25 Best Virtual Learning Platforms for Students & Educators of the Digital EraAll Posts
Written by Melanie Arden
- Teacher Resources
Since early 2020, teachers like you worked tirelessly to ensure students continue their studies without disruption. Despite the challenges everyone faced, your hard work made sure online learning platforms provided a way to keep kids engaged and excited to study!
As students continue to learn online, virtual learning platforms are a good way to help them:
- Have an effective remote learning experience
- Progress with their studies and receive feedback from teachers
- Learn in a safe environment in line with the school’s privacy policies
- Get more time back for homework and activities instead of traveling to school
We've compiled a variety of online learning platforms to suit the needs of parents and teachers. Keep reading to find out which one is right for you!
Types of virtual learning platforms & examples of each
Student and teacher communication platforms
Communication is key when it comes to ensuring students receive the education they deserve. Interactive video lectures help teachers and students communicate effectively in real time.
Education platforms encourage students to:
- Share videos, photos and homework assignments
To help students learn, you can set up classes, distribute and collect homework assignments.
Plus, virtual platforms give parents the opportunity to take part and supervise their child's progress from home.
FlipGrid is a conversation-starter enabling students and teachers to share videos about a relevant subject. Starting guides and webinars are available to teach you and your students how to use this unique platform. Best of all, it's free!
Zoom became the #1 choice for meetings and webinars for its ease and functionality. Why not use this video conferencing tool for online classes, too?
Zoom requires the use of a passcode to take part in real-time video lectures. Not only does this provide a secure learning environment for kids, but it also allows for safe interactions between students and teachers.
Slack is an instant messaging tool that helps you and your students communicate instantly.
Teachers can set up channels geared toward separate topics, and Slack ensures data is secure so only teachers and students access lessons. Once you create a start hub, students can easily access everything they need for their studies.
Bloomz is a wonderful app that opens communication between parents and teachers. Easily line up parent-teacher conversations, receive class updates and track behavior with this user-friendly platform. Translation is available in over 100 languages to make learning accessible for everyone.
Parents can join their kids in class through any device with this platform. ClassDojo gives students a way to receive praise for their skills, and parents have the option to share happy moments captured in classrooms.
Classrooms are a true team environment when teachers and students can swap thoughts and ideas. Microsoft Teams makes it easy for you and your students to work together as you exchange videos, homework assignments and engage in chat conversations.
Game-based learning platforms
Game-based learning combines the fun of gaming with learning. Quizzes, badges and points systems coupled with classroom participation make for a joyful way for students to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills
We found four rewarding and helpful platforms to enhance your child's love for learning through games.
Prodigy's adaptive, game-based learning platform can help students fall in love with learning! Prodigy Math Game challenges students to complete questions, earn rewards and battle friends, all while answering curriculum-aligned questions.
Plus, your free teacher account gives you access to all of Prodigy’s teacher tools. Use them to:
- Align Prodigy with your classroom lessons
- Differentiate math instruction for every student
- Track student progress and deliver in-game assessments
Whether students are learning in the classroom or at home, Prodigy is a great way to keep them engaged as they build math skills.
Nothing gets kids more excited than a good classroom quiz (and a little healthy competition). Kahoot! was created to work with live video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Skype and Google Meet and blends educational games with fun questions to promote learning.
Kahoot! also encourages kids to create their own games and share with other students.
Gimkit Live unleashes clever educational content where students answer questions at their own pace. Each time they answer a question correctly, they receive in-game cash they can re-invest to buy upgrades and power-ups.
Quizlet uses flashcards and games to make learning more enjoyable. Study modes and sets are suited to each student's learning style, which makes small accomplishments feel like victories.
Quizlet helps kids to learn a variety of subjects, including:
Classroom management platforms
Classroom management platforms are timesaving tools that make learning run smoothly. These ingenious platforms help you time tasks, manage and improve students' behavior and create a respectful and supportive environment.
You can also use these platforms to communicate with parents and enhance educational experiences at school or at home.
Google Classroom requires the use of a Gmail account to access Classrooms. This platform is fantastic for easy communication, teamwork and sharing homework files. Plus, you can even use Classroom to make a class website and store important resources or information for students.
Buncee is a fun and simple tool that helps students and teachers create course materials, presentations and stories. The platform has over 2,000 templates that allow users to build charts and visual art creations.
Buncee is a multi-purpose, web-based tool for educational, business and personal applications.
As a global learning management system (LMS), EdModo is a collaborative platform that connects teachers, students and parents.
Teachers like you can:
- Support students
- Distribute quizzes
- Share assignments
- Create posts and messages
Students have a greater chance of reaching their full potential thanks to EdModo's organized class folders and built-in planner.
Parents may wish to create their own account so they can supervise their child's progress.
As a valuable online education tool, Edulastic's high standards help you administer assessments, help students and track their progress. Google Classroom synchronization is available free to use in combination with Edulastic. Students receive the best of both worlds: effective academic resources that are easy to use!
Eduplanet21 recently began allowing teachers and groups to receive a free subscription to use their platform. Developers also released a software module called "Lesson Planner," which helps you to produce and alter lesson plans for remote learning.
The website has great resources for "10 Minute Tuesdays," quick conversations with educators from around the world. Their webinars also offer valuable tips to help educators and students.
ClassMax's online education tool shows teachers exactly how to set up the system, so no guessing required. You can create seating charts, monitor behavior and track student progress. It also eliminates the need to use paper, which is an environmental bonus!
