent in the company, and this has paid off as Microsoft has assigned these resources to their Teams business unit – which is what they want you to use.
Skype is best used for one-on-one or one-to-few meetings and isn’t suited to classroom use. Once again, the preferred MS product for this is Teams.
Google Hangouts MEET
Google Hangouts comes in multiple flavors, but the one you want for HKM purposes is Google Hangouts MEET.
This should be the most painless application to use as most students and staff are already using multiple Google products as part of the Google for Education Suite that is pretty well integrated into HKM systems. See the resource page for articles and tutorials.
All HKM staff have a full Office365 subscription and all students are eligible for Office365 online accounts for free.
This is the most full-featured and robust solution, offering meeting spaces, group chat, online whiteboards and more to each Team. There is no limit to how many teams you can set up or how many you can be a member of – the only limit to Teams is the effort it will take to make the transition.
If you are interested in leveraging Teams going forward, talk to IT. We have in-house resources to help you make the transition.
Analysis and Comparisons
Due to the Coronavirus’ effect on worldwide education, there have been quite a few great articles written contrasting these services and their different benefits, etc.
These will be posted below in the near future and added to the list as more recent articles become available.
This section contains the lists and resources published by HIDOE as recommended resources for educators.
Hawaii Department of Education provided resources, by grade, for parents, teachers, and students.
Some of this content is very specific to grade and age, others are specific to Hawai’i in general. It is a good list and should be reviewed often.
Yes. The name of the resource is “Amazing Educational Resources.” This is the project of another educator compiling a list of… fantastic school tools (?) or awe-inspiring academic utensils (?).
Whatever you call it, it is a Google spreadsheet that is regularly updated with a ton of tools – give it a look and decide for yourself.
Hanahau‘oli School Professional Development Center’s online resource for educators providing e-learning.
This should be a little more Hawai’i focused (one can hope). This is another site that is updated regularly and is worth revisiting from time to time.
Common Sense Media has produced a list of daily and weekly online activities and events for all ages.
Whether you are looking for a distraction or a resource for off-hours instruction, these online events and activities can be lifesavers.