Team Teachers

Team Teachers

because education is a team effort

This section of this website was created in response to the COVID-19 health crisis hitting the world, and more specifically Japan and the rest of Asia. There are going to be a ton of teachers at all levels teaching online classes for the first time starting this year and I hope to provide some insight, tools, and support to those teachers. 

Here you will find some basic information on online learning theories, introductions to popular online learning tools, and some tips for first time online teachers.

Team Teachers
What we do

Team Teachers started in 2007 as a teaching materials exchange and support project for teachers in Japan by Eric Hawkinson.  It has sense evolved into a platform for technology support, training, and professional development for teachers, educators, professors, and coaches around the world.

Educational Technology Fundamentals

Learn more about the pedological theories, learning design concepts, and online learning best practices.

Online Learning Platforms

A collection of resources on the most popular platforms for teaching and learning online such as Google Classroom and MS Teams.

Learning Technology Tools Database

Reviewing and evaluating the latest in learning hardware and software. Curating the best for your needs.

Learning Design and Technology Research

Research and development into the advancement of educational technology and design, with a focus on immersive tech.

3 Words Project

Introducing the 3 Words Project

Teachers Inspire Teachers

If you could send a message back in time to yourself when you were just starting out as a teacher, and you only could say three words... What would you say? That is what this simple concept is all about and it is my hope that it helps to inspire us as teachers to keep doing the great work we do.

Tell us your 3 words!

Learn more about the pedological theories, learning design concepts, and online learning best practices.


Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

One of the concepts you will have to think deeply about when porting your classroom learning is the timing of learning. Classroom learning happens on a schedule (mostly), and information is delivered at the same time to all of your students. In online and mobile learning environments, information is consumed at the students convenience, and thus conversations and work is happening at different times for different students. 

Steps to Holding a Great Live Online Class

If you are new to online teaching, here is a procedure to get you started on the right foot.


Set up the meeting/class and send out notices

Most teleconferencing or LMS systems have a scheduling function, you may need to set the time and add participants to your class.  This is when you also need to make sure you notify your students of the class, send the information needed to find your class, and in some cases give the appropirate access and permissions to join the class. This may need to happen everyweek, even for regulary scheduled classes, depending on your setup, but it is good practice to send our reminders even if this process may be automated for you.  Have a backup plan in case there are technical difficulties.


Test the meeting room and set permissions

Jump into your meeting join or class link after you make it, you will be only one there, but it will let you know that the room was set up correctly and you have the correct permissions and software installed to access the space.  This is a good time to see what kind of permissions are availible to students.  For example, try to see if everyone will have mics and cameras on when they join the class, and check to see if you have the ability to mute others or even boot or block participants.


Test and calibrate your equipment

Sound and video issues are rampant in online classes, so properly calibrating your equipment is very important. You will want to test your sound and confirm your camera and microphone are working optimally. It usually helps to set the same device to record and play audio, this cuts down on the possibility of feedback, it helps even more to hear a headset.  Also check your camera, make it eye level, and clean up your background of distracting or embarrasing items.


Show up early

There are many times when you think you got everything working, but when you return the day of your class, something goes wrong.  It is just the nature of working with technology.  If there is a big issue, you will have time to switch to your back-up plan if you made one, or tell your students that things are running late.  Students may also show up early, try to check in with them as they do if possible by having them say hello either on mic or in chat. This will get them to test their audio and remember to mute themselves.


Create and encourage communication practices

With most of the class on mute and cameras pointing at students, it is important to try to get some simple behaviours going for better communication in your online class.  Get your students nodding a lot, giving thumbs up or thumbs down to simple yes or no questions, and waving or raising hands when they want to speak so you can acknowleadge them and they can unmute.  Also encourgage students to add comments and thoughts to what you are saying, as well as questions to the chat.  Try to pay attention to what is going on in chat, this takes some practice.


Ending the class

After the class has finished, you may want to teave the meeting/class open for a time so students can chat if possible. If this isn't possible, it is good practice to annouce the closing of the online session with a warning or two.

Online Teaching and Learing Platforms

Google Classroom

Google Classroom

Google's LMS that runs seemlessly with GSuite.

Together Learning

Together Learning

Online Learning Community and elearning sandbox



One of the most popular LMS for elearning in Japan. 

MS Teams

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft's telework platform also used in education.

Google for Education

Google's LMS that runs seemlessly with GSuite. As a Certified Google Educator I am sharing the latest in resrouces to help you use these tools around GSuite

Teach from Home

Teach from Home

A temporary hub of information and tools to help teachers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.


