Online Learning Platforms for Kids
Kids use online learning platforms at home during distance learning, remote learning and homeschooling to connect with their teacher, collaborate with other students and to access learning resources online. I have organised this list based on each platform's primary feature for distance learning but most have many other uses and features as well.
Collaboration Platforms with Live Video
These online learning platforms feature video calling as their main feature but include a variety of other features too such as recieving and returning assignments and tasks, building an online portfolio of work, and splitting into smaller groups for team work opportunities. Some of these platforms also feature integrations with other web tools and platforms students commonly use in distance learning such as Flipgrid and Nearpod.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration platform with video calling and instant chat that is used by organisations like workplaces and schools.
Is Microsoft Teams free?
If you are a parent or a student then yes, Microsoft teams will be free for you to use as a member of your school.
Who needs an account?
Schools set up Microsoft accounts for their teachers and students to use to access.
How to access Microsoft Teams:
Microsoft Teams blog posts:
What is Google Classroom used for?
Google Classroom is a web service which allows teachers and students to communicate and distribute and grade assignments. Integrated within in are G Suite services like Google Slides, Google Docs etc. Video calling is done using Google Meet in Google Classroom.
Is Google Classroom free?
Who needs an account?
Teachers and students are provided emails and passwords for access to remote learning via Google Classroom.
How to access Google Classroom:
Google Classroom blog posts:
What is Zoom used for?
Zoom is a video conferencing platform where you can make audio-only or video and audio calls as well as do live chat.
Do I need an account to join a Zoom meeting?
You don't need an account to join a meeting but you do need an account to host a meeting.
Is Zoom free?
Zoom is fully available for free but with calls limited to 40 minutes in duration.
How to access Zoom:
Zoom blog posts:
Collaboration Platforms without Live Video
What is Seesaw?
Seesaw is a student engagement and communication platform where kids can build a digital portfolio that is shared with parents (after teacher approval) and receive tasks and feedback from teachers.
How can kids log in to Seesaw?
Kids can either sign in using an email address or Google account, with a QR code or with a Text Code.
Is Seesaw free to use?
Yes. Seesaw is free for students, parents and teachers to use. The only paid subscription is for schools.
How to access Seesaw:
Class Dojo is a communications platform where students, teachers and parents can share posts that include video, pictures, sound and drawings that are often used for assigning tasks and activities and for students to return work.
Parents set up their own accounts and are then invited via an email with a link by the class teacher to join the class. The teacher sets up kids accounts and then provides access either using QR or Text codes for classroom use. For home access, parents can use a link sent by the teacher to access their kids’ accounts. The student accounts are then linked to their parent’s account.
Is ClassDojo free?
Yes. ClassDojo is free for students, parents and teachers to use.
How to access ClassDojo:
ClassDojo blog posts:
What is Flipgrid used for?
Flipgrid allows teachers and students to collaborate on ‘grids’ by contributing their own video clip responses to a topic or question.
Do students need accounts to use Flipgrid?
No. Students can access their class’s or school’s grids using a simple link provided by your teacher that looks something like www.flipgrid.com/yourclassnamehere.
Is Flipgrid free?
Flipgrid is completely free for all users.
Which browsers does Flipgrid work best on?
Recommended Flipgrid browsers are Google Chrome, latest Microsoft Edge. Flipgrid requires Flash in the old Microsoft Edge and Safari.
How to access Flipgrid:
Flipgrid blog posts:
What is Wakelet used for?
Wakelet is a platform for collaboration where users can save and curate different types of content from all over the web. Teachers often use Wakelet to share web resources and project details with students who might use it to respond to these and to document their own learning journey.
Is Wakelet free?
Wakelet is completely free.
Do students need a Wakelet account to use it?
No. Students aged 13+ can sign up for a Wakelet account but anyone, including students younger than 13 years old, can become a contributor to a collaborative collection using a text code, QR code or web link that is provided by the collection creator. This means that younger students can still collaborate on a Wakelet collection that a teacher has created.
How to access Wakelet:
Wakelet blog posts:
Interactive Learning & Engagement Platforms
What is Nearpod used for?
Nearpod is a student engagement platform that teachers can use to present to kids remotely and provide interactive content for kids to use. Nearpod can be used for a whole lesson or for a single activity and can be used in a live mode or a student-paced mode. Pear Deck is similar to Nearpod but teachers can also send written feedback to their students. Compared with Pear Deck though, Nearpod does have more interactive features.
Is Nearpod free?
Nearpod is free for students and can be free for teachers. Paid subscriptions are available for educators.
Who needs an account on Nearpod?
Students do not need accounts to access content from their teacher. Teacher do need accounts to create and share content.
Which browser is best for using Nearpod?
Google Chrome is the recommended browser for using Nearpod on a computer.
How to access Nearpod:
What is Quizlet used for?
Quizlet is a web learning tool which allows students to study anything. Students either study pre-made study sets, create their own or study sets assigned by their teacher. Study in various modes including with flashcards, tests and games.
Is Quizlet free?
Quizlet is free for students to use. Teachers can subscribe for more features.
Do I need a Quizlet account to use it?
Whether they're using it on their own or with school, students sign up for their own accounts to be able to use Quizlet.
How to access Quizlet:
Quizlet blog posts:
What is Kahoot! used for?
Kahoot! is a game-based educational tool that can be used by individual students at their own pace or live. Live games were intended for students to play together in the classroom although it can be played by students who are doing remote learning to compete in real-time against one another from home.
Is Kahoot! free?
Kahoot is completely free for students and teachers to use. Paid options are available for schools and business accounts.
Do you need a Kahoot! account to play?
