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Online Tools for Working Remotely

08 April 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been no small feat for many Higher Education arts institutions to move their programmes and operations online. Now that we are in the process of getting used to new ways of working remotely, the ELIA team have put together  a list of online tools which should make your meetings more meaningful and days more productive:


  • Best feature: Excellent free version
  • Slack is a collaboration tool that simplifies communication within the company, it offers the possibility to create as many channels as you wish, which take the form of chatrooms. It also provides direct messaging, the possibility to share files and documents, and the integration of third-party applications to facilitate processes such as file management, communication, development, marketing, productivity, social & fun, design.
  • Best feature: Security
  • Wire is a collaboration tool fostering user security, it allows the team to share files and information, make voice calls, video conferences with screen-sharing, chat and create groups to discuss tasks and projects, safely.
  • Best feature: Good alternative to Microsoft Teams
  • Zoho brings teams and resources together in one place, it enables creating and editing documents in real-time and to keep up with each other’s work progress. It also offers the possibility to create channels for exchanging ideas.
  • Best feature: Free
  • HeySpace is a task management software that provides a centralised hub where project teams and managers can put, store and access all their tasks, projects, and schedules while collaborating and communication in real-time.
Google Docs 
  • Best feature: Accessibility and simultaneous editing
  • Google Docs is a real-time collaboration and document authoring tool. It offers the possibility for multiple users to edit a document simultaneously, while seeing each others' changes instantaneously. Users can produce text documents, slide presentations, spreadsheets, drawings, and surveys.
  • Best feature: Doesn't show your IP
  • Discord is a free app that combines voice chat and text chat, as well as various instant messaging services. Students can re-create spaces in the chat as in the school (working groups, study groups, studio spaces, etc.).
  • Best feature: Ease of file sharing and use in general
  • Box is a cloud computing business which provides file-sharing, collaborating, and other tools for working with files that are uploaded to its servers. Users can determine how their content can be shared with other users.

Project Management

  • Best feature: Visual dashboard overview
  • Monday is a visual project management tool that helps to manage work, deadlines, and build a culture of transparency. It takes for the form of a dashboard that visually shows the work in progress.
  • Best feature: Search function to locate past work quickly
  • Asana is a project management tool that allows administrating projects and tasks without requiring an additional communication platform, and offers the possibility to assign a workspace to any number of teams and organise projects in a list or board format.
  • Best feature: Makes issue and bug tracking very easy
  • Backlog is a project and code management tool that fosters collaboration, bug tracking, project transparency through dashboards and charts, storing and tracking of current and previous work.
  • Best feature: Visual lists of tasks and projects
  • Trello is a project and task management tool in the form of an online corkboard. It can be used to organise “cards” into lists. Cards can be used for tasks, notes, projects, shared files, or anything else that helps your team work together.
  • Best feature: Pleasingly simple pricing scheme
  • Basecamp is a project management platform that helps companies and team to foster productivity through better communication and organisation. The tool has numerous features such as file storage, document editing, live chat and to-do lists.
  • Best feature: Visual timeline of work progress and contribution
  • Wrike is a project and work management as well as a company growth tool that allows organising individual tasks with folders and schedules that can be adjusted in timelines to track progress and contribution. The board can be expanded with third-party apps. It is ideal for a small team (less than 5) that wishes to simplify workload through a free software.
Video Conferencing

  • Best feature: Easy screen share
  • GoToMeeting is a software package for online meetings, desktop sharing and video conferencing. It is developed to share the speaker’s desktop view with others.
  • Best feature: Interactive
  • BigBlueButton is an open-source web conferencing tool designed for digital learning environments. It offers interactive functions such as collaborative whiteboards, surveys, chat and breakout rooms.
Google Hangouts
  • Best feature: Easy access, integrated in Google+ and Gmail
  • Google Hangouts is a unified communications service that enables text, voice, or video chats, either one-on-one or in a group.
  • Best feature: Unlimited time and entirely free videoconferencing
  • Jitsi is a set of open-source projects that fosters easy and secure videoconferencing solutions. Part of Jitsi is Jitsi Videobridge and Jitsi Meet, which enable online conferences, other projects in the Jitsi set also enable other features such as audio, dial-in, recording, and simulcasting.
  • Best feature: Great working app for Android, IOS and Windows
  • Skype is a chat and videoconferencing tool. It allows placing domestic and international calls over a 3G or Wi-Fi connection.
  • Best feature: Ideal for smaller groups up to 100 participants
  • Zoom is a full-featured web conferencing solution that provides virtual conference rooms, cross-platform messaging and file sharing. Up to 100 people can participate in a conference. Zoom is also ideal for online collaboration with smaller groups.
  • Best feature: Doesn't require an installation
  • Click Meeting is a web-based audio and video webinar solution designed for organisations of all sizes. It offers are webinar monetisation, interface customisation, on-demand webinars, waiting room, and presentation and whiteboard.


