A number of headteachers have asked for some information about how to organise remote learning support for their schools which have no costs associated with them.
While not recommending or pushing either of these products this information might help you decide on, and how to get access to, remote learning technology for your school.
- All the links and information given here are correct at the time of writing.
This is not a user guide but just indicates how to get started. The system chosen by an individual school will depend on what resources the school already has in place.
The two I am going to present are:
The functions of both are similar and if your school is already confident with the one I would suggest that would be a natural choice. This is a very comprehensive product that includes training materials for teachers as well as providing tools to enable effective distance learning. It has very high-quality video meeting software and pupils can access what your teachers offer from virtually any type of connected device. There is a huge range of resources already in place, online storage and a full office suite. It is designed to be appropriate from Reception to Higher Education.
It is absolutely free to schools but the school has to sign on and be approved as an appropriate educational institution. Like Google, Microsoft is offering these products to schools for free. Combined together they offer an excellent learning platform that your school may already be using. Many schools already use Office 365 Education for free but are unaware of the companion program Teams for Education which allows for video conferencing and collaborative work. Click here to sign your school up for Office 365 Education and Teams.
This link here will allow you to sign up for Teams if you already have Office 365.
Sign up usually takes two weeks but I understand this has been expedited.
Microsoft provides resources, training tutorials for staff and pupils and has a vast range of links and projects, all for free. Both Google and Microsoft have produced special links with regard to the COVID-19 outbreak and how they are able to support schools. Just click on the name to go to the respective articles:
There are other systems out there that offer similar products but I am unaware of any which are as comprehensive as these two for free.