What is an online learning platform and what is it for?
What are the benefits of a virtual learning platform?
- They facilitate availability and access to educational content. Educational platforms facilitate e-learning, which is learning from anywhere that has an internet connection. All you need is a device that’s connected to the internet to access the content, which is available in real time. Thanks to virtual platforms, many barriers to learning have been removed. Everything is easier if you can learn from home, and it also saves time and money.
- They reduce the time and costs associated with the creation of educational content, as there is no need to print the materials. And it’s also more environmentally friendly!
- They improve and streamline communication between teachers and students: sending an instant message, an email, or participating in a forum with the people who are part of the learning group is easy and quick.
- They make it possible to monitor the progress of learners, by monitoring their interactions with the content.
- They allow educators to present the materials in an interactive and much more attractive way.
Sounds good so far, right? Well, keep reading to learn more about the different tools.
Online platforms for teaching
The basics: What is an LMS?
An LMS is a learning management system. These are platforms that are used to manage all the teaching or training activities of a school, education center, or organization.
LMS are used in face-to-face, virtual, or hybrid teaching and allow educators to create a space in the online world to connect the people in an educational community. Through an LMS, the school, families, teachers, and students can communicate with each other and share content, activities, grades, news, etc. If you’re a teacher or trainer, your school or company may already be using one.
Being virtual spaces, LMS provide new ways of enriching teaching and learning. As a teacher, you can limit yourself to posting PDFs in the virtual classroom and using the same old quizzes to assess knowledge… or you can take proper advantage of the LMS and put gamification into practice, experiment with other formats such as video, and use resources such as interactivity andanimation. This way you can connect with your students and let them have fun while they learn.
The best LMS
This is the most popular LMS. It was created in 2002 by Martin Dougiamas, who as well as being a computer scientist, is also an educator. The interface was developed by a team of psychologists and teaching experts.
Moodle is based on constructivism, a dynamic, participatory, and interactive teaching process. It’s very useful for remote learning, as it allows you to create a virtual social community.
Canvas is used in thousands of schools and universities to create online courses. Perhaps its strength is its advanced interface, which provides better usability than other tools.
This tool provides a variety of functions to allow you to manage the educational community. Teachers can create courses and add all kinds of content to support student learning. And yes, you can also insert your geniallys!
Each teacher will be able to see which students have accessed the courses and evaluate their progress, as well as communicate through the platform itself.
This is an LMS that is defined as a collaborative learning platform. Why? Because it’s based on ‘peer-to-peer’ learning, the strategy in which teachers and students exchange knowledge. This software allows you to create and share all kinds of training content in different formats. It also incorporates advanced features thanks to the use of AI.
Among the features most valued by those who use this LMS are the ease of use and the excellent customer service they offer.
Classlife is an LMS, but even more than that: it is an ‘all in one’ educational management platform. It includes several software solutions created to cover all the management needs in educational institutions of all kinds, from elementary, middle, and high schools to universities, academies, and professional training centers.
In Classlife there are different products or modules. In addition to their LMS, designed to improve interaction and communication between teachers and students, they offer an administrative management tool, an ERP for optimizing resources, and a CRM for supporting marketing activities.
Classlife integrates with the main educational tools and platforms, such as Moodle, Google Classroom… and Genially! All it takes is a couple of clicks to share your geniallys with your students.
As well as these ones, there are many other LMS on the market, such as Open LMS, Docebo, Talent, etc.
Not quite an LMS, but close!
This is a digital center that brings together conversations, content, tasks, and applications all in one place, allowing you to create dynamic learning environments. Its main feature is the possibility to organize collaborative classrooms and connect with professional learning communities.
MS Teams is used primarily in corporate training, although it includes many features that make it an exceptional and increasingly popular resource for the education sector. Thanks to this platform, teachers, students, and the whole team can work collaboratively, creating, content and sharing resources all in one place.
This is the Google tool of choice for managing online classes. It allows for more efficient processes, encourages collaborative learning, and boosts communication between teachers and students. Teachers can create classes, assign tasks, send comments, and view all information in one place, among many other options.
The classroom is completely free for schools and is included in the G Suite for Education package. All you need to access Classroom is a free Gmail account. What’s more, the shared space can be accessed from any device.
Google Classroom is not considered an LMS in the strictest sense, because it does not offer all the characteristics of this type of tool, although it does offer many of them. For example, it doesn’t have discussion forums or a content design application.
The best complement for your LMS: Genially
And while we’re on the subject of content creation, if you’re using an LMS, you’ll have noticed that the content creation possibilities are quite limited, right? That is why, in order to get the most out of your LMS, you need an authoring tool, an authoring tool like… Genially!
In many cases, content that is created with Genially is consumed in an LMS. Genially integrates with the most commonly used educational platforms, so you can easily insert your creations into Moodle, Canvas, or Google Classroom. You don’t need to know how to code; just copy and paste.
Using Genially as a companion tool for your LMS is the best way to get the most out of it. How so?
Well, you’ll be able to say goodbye to content creation difficulties forever. In Genially you’ll find thousands of templates and resources for creating incredible gamified content, infographics, presentations, mind maps, breakouts, rubrics, certificates, calendars… and all interactive and visual, so you can engage learners like never before with your teaching content.
What’s more, you can download your geniallys in SCORM format, which allows you to monitor the activity of learners in a very simple way.