  • Best feature: User-friendly and easy to use
  • GoToWebinar is a webinar tool that offers effective interaction with a widely dispersed workforce in real-time. It provides pre-recorded or live workshops to audiences of up to 2,000 people.
Zoom Webinars
  • Best feature: 100 people capacity per conference
  • Zoom is a full-featured web conferencing solution that provides virtual conference rooms, cross-platform messaging and file sharing. Up to 100 people can participate in a conference. 
  • Zoom is also ideal for online collaboration with smaller groups.
  • Best feature: Easy recording
  • Vbrick enables organisations to leverage the power of video to engage audiences with live video, to empower with on-demand video and to transform video content management and distribution business processes and capabilities.
  • Best feature: Streams to most live streaming video platforms
  • Obsproject is a free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. It provides real-time source and device capture, scene composition, encoding, recording, and broadcasting.

Virtual Classrooms

Blackboard Collaborate
  • Best Feature: Ideal for schools using Blackboard as a main tool
  • Blackboard Collaborate is a synchronous online tool that takes the form of a virtual classroom and allows teachers and students to communicate in real-time. 
Adobe Connect
  • Best feature: Immersive and interactive 
  • Adobe Connect provides solutions for rapid training and is accessible anywhere, anytime, on virtually any device. It offers content authoring tools, large registration capacity, and convenient learner management and tracking tools to deliver immersive virtual classroom experiences.
  • Best feature: Easy teacher-student communication
  • Schoology is a social networking service and virtual learning environment for higher education institutions that allows users to create, manage, and share academic content. It also enables teachers to contact students with homework and more.
  • Best feature: Easy to use
  • WizIQ is an online teaching and training tool. It offers a cloud-based learning delivery platform with a suite of integrated features such as virtual classroom, course management, content authoring, video streaming, tests and assessments, insights and analytics and mobile learning.
Google Classroom
  • Best feature: Easy file sharing between students and teachers
  • Google Classroom is a free web service, developed by Google for schools, that aims to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments in a paperless way. 
  • Best feature: Flexible and customisable
  • Appspace is a digital signage tool that helps schools or businesses of all sizes create and publish announcements, digital signs, room scheduling, kiosk, and more.
  • Best feature: Enables student participation
  • Kaptivo is a whiteboard camera system that turns any regular whiteboard into a smart, digital collaboration tool. It provides unified communications and visual collaboration solutions for education, training and corporate sectors.
  • Best feature: Good alternative if you can't afford expensive licenses
  • Moodle is a free and open-source learning management system. It offers customisable management features, it is used to create private websites with online courses for educators and trainers to achieve learning goals.
Brightspace by D2L
  • Best feature: Flexible and customisable
  • Brightspace is a cloud-based learning management system that helps institutes, higher educations and corporate organisations run both blended and fully online courses.

  • Best feature: Interactive visual experience
  • Prezi is a presentation tool known for allowing users to organise and view presentations as a whole and its possibility for free movement in the presentation to avoid clicking through to find the topic you’re looking for. Its features are story blocks, charts, video integration, and the possibility to track viewers progressing through the presentation.
  • Best feature: Great infographic templates
  • Visme is an infographic software that offers the possibility to create infographics with the help of template or by customising your own layout.
  • Best feature: Wide stock of images, fonts, templates and illustrations
  • Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. It is can be used on web and mobile. It also integrates a wide range of images, fonts, templates and illustrations.

