VForce Remote Education Services

In the world of COVID-19, the way we teach and educate has changed dramatically. Now more than ever before, we are relying on technology to teach students remotely. Many different remote education systems can help students and teachers be as successful as they can be in this new virtual world that we are living in. 

Many educators and schools want to use a turnkey solution when it comes to teaching remotely.  Ideally, they want to have one account that they can use for everything, from creating documents to video conferencing. There are two main programs and suites that have a focus on the education market that can help you and your institution become better at providing remote learning to your students: Google Workspace and Microsoft 365

Microsoft for Remote Education

Microsoft has three plans for students ranging from free to $6 per month with an annual commitment. For Educators and staff members, they also have three options ranging in price from free to $8 per month with a yearly commitment. 

Google Workspace for Remote Education

Google Workspace also offers a special remote education package. Google Workspace for education is free, but you can always upgrade to Google Workspace Enterprise for Education. The pricing for Google Workspace Enterprise for Education varies depending on many factors, but it is competitively priced compared to Microsoft.

There are many different pros and cons between Microsoft and Google platforms. One beautiful thing is that both suites offer free memberships for the education sector. Both services offer a wide variety of applications for you to use, including built-in applications specifically tailored for teaching, classroom management, and education. One great feature of Google Workspace is that they offer unlimited storage on Google Drive. The storage capacity is an excellent feature, especially for teachers who have to hold on to many lesson plans or other work that takes up a significant amount of storage. Google Workspace also has a much more intuitive user interface that is much easier to learn and master for both students and teachers.

By far, one of the best features of Google Workspace is Google Classroom. Google Classroom is a cloud-based application that allows teachers to manage their student’s grades and assignments all in one place. The grades and assignments can also be shared with your student’s parents and guardians by sharing it with them; that way, they will be updated every time a new assignment is sent to their child. Microsoft has similar functionality to Google Classroom built into Microsoft Teams, but it is not as easy to use as it crowds up the Teams application.

Now more than ever before, teachers and schools are using online assessments to help grade their students. Both Microsoft and Google have applications that can be used for this purpose.  On Google Workspace, you can use Google Forms and create a test or quiz for your students to complete.  You can have the software automatically grade it for all of your non-open ended questions. Microsoft forms has a few more features that allow more advanced quizzes and assessments for your students to take. You can assign different point values to different questions to take most of the hard work out of grading. 

In a virtual world, face to face, meetings are especially important, if not more important than before. Many applications can be used for both classroom meetings and individual meetings with students or staff. Both Microsoft and Google have meeting platforms, but there are some distinct differences between the two. Of the two, Microsoft Teams has a lot more features and is a lot more user friendly. With both Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, you can video call with up to 250 participants. Microsoft is currently working on raising its capacity to 1000 participants.  Both Teams and Meet allow you to connect third party applications, giving you greater flexibility in running your meetings. One of the best parts of Microsoft Teams is the built-in chat that will enable you to communicate between other faculty and staff and your students. 

Both Microsoft and Google have excellent remote education platforms that can change how you and your students work, whether they are typing an essay, making presentations, or doing their homework. In today’s world, schools must stay connected as a community. You might be asking, what is the best option for you and your school? This entirely depends on how you plan to use it. If you need assistance with this decision, please speak to one of our Remote Education experts today.