GSuite Training

A collection of training courses in Google products in both English and Japanese

Google Classroom

Student Onboarding

A guide for students to get started with Google Classroom for the first time and starter kit for teachers

Manaba Resources

One of the most popular LMS for elearning in Japan

Manaba is a cloud-based collaborative learning system developed by the Internet service provider ASAHI Net, Inc. Manaba was developed in 2007 in collaboration with two private universities in Japan. Initially, it was designed to connect students and teachers, enable students to accumulate learning evidence and elevate learning outcomes through mutual review. Known for an intuitive interface, meaningful design focused on learning outcomes, and the flexibility and scalability of a cloud application, manaba has been adopted by approximately 200 educational institutions globally (as of December 31, 2013).


Official Site

In most cases the support of Manaba falls on the institution that is using it. But the company does have some resources on its site.


English Manual

This is an English user manual put together by Ritsumeikan University for students. It is the most robust manual in English I have seen yet.

Manaba Wiki

Basic information about the company, the software roadmap, and development notes on the public Wikipedia web pages.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft's telework platform also used in education. Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration.


Video Training

Microsoft has put togehter a series of training videos to get you started using MS Teams.

Quick Tour

Quick Tour

Here is a quick tour of MS Teams that will give you a primer on what the interface looks like.

MS Teams

Download Links

MS Teams is web based but you can install clients for almost every operating system.

Popular Online Teaching Tools

Screencast-O-Matic - A free screen capture with choice of online or offline video recording. Screencast-O-Matic is a handy tool for recording screenshots and sharing them with friends or colleagues for a number of different purposes.

Loom - Easy and free screen recorder for Mac, Windows, and Chromebooks. Record your camera and screen with audio directly from your Chrome browser and share.

Blogger - Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. You can post info and stories with Blogger. It is an excellent place to start blogging.

Google Sites - Create Sites Without Code‎. Drag and drop. Choose from curated themes. Collaborate with ease. Get started today. Create engaging, high-quality sites for your organisation. No programming needed. No Design Skills Needed. Embed HTML and JavaScript. Easy Domain Registration.

ARientation - ARientation is an immersive learning platform that is free, easy to use, and doesn't look to take all your data. It's designed to be a simple, fast and easy way to create augmented environments for teaching and learning.

Google Expeditions - An increasingly popular tool that enables immersive learning through the affordances of Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR, AR). Classroom teaching and experience can be enhanced with a Guide and Explorer mode, with a massive library of over 1000+ expeditions to choose from. Self-directed learning can also be enabled as the student can go on solo tours, and be engaged with the instructional materials provided for each scene in the expeditions.

Poll Everywhere - Poll Everywhere is an online service that allows users to poll an audience through text-messaging. It is simple and easy to gather live responses in any venue: conferences, presentations, classrooms, radio, TV, print — anywhere.

Quizlet - Quizlet makes simple learning tools that let you study anything. Start learning today with flashcards, games and learning tools — all for free.

StoryboardThat - StoryboardThat is a storyboard creator that allows teachers and students to brainstorm ideas for projects. It is an innovative tool that is designed to be easy to use with a simple drag and drop interface and hundreds of scenes, characters, and text bubbles carefully chosen pieces of clipart for clear expression that allows users to create amazingly detailed storyboards for any occasion.

PowToon - PowToon is a web-based animation software which allows users to create animated presentations and short videos. Users will be able incorporate narration, embedded videos, music and even animated gifs into their creations. With a wide variety of built-in templates and an intuitive and minimalistic interface, PowToon is an appropriate tool for creating simple but effective message bites even for those who are not tech-savvy or are on a limited budget.

Explain Everything - an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. You can create dynamic interactive lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials using Explain Everything’s flexible and integrated design.

WordClouds - WordClouds is a free word cloud generator that can be used with any modern browser on PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone.

Resource Database

We are currently accepting the following types:
- Software Tutorial
- Online Teaching Method
- Online Teaching Experience
- Teaching Tool Introduction

The idea is that these are short, laser focused, positive, helpful, and hopefully useful to others.

The binding philosophy is that we need to be training each other more and less top down, as a 'community of practice' would


Created by Eric Hawkinson

Eric is a learning futurist, tinkering with and designing technologies that may better inform the future of teaching and learning. Eric is president and research coordinator of MAVR, a research group working in immersive technologies for teaching and learning, and more specifically, augmented and virtual realities in language learning. Eric's projects have included augmented tourism rallies, AR community art exhibitions, mixed reality escape rooms, and other experiments in immersive technology.

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