Software for remote working 2. Communications tools

There are many ways to communicate with colleagues and with your learners/students/pupils BUT it is essential to consider the following:

  • GDPR. Not all communication platforms are GDPR-compliant. This doesn't matter in your personal life, but it does if you are at work. This for example rules out the use of Whatsapp,

  • Safeguarding policies. Schools, colleges and training centres may have quite different policies on the use of communication platforms. Make sure that if you are teaching remotely that the apps you use are compatible with your safeguarding policy. Consult a Safeguarding Lead or Officer.

  • Settings. Make sure privacy and security settings on any communication tools are at maximum. Social media accounts (if they are permissable at all in the context of your work) should be entirely separate from personal accounts.

  • It ain't what you use, it's the way that you do it. There are tricks and pitfalls with all comms apps. One simple tip when using audio or video is to position yourself where you won't be interrupted and little is visible of the background. This will help preserve your privacy. 

Key communication apps

Microsoft Teams

Included with your organisation's Office 365 account. Supports group stream and video messaging and meetings

Zoom

Unless you're lucky enough to have an institutional account this differs in that you set up your own free account. Check your safeguarding policy.

Google Hangouts (including Meet)

Included with your organisation's GSuite account. Supports group stream and video messaging and meetings

Edmodo

This is a safe education-specific social media platform that displays a social stream on which you can set assignments, quizzes etc.