What’s the Difference Between Online Learning and Distance Learning?

Both online learning and distance learning require similar online learning tools, but there the similarity ends.

Overall there are three major differences between online and distance learning:

  • Location

  • Interaction

  • Intention

The key difference between online learning and distance learning is location.

With online learning (sometimes called eLearning), students can be together in the classroom with an instructor while working through their digital lessons and assessments.

When using distance learning, students work online at home while the teacher assigns work and checks in digitally.

Because of the differences in location, the interaction between you and your students differs as well.

Online learning will involve in-person interaction between you and your students on a regular basis. This is because online learning is used as a blended learning technique along with other teaching strategies.

Distance learning includes no in-person interaction between teachers and students. However, you’ll likely rely on digital forms of communication such as messaging apps, video calls, discussion boards, and your school’s learning management system (LMS).

The final difference between online and distance learning is the intention of the teaching strategy.

Online learning is designed to be used in combination with a variety of other in-person teaching methods. It’s a supplemental way of mixing things up in your classroom to provide a variety of learning opportunities for your students.

Distance learning is a method for delivering instruction solely online, not as a variation in your teaching style.


What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is the productivity cloud designed to help you pursue your passion. More than just apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft 365 brings together best-in-class productivity apps with powerful cloud services, device management, and advanced security in one, connected experience.

Will I need to pay a subscription to use Microsoft 365?

Generally, Microsoft 365 is a paid subscription services. However, educational institutions like Ann Arbor Montessori Learning Center can get free licenses and subscription for its students and faculty.

What type of Microsoft 365 License?

The free license and subscription that Ann Arbor Montessori have is called Microsoft Education A1 License. This allows students and faculty access to Free Office 365 for the web with popular apps like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote so teachers and students can work together, communicate seamlessly, and create amazing content.

I have a Microsoft 365 License, can my child use that?

No. The access to the online classrooms and resources are within the school domain only. External users are not allowed access for security and privacy reasons.

What if our home has low internet bandwidth?

Use the video camera sparingly, or not at all

When participating in a live class meeting, entirely avoid using the video camera; just turn on the microphone. Or only turn on your video camera when it's your turn to speak.

Sync files to your computer so you can read them offline

  1. In Teams, select the team whose files you want to sync.

  2. Select the Files tab at the top.

  3. Select Sync, and follow the on-screen prompts.

  4. Open File Explorer. In the left pane, navigate to your school name, and then click that node to expand it. Underneath will be the folder where your the sync'd local files are stored on your computer.

  5. Select the file or files you want to have available offline (that is, on your computer). Press and hold Ctrl while clicking if you want to select multiple files.

  6. Right-click your selection and choose Always keep on this device.

Sync files to your mobile device so you can read them offline

When you open a file in Teams on your mobile device, you can download it to your device so that can open it again later when you're offline:

  1. With the file open in Teams mobile, select the triple-dot More options button.

  2. From the menu that appears, select Make available offline