The rise of the Internet ensures businesses and educational programs alike want to take advantage of unique remote collaboration opportunities. To use the online training advantage to its full potential, here are some tools that will make your task exponentially easier.
In spite of recent changes and a merger with Microsoft, Skype still reigns supreme as the go-to instant messaging, voice, and video chat application. Skype has many different plans and features, so select the one that will meet your needs. Paid business accounts can create conference calls with up to 250 people. The user interface is very friendly as well: just create an account, add other users to a call, and start chatting. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux-based operating systems, there is a reason Skype is the number one way people keep in touch across the world.
Google Docs is a free alternative to subscribing to Microsoft Office 365, and is still one of the best document collaboration services on the Web. You can create and edit documents, as well as spreadsheets, and share them with colleagues. It is web-based, but you can also edit documents offline. The documents are stored in the cloud and automatically saved as you type, so you never have to worry about losing your work. To collaborate, all you need to do is make the desired document available to your collaborator’s Google account. They can then edit and make comments. A Google account is required for use.
join.me is a screen sharing application that is perfect for accessing a colleague’s computer to show him or her how to work a particular software program or perform a task. It also includes audio. There is a free version, but if you like the application, upgrading to the paid version is probably in your best interest. Very few issues have been reported getting join.me to install and function correctly on different operating machines, which is also a significant plus.
Microsoft Outlook is still one of the most widely-used e-mail client programs in the business world, and with good reason. With the ability to manage calendars, multiple e-mails and contact information, remotely and with ease, Outlook is still a strong choice for your business needs, especially the newest releases in 2013 and 2016. Because of its widespread use, you are also unlikely to run into compatibility issues. Gmail and Google Calendar offer a free alternative with similar features.
If you’re looking for a hub for a virtual classroom, Moodle is open source and is already in use by accredited universities worldwide. Moodle allows for classroom forum discussions, the uploading of reading materials, and the creation of assignments. You can also keep track of the class schedule with the built-in calendar. Moodle does require some set up before it is ready for use, which a Moodle Partner can assist you with, but it is a solid, good place to create an online classroom.