How Technology Companies Are Helping Students Learn Online
This past school year has brought a lot of challenges and has changed the way students learn. Students are now going to school both in person and online. Without the right technology, students could fall behind on their school work and it could affect them being able to move on to the next step in their academic careers. Technology companies are working hard to make sure students are able to learn wherever they are and that educators have the tools they need to teach their students online. These are companies that offer a variety of educational tools and help schools transition to online learning.
One of the companies that is helping students learn online is Google. They have their own collection of applications called Google Workspace. It has all of the most commonly used Google applications, such as Google Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Gmail, as well as a few others that can help with productivity. That’s not including some of the other applications they have specifically for education. Google Workspace for Education includes all of the Google Workspace applications plus the Classroom and Assignments applications. Classroom is an application for educators where they can keep track of their students’ work, grade assignments, and communicate with students and their guardians. Assignments is similar to the Classroom application, but it makes the grading process easier for educators. It can work with Google Drive and Google Docs, so educators can access student work and distribute worksheets in the applications.
Right now, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are the only applications that can be used offline, but the company is working to make sure the Classroom application is able to as well. Students will be able to do their work wherever they want, regardless of an internet connection. This is especially important for students who might have a hard time getting reliable WiFi. Google Workspace for Education is free for qualifying academic institutions, so students and educators will be able to use the applications at no additional cost. All of the data from the applications goes into the Google Cloud, more specifically the Google Cloud Student Success Services, and allows schools to be able to easily retrieve each student’s data. This allows schools to better serve their students’ needs and helps students have a better education.
Another technology company that is helping students is Microsoft. Similar to Google, the company offers Office 365 Education free to students who attend qualifying academic institutions. It includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and the new Microsoft Teams application plus additional education tools. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and a few other applications can be used offline, so students will be able to access them wherever they are. Since so many students are learning from home right now, this is very important for them to be able do their schoolwork. They won’t have to worry about not being able to finish their work if the WiFi stops working.
To be able to access the applications offline, all students have to do is sync their computer with OneDrive. When students use Microsoft applications, they automatically save to OneDrive and syncing their computer to it will save everything to their hard drive. OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage service, but Microsoft also has data storage specifically for schools called Microsoft School Data Sync. It allows schools to retrieve all of the data they need and keep track of classes. Google and Microsoft are helping students learn online in similar ways, but each of their applications have their own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the student, they will have to decide which one is best for them.