  • Best feature: Easy for short surveys
  • SurveyMonkey is a survey making tool that is highly user-friendly and offers the possibility to create a simple survey in a few minutes, then share the link or embed it directly on your website. Its free version allows 10 questions and 100 responses, it’s best for intermediate users and small businesses.
  • Best feature: Highly engaging and interactive
  • Mentimeter is a survey and polling tool that gives the audience the chance to interact with the presenter and engage in real-time through polls that can be answered via any device.
Zoho Survey
  • Best feature: Unique features in the paid versions
  • Zoho Survey is a survey making tool that has a free version allowing to create an unlimited number of surveys with up to 15 questions and 150 responses each, but the paid versions offer unique features such as offline surveys, multilingual surveys, email notifications and advanced reporting. 
Health & Well-Being

Big White Wall
  • Best feature: Conversation available 24/7
  • Big White Wall is a digital mental health and well-being service offering anonymous and safe online support any hour of any day. It offers therapeutic pathways such as peer and professional support and creative self-expression. It helps individuals getting through stress, depression, and anxiety.
SilverCloud Health
  • Best feature: Clinically validated therapeutic care with reduced costs
  • SilverCloud Health is a digital mental health company enabling healthcare organisations to deliver clinically validated digital therapeutic care, which helps improving outcomes and increasing access and scale of mental help while reducing costs.
  • Best feature: User, family, and child friendly
  • Headspace is a mobile mediation app that offers a free introductory 10-day program. It is sophisticated with a user-friendly interface with customisable content, engaging animations to explain the concepts, and the content can be downloaded and used online.
  • Best feature: Basis of the Charter Award Scheme
  • StudentMind was created by thousands of staff and students. It provides a set of principles to support universities across the UK in making mental health a university-wide priority. 
  • Best feature: Mainstreams Emotional Fitness by bringing 5-minute emotional workout daily.
  • Fika is an institutionally customisable mental health improvement platform, underpinned by science, evidence and technology, delivering mental education programmes that improve mental health literacy and are proven to positively impact mental fitness metrics.
Meeting date pickers

World Time Buddy
  • Best feature: Convenient world clock
  • World Time Buddy is a remote work tool offering a time converter for distributed teams. It offers a convenient world clock and an online meeting scheduler. It allows users to compare multiple time zones, plan conference calls, and web meetings for business.
  • Best feature: Easy and intuitive
  • Doodle is a web-based scheduling tool that lets users check boxes to indicate what times on a day or several days they're available to meet. With this tool, you can pick date and time options then poll your team to see what works best for them.
Pick A Meeting
  • Best feature: Compares availability automatically
  • Pick A Meeting collects information from all the participants' calendars and determines when everyone has time to get together.
Grapple Meeting
  • Best feature: Participants' selection visible to others
  • Grapple allows you to select different meeting times and create a poll page where people can indicate which option works best for them. Participants can see each other's selection which makes it easier to schedule around each other's preferences.

  • Best feature: Progress tracking
  • Gradescope is a suite of tools designed to accommodate a common grading workflow. Students and instructors can scan and upload their homework or exams. In addition, the software can reveal valuable statistics about students work, and provide a path for students to request re-grades of questions.
  • Best feature: Checks for fraud and plagiarism
  • Turnitin is an originality checking and plagiarism prevention service that checks the uploaded assignments and detects citation mistakes or inappropriate copying. When submitting a paper, Turnitin compares it to text in its massive database of student work, websites, books, articles, etc.
Buddy System
  • Best feature: Assigns buddies based on personal expectations
  • Buddy System is a matchmaking software that connects students with a local or international student to interact and exchange based on their hobbies and expectations. It is used to support students and avoid isolation.
  • Best feature: Easy access from your phone
  • Involvio is a student engagement platform, which helps colleges and universities leverage the power of mobile and AI to improve student engagement and retention. To help institutions deliver continuity, community, and support for students who are newly virtual, Involvio introduced “Remote Campus”.
Theta Lake
  • Best feature: Entirely free
  • Theta Lake provides a purpose-built product suite for automatic policy detection of regulatory risks, compliance workflow, and retention for video marketing, video calls, and audio calls. The Theta Lake suite detects risks in audio, visual, spoken, shown, and shared content in audio and video content.
Please note that we will continue to update this list as new tools become available or we discover new methods of working online suggested by our members.

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