Online-only virtual learning platforms
When the pandemic forced educators to change the way they deliver lessons, virtual learning platforms became the solution for administering tutorials and sending out learning materials.
There are countless platforms to make studies enjoyable while kids learn from the comfort and safety of their homes, and we found five excellent options for teachers and parents to choose from.
Skillshare's vast library of over 20,000 classes earns top honors as one of the best online learning platforms. Courses consist of presentations lasting 20 minutes or less along with a class project.
Skillshare membership levels include:
- A two-month free trial.
- Free membership allowing access to 2,000 classes.
- Premium membership for $15 per month or $99 for a year. You receive access to 20,000+ classes.
Students learn new skills through online courses about productivity, business and creativity.
2. 3P Learning
3P is a blended software designed for mathematics and literacy. Incorporated gaming elements make learning more fun for students, and 3P's Mathletics program provides activities that help students practice and advance their understanding of mathematics.
Math and literacy subjects are geared toward students ages 3 - 16.
Dialpad, a cloud-based phone system, allows educators to create an online campus and bring all their students together under one 'roof'. Teachers can set up a virtual classroom in seconds, students easily stay connected from any device and all communications are secure thanks to encryption.
Docebo is an amazing collaborative learning platform perfectly suited for student interaction. Kids can take part in active discussions as they would in a physical classroom with a flexible and easy-to-use system.
Course content distribution and management has never been so easy!
Habyts' platform lets teachers and parents take control over students' screens to help kids stay motivated to complete their schoolwork.
Parents can have round-the-clock access to goals and rewards that help their kids remain focused. Use Habyts with your students’ parents to promote healthy learning even when they’re not in the classroom!
What about eLearning platforms for adults?
There are countless free and low-cost options available to adults who want to learn online. If you would like to upgrade your skills or sign up for professional development training programs, we've got you covered.
Below, you'll find four of our top picks to help you achieve your educational goals.
Coursera has several certificates, degree programs and general courses to give you the tools for success. Learn from top educational institutions and companies like Duke University, Stanford or Google.
Coursera's affordable options include:
- Free courses
- Degree programs such as computer science and MBAs
- Professional certificates in social media or digital marketing
The impressive list of training programs is available to anyone seeking career advancement.
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses. An extension of EDx, you'll find free and affordable online courses to transform your career in engineering, data science, computer science, business, management and humanities.
Udemy is a fantastic, low-cost option where you can learn design, web development, marketing, music and countless other subjects. With over 155,000 online courses to choose from, you'll spend hours honing new skills for work or play.
EDx boasts affordable degree programs taught by respected educational institutions like Harvard, Berkeley University and MIT. MicroBachelor and MicroMasters studies enable adults to fast track their career advancement and start less expensive Bachelor and Masters programs.
Adult eLearning platforms are a boon for those wishing to expand their education from the comfort of their home. During the pandemic, these platforms provide extraordinary value without a huge expense.
Is there a best virtual classroom platform?
Well... choosing the best virtual platform depends on several factors:
- What age group are you teaching?
- How many students do you have in your class?
- Do you need to set up tutoring spaces for kids who need extra help?
There are several things to consider before choosing a platform that is right for your students
One of the best ways to determine the right platform for you is to create a list of must-haves. Compare the list against each virtual platform's features and benefits. From there, you'll be able to settle on the best platform for your students.
Our digital world opens up a staggering number of virtual classrooms to choose from. Each platform has their own unique advantages. Like everything else, there are limitations to consider.
But what happens when virtual classrooms do not meet all student needs? It is important to point out several caveats associated with virtual classrooms:
- Teacher compensation and workload require restructuring
- Students may lose interest in completing homework assignments
- Educators should be mindful of how student data is collected and stored
- Students miss their friends and the social interaction they received at school
- Technological limitations may exist especially for kids from low-income families
- It is not always easy to prevent unwanted visitors from entering a virtual classroom
- Unstable enrollment as restrictions lift and students attend traditional classrooms vs. virtual learning
- Problems with internet access could prevent students from logging into classes and missing important lessons
- Other limitations include length of each session and the number of participants allowed to enter the virtual classroom (this isn't an issue for paid versions of some platforms)
Before choosing a virtual classroom, consider the pros and cons of each platform and how they may influence your students' learning experience.
There are several wonderful learning options available to educational institutions and teachers. A little research will help you arrive at the best decision for your students!
Virtual learning is changing education
For every state and school district, there are different opinions on the future of virtual learning. Some say it's here to stay while others insist a physical classroom is the best way for kids to learn.
Here are a few key points to consider about the future of virtual classrooms:
- Online courses offer flexibility and accessibility for everyone with internet access
- Several platforms offer an extensive selection of programs and courses catered to different interests
- Most online learning resources are less expensive than traditional in-person classrooms and lecture halls, making virtual education more affordable
Although it’s hard to predict what online education will look like ten years from now, many online learning resources will be available in the near future. Online studies have become a great way to supplement traditional classroom learning.
Prodigy Math Game blends the adventure of an online game with curriculum-aligned math practice. As students explore the world of Prodigy through their wizard avatars, they’ll encounter skill-building math questions that help them earn rewards and level up.
With your free teacher account, you can align the questions students answer to your lesson plans, differentiate content and track student progress, even while students learn online. Get started today!