Google for Education

Google for Education is one of the most popular tools used by both teachers and students across the United States and around the world. Google for Education, or GfE, is an open technology that supports learning for everyone, everywhere and at any time. All of the different tools within GfE, from devices to software, enhance the educational and learning process from preschool to the workplace. Chromebooks and tablets allow anyone to browse the internet easily and without having to pay for systems, memory and software that they do not really need.

Chromebooks are devices that connect to the internet so that users can check email, send photos, look up information and browse the Internet. These devices are affordable, have a straightforward interface, are easy to manage and offer multiple login identities so that everyone in a family, household or classroom can use the same device.

Google's Education Suite

Within GfE's suite of products, there is a whole set of apps that are free for anyone to use: Google Docs works like Microsoft Office. You can create an outline for a report, write it, add footnotes, images and graphs. Google Drive functions as a spreadsheet system so that you can track progress, expenses, budgets and more.
Instead of spending money on a software package that allows you to create slides for presentations, Google's Slides allows users to do this for free.

Gmail offers free email that can be accessed from any device. The powerful spam filters help to reduce your risk of getting junk or phishing email that could put your identity and privacy at risk. Gmail is a convenient and easy way to stay in touch with others in the learning community. One of Gmail's newest features is a call back, which allows senders to retrieve a message before anyone is able to read it.

Google's Classroom App

The Google Classroom app is mostly for teachers, teaching assistants and tutors. With this tool, teachers can easily and quickly create and organize assignments, homework sheets and lesson plans. According to Google itself, "Google Classroom is your mission control for class." Teachers can instantly create daily lesson plans, distribute assignments, send feedback and see all of their documents all in one place.

The app is serviced by the cloud, which offers automatic backups so that none of a teacher's hard work and efforts will be lost to a server or network problem. GfE is an excellent tool because it provides hands-on training for educators and an entire ecosystem of support for everybody involved in education.

Best LMSs

Learning management systems, or LMSs, are online systems created for delivering subject content to students. This multi-billion dollar industry is growing at a rapid pace because it is allowing a greater number of students to engage in life-long learning and higher education. LMSs also allow teachers and professors to augment their lessons with videos and audio recordings of field experts, demonstrations and real-life situations. Although colleges and universities are the main users of LMSs, local school districts are getting in on the action as well.

Blackboard

Blackboard is a large LMS provider that is well known for its group functions that allow students or coworkers to collaborate with one another. Blackboard's primary markets include higher education and further education, with additional areas of focus around the public sector and local school systems. Some of the benefits of Blackboard's technology include smaller carbon footprints as schools are able to deliver information electronically. Another benefit is increased student engagement with their teachers, professors and peers.

Moodle

Moodle is the most widely spread LMS because it is free to use. As an open source system, it also attracts users due to its multilingual user interface. It supports both the learning side and the teaching aspects of higher education. This robust system's greatest advantage is its integration, as it allows for strong, up to date learning communities that are flexible and scaled to the size of the institution. Educators and students alike appreciate the easy navigational systems as well as its extensive resource section and drag and drop functionality. Moodle has the top number of users, with a large learning community all around the world.

Desire2Learn

Desire2Learn is a distance learning program geared towards students who want to take college classes from home. This is a great program for adult learners who are employedonafull-timebasis. Also, community colleges use the system to offer more courses to more students than they would be able to accommodate in physical classrooms.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure is an online corporate training and learning system geared toward universities and school systems. It offers cloud based content that is always available. Their newest feature, Bridge, provides educators and administrators the opportunity to engage with one another and enjoy interactive training sessions so that everyone is on the same page about policies and procedures.

Edmodo

Edmodo is an LMS whose market niche covers K-12 institutions. They aim to provide teachers with opportunities for greater collaboration and communication within a school and around the world. Edmodo also offers coaching from one professional to another as a sort of mentoring program. This program has an interface that allows teachers to distribute information to parents and students, provide skills assessment and feedback and distribute quizzes and assignments. Its new Snapshot app allows teachers to track a student's progress against Common Core standards.

ConnectEDU

ConnectEDU is a large LMS that markets its learning products to colleges and companies. They offer their students help with on-time graduation, finding a college that fits with their needs and lifestyle, and motivation and success tips to help them achieve their desired degree. ConnectEDU is also well known for its huge online community, which includes current and prospective students, alumni, admissions officers, corporate recruiters and career counselors. The community helps guide students into career paths where they have high chances at success and advancement. ConnectEDU boasts the top number of customers out of all LMS providers

MOOCs

MOOCs, or Massive Online Open Courses, are often mistaken to be one and the same as LMSs. An LMS is the platform through which a course is offered, while the MOOC is the actual course. LMSs can host other content that is not a MOOC, but all MOOCs are a part of an LMS. Many LMS providers also offer MOOCs. Some of these companies include Coursera and Udemy, along with large universities such as Stanford, Harvard and MIT. MOOCs can be discrete packets of material, or they can be a part of an ongoing program.

Coursera

Coursera is one of the largest MOOCs on the market today. It partners with large universities to market their best and most popular courses and lectures and deliver them for free. Courses are offered at an on-demand timeline so that students can complete them on their own schedules.

Udemy

Udemy is a learning platform for improving job related skills. On Udemy, anyone can create content and market it to others. The content may be free or paid. Although users do not get any college credits for their participation, they can engage with others for mentoring and tutoring.

Khan Academy

In addition to the previously examined services, some others are highly prized by educators as well. One of these is Khan Academy, which features personalized courses and practice exercises in subjects such as discrete algebra, computer programming and art history. Khan Academy has partnered with world renowned institutions such as NASA and The Museum of Modern Art to offer highly specialized content.

Edtechteacher.com

Edtechteacher.com is a resource for educators in K-12 schools. They offer tips for how teachers can integrate technology into classroom lessons and offer ideas for innovative and interactive classroom projects. Edtechteacher.com also provides app recommendations by subject and skill level.

ITunesU Free Courses

With ITunesU Free Courses, Apple users can watch and listen to free videos and recordings about a wide variety of subject material. Their niche is people who are tech savvy and interested in a variety of subjects. Users can find general overviews as well as specialized content.

Stanford Free Courses

As one of the first major universities to start offering MOOCs, Stanford's free online courses have become highly popular around the world. Their offering entitled Stanford’s – Introduction to Artificial Intelligence has been one of the most popular online course offerings to date. Other subjects include computer programming, law and politics.

UCLA Free Courses

Through UCLA's free courses, learners can explore their technical and creative sides through more than 220 free online writing courses. From English as a second language to sales pitches and fictional short stories, current and hopeful writers can learn how to hone their craft and get peer to peer feedback and constructive criticism.

Chromebook Extensions

Teachers looking for some online resources and tools to help with their classroom products can use some of these offerings through Chromebook to create innovative and exciting lessons for their students.

Pixlr Editor

Pixlr Editor is a tool that allows for highly detailed online photo editing. Teachers can use Pixlr Editor's filters and editing tools in a web browser without having to buy some expensive software and having to manage its updates and other issues.

Desmos Graphing Calculator

The days of every high school calculus and trigonometry student needing to have their own graphing calculator may be over, thanks to Desmos Graphing Calculator. This Chromebook extension does all the work in a web browser window. Students and teachers can graph complex functions and zoom in to get detailed information.

Grammarly

Anyone with grammatical challenges can benefit from a visit to Grammarly. This website helps students with their language usage problems and more. Students can use this site to learn about grammar rules and exceptions, and to correct their grammar mistakes.