You do not need to set up an account to play Kahoot!. Instead, players choose a nickname at the start of each game.
How to access Kahoot!:
What is Buncee used for?
Buncee is a platform for teachers and students to create animated and interactive presentations which can tell stories or teach a lesson for example. It's similar to Nearpod in that you make slides with interactive content although it seems to have much more freedom with what you can put in your slides. It also features student accounts where Nearpod doesn't.
Is Buncee free?
Buncee is free for students but paid for teachers and schools.
How do students access Buncees?
Teachers set up their classes on Buncee and students can either create their own account and join their class using a class code or have their student account set up for them by their teacher.
How to access Buncee:
What is Quizizz?
Quizizz is a student-paced learning platform where students compete in gamified quizzes. Thousands of public quizzes are available to anyone to play but teachers can also create and set private quizzes for their students to complete.
What can students do on Quizizz?
With an account, students can create their own quizzes, join live games to play with others in real-time or play quizzes solo. Students can find quizzes covering any school subject and for any age. Teachers may create quizzes or use existing public quizzes as more fun and engaging way to check students understanding of what they have learned in class.
How do students log in to Quizizz?
Students can sign in with Google or sign up for their own Quizizz student account. You do not need an account to find and play public quizzes on Quizizz.
Does Quizizz cost money?
No. Quizizz costs nothing and is completely free for any student.
What devices can I play Quizizz on?*
*Creating quizzes can only be done on a computer browser.
What is Pear Deck?
Pear Deck is a website that allows teachers to share presentations that have interactive features with their students. Students access interactive lessons which they may complete asynchronously or at the same time as their classmates. Pear Deck is similar to Nearpod although teachers can give written feedback and comments to students on Pear Deck, which they can't on Nearpod. Nearpod has more interactive options for teachers to include in their presentations though.
What can students do on Pear Deck?
Students can interact with presentations from their teachers in different ways. Kids can type, draw, drag and drop and watch videos and their teacher will be able to see the student's responses from their dashboard.
How do students log in to Pear Deck?
To join a lesson or a presentation, kids can go to join.pd from a web browser and use an access code or a QR code from their teacher. Students then sign in using their school email accounts or a personal email address if it's the first time they have accessed Pear Deck.
Is Pear Deck free?
What devices can students use Pear Deck with?
Any device can be used to interact with Pear Deck presentations. Pear deck recommends using Google Chrome for the best experience although any browser except for Internet Explorer can be used and will work fine.
What is Boom Learning?
Boom Learning is a website where parents and teachers can find free and paid Boom Cards for kids. Boom Cards are digital task cards used to teach kids all kinds of different things in a fun and interactive way.
Are Boom Cards Free?
Many Boom Decks are free, but some are not. Parents and teachers can assign free or paid Boom Cards from the store to students for them to then access and play.
How do students access Boom Cards?
For students to access Boom Cards assigned by their teacher or parent:
follow the fastplay url provided by your teacher/parent
enter the fastplay pin (provided by your teacher/parent) here
receive a link to assigned boom cards on Google Classroom
sign in to Boom Learning account and see assigned decks - you can do this using your Google account or a Boom Learning account set up with an email address
Which devices can I use Boom Cards on?
Remote Learning Resource Platforms
Some online learning platforms are mostly intended for communication between teachers and students and other focus on games or interactive activities for students to do outside of class-time. Resource-based websites are huge platforms with their own digital educational content. Unlike normal websites with online learning resources that are accessible to anyone, these platforms are made accessible to students when their school subscribes and gives students their own logins. These are the most resource-centric online learning platforms out there! These online learning platforms allow teachers to give kids remote access to interactive and educational learning resources including games, e-books, quizzes, videos and more.
Click here for educational apps, websites, games and stories online that you can access anytime.
Scholastic Learning Zone
What is Scholastic Learning Zone?
Scholastic Learning Zone is a web-based online learning platform by the Scholastic Corporation (American publishers of educational books and media).
Scholastic Login for Students
Students will receive a welcome email which contains a link. Students are able to choose a password when they first access Scholastic Learning Zone from the welcome email and will then need to enter their organisation's ID which can also be found in the welcome email. After this initial setup, students can log into Scholastic School Zone using their username and password at www.scholasticlearningzone.com on any web-browser.
How to access Scholastic at Home
There is no specific mobile app for Scholastic Learning Zone however they have produced lots of excellent mobile apps for kids learning which you can browse here. Otherwise, Scholastic Learning Zone is very accessible via a desktop or a mobile web browser - see the table below for recommendations.
What is EducationCity?
Schools with a subscription to EducationCity set up can provide students with remote access to UK curriculum-based interactive online learning resources like games and mini-lessons. Kids aged 3-11 can access personalised learning resources from home and their parents and teachers can track their progress.
Teachers set up usernames and passwords for each child which they then share with families so that students can access EducationCity at home. Students will also need to enter a School Code which should be provided by the teacher and is the same for all students in a school.
Note: I find it hard to find the actual login page by searching for EducationCity and so your best bet is just to type in go.educationcity.com into your browser and then bookmark that page for next time!
How to access EducationCity
EducationCity can be accessed through a web browser. I have used it successfully on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge both on a Mac and on a PC, plus Safari on the Mac. The site is mobile-friendly and works well on iOS - plus EducationCity is in the process of removing Flash-based resources meaning that every resource should soon work well on tablets and smartphones.
*You can use Android apps from the Google Play store on most Chromebooks - especially ones bought from 2017 on. Click here to check if Android apps are compatible with your Chromebook.
**Bluestacks is a desktop application that can be installed on Mac, Windows and Linux computers that allows you to use Android mobile apps on your desktop.