Text by: Prakriti Panwar (Intern), Staff Writer
The beginning of online classes, apart from helping us catch up with the syllabus, has also introduced us to a whole new world of virtual learning platforms. While many of these started as free apps, they had certain restrictions such as the limit of people, the timings, or certain technical glitches. Now that most of the schools have begun the new academic session and offices have started functioning, these applications and platforms are much in demand. Not only students but people looking for short art courses or self -development online courses too, can conveniently access these. To save you the troublesome process of exploring and trying until you find the perfect platform, we have made a list of the top four such applications that will help you connect with your team or students serviceably.
1) G Suite
This computer software by Google is a paid/free platform, depending on the purpose. For Non-profit organizations and Schools, G Suite is completely free. It offers a plethora of google features that are suitable for easily sharing notes, presentations, and assignments. What makes it different from other free services provided by Google is that it allows users to customize and send emails to a large number of employees/students. It also gives them twice the amount of storage for Gmail and Drive. This platform is extremely suitable for large scale meetings and combined online classes, which require sharing a lot of content and support material, securely.
2) Microsoft Team
Microsoft Team is probably the best -suited software for corporate purposes. It is also the safest and is equipped with all sorts of technical measures to prevent online harassment of any sort. In a conference call, it can take up to nine people at a time. While the free version is sufficient for regular meetings, its various paid versions provide users with full desktop versions of the Office Apps. The highest level of the paid/advanced version also allows users to install the application in up to five devices. The software is so safe to use, that it even offers something known as ‘transparency reports’ and prevents tracking of participants.
Skype is one of the most heard of applications. It has been used by several people for many years now. Whether it is a call with family or with colleagues, it has always been the most preferred option. One can accommodate up to 50 people in a call, along with the access to the ‘record call’ and ‘live subtitles’ feature. It is great for small group sessions and classes as it allows people to share their screens and is compatible with all devices, be it a phone or an Xbox. There also exists a ‘Skype Translator’ for those who deal with foreign clients, colleagues, or students. At present, it offers live translation for up to ten languages. Moreover, to save you the embarrassment of a messy room or a pet in the background, Skype offers a unique feature that enables one to blur the background and focuses on the speaker rather than the surroundings. (Skype for Business is also widely used at an enterprise level.)
4) TMSV Edutech
This tutor-led virtual classroom is filled with features that make it no different from a real one. With two login options- one for a tutor and a student, the application is designed for a phone as well as a computer. Apart from allowing students to easily interact with their teacher, it also enables the tutor to conveniently control the lecture. Moreover, it also displays a ‘Lecture Schedule’ for both. To maintain decorum in the class, the application allows tutors to mute or unmute people and remove them from the meeting as well. The application also offers vocational training, corporate training and much more. With four levels of subscription packages at affordable rates, Edutech is the app to look out for.
With this list, we have not only provided you with a medium or a tool to host/attend meetings and classes but have also, in a way, provided you with a holistic and positive experience of virtual learning. Though the above- mentioned platforms are safe and secure, one can always do his/her part by maintaining certain cyber ethics such as informing before unmuting and speaking or switching on the camera only when necessary, to name a few. These software and applications will certainly enable you to use technology to its fullest and provide you with various features to learn, without any inhibitions.
Please note: This is an independent research article.
About our Intern:
Prakriti Panwar is a Grade XI student of DPS School, RK Puram, New Delhi. She is a wordsmith and a bookworm. At the age of 14, her short story was selected to be published as part of an ebook after she won a countrywide contest. She loves to weave stories, paint, play the guitar and piano and sing. She plans to pursue her interest in writing by becoming a journalist.
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