If you’re creating gamification resources from scratch and still haven’t discovered the Genially + LMS formula, give it a try and you’ll see how the trickiest of tasks becomes oh so easy. You’ll never look back!
Other educational tools
Flipgrid allows video discussions on a proposed topic and is very successful among students. The teacher proposes a topic, and the students participate with their answers, interacting immediately while recording their own videos. What do you want to discuss? You can record a video, add a picture, write a question, or insert a genially.
Flipgrid is available for free on both iOS and Android. It’s a great tool for energizing the classroom and improving student interaction.
From planning lessons to assigning grades, Additio App centralizes the management of your classes into a simple, easy-to-use mobile application. Used in more than 30,000 schools worldwide, this tool allows you to create a journal of classes focused on programming and didactic development.
It works like a notebook in which you can store and manage everything that a teacher needs to design their classes and evaluate their students with ease.
Additio App helps teachers solve class planning and organization problems. It also makes the relationship between teachers more fluid, enhancing collaboration and content sharing.
Wiris is a mathematical calculation tool with many functions where the user can perform calculations and get an immediate response. This tool covers all the content of secondary education and can also be used in university education as it includes content such as calculus, mathematical analysis, linear algebra, etc.
Wiris enables you to visualize abstract concepts and functions, making it easier for students to understand scientific, technical, and mathematical subjects, while increasing and improving spatial intelligence.
In Wakelet you can create collections or wakes, allowing you to locate, organize, and modify lots of educational content on a single platform. You can add any content you find on the web that seems useful to you for your class to your wakes.
The integration between Genially and Wakelet multiplies the power of both platforms to engage students. In the video below, you can learn how it works.
8 Platforms to learn with from home
Here’s a comprehensive list of platforms and learning resources for all education stages, from elementary school to university.
The best universities offer their courses on this learning platform. From short courses (known as Massive Open Online Courses or MOOC) to advanced specializations and online degrees. The duration of the training usually ranges from six to ten weeks and is always remote.
As Coursera professors come from universities and advanced specialties, the quality of teaching is high. There’s a combination of texts, videos, downloads, and knowledge assessments. More than 900 courses on the Coursera platform are distributed free of charge.
In the past, to study at Harvard, you had to be accepted and then move onto campus. That’s no longer the case with EDX, a platform founded by Harvard and other prestigious universities, which has the advantage of being the only provider of open-source, non-profit MOOCs.
EDX has one of the most extensive educational offerings and offers different types of degrees, many of which cater to the greatest needs of the market. This platform is ideal for upskilling. Who said remote learning had to be lower quality?
A standard for distance learning is Khan Academy, which has become one of the most well-known organizations of its kind. It stands out for its diverse offerings in mathematics, science, and economics. Complex subjects are much less difficult on this platform thanks to super-entertaining videos and resources.
The best option for staying up to date with all the digital skills required is offered by one of the Internet giants, Google, through Google Digital Garage. Here, you can learn about digital marketing, data, or skills for professional development and management in the online world.
Many people decide to take these courses based on the strong influence Google has on the development of e-commerce and digital marketing strategies as well as its ease of access and integration with other tools like Google Classroom. In any case, Google Digital Workshop courses allow you to expand your knowledge and provide a solid foundation for growth in this area.
Early education is also available on the Internet. Many people lack access to primary and secondary education for various reasons, which in the educational world is known as K-12. The CK12 platform was created with the intention of making learning these levels more accessible to everyone.
Science and technology are key players on this platform, but it also offers material related to humanities and other knowledge, including photography. One of its most interesting points is that the generated content is licensed under Creative Commons, making it a good repository for all kinds of online educational materials.
Crehana is the training platform for creative professions. From architecture to marketing to illustration to graphic design, Crehana offers courses to learn how to exploit design tools or methodology for managing creative projects. Courses are in Spanish and available with English subtitles.
With Crehana, you can set up your own training. If you want to go in depth into a topic, you can opt for a single course. The ‘Careers’ option brings together several related training courses and is ideal for getting started in a particular field. If you want to demonstrate your knowledge, you can use the ‘Certificates’ option. The price range of the courses is quite affordable. In short, there is no excuse to be out of date in this sector as anyone who is interested in getting started can do so very easily.
Very similar to Crehana, Domestika is a creative community that allows Spanish-speaking professionals around the world to share knowledge related to creativity in all its fields. The platform and its courses are also available in English.
This platform also offers the opportunity to share your creative work through a portfolio linked to your profile. Its courses are of very high quality, as they are led by the most reputable and relevant professionals in the creative scene who generously reveal the best-kept secrets to success in each of their disciplines. Another plus is that course prices are very affordable.
Udemy is the online course platform created ‘to improve lives through learning‘. With over 183,000 courses and nearly 600 million registered users in 14 languages, Udemy is the leading international teaching and learning platform on the market.
The training content on this platform consists mainly of videos that can be viewed from any device, which enhances the learning experience and gives learners more freedom. Leading companies such as Volkswagen and Mattel use its technology and business courses to train their teams.
So, where are you going to start? With this selection of educational platforms you can do lots of different things, whether it be enriching your teaching work, or learning something new and interesting. And remember, whatever platform you choose, the content you use can be interactive and easy to create with Genially. Never let it be said there was a lack of resources!