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This page introduces various online tools and how to use them to enhance online classes and activities. This page is recommended for users who have questions on how to better use online tools, such as, “I need to use online tool XXX in my online class, but don’t know how to use it.”, “What are the features and functions of online tool XXX?”.

We plan to further enrich this page with more methods and practical examples of utilizing various online tools, based on our experiences with online classes and activities from academic year 2020 and onward. Please keep checking back for more updates.

In utelecon (this portal site), we provide useful information on online resources to enhance your online classes and activities. Please refer to the Effective Use of Online Resources page for more information.

Web Conferencing Systems


Zoom is one of the most popular web conferencing systems and is used in many online classes at UTokyo.


Webex is a web conferencing system provided by Cisco. With an UTokyo license, you may hold Webex meetings for up to 1000 participants, which is a larger capacity than Zoom. You can also hold meetings with high security by enabling E2E (End-to-end) encryption.

Google Meet

Google Meet is a web conferencing system provided by Google as part of Google Workspace. One of its advantages is its full integration with other Google services such as Google Calendar.

Learning Management Systems

A “learning management system” is a system that supports the exchange of data and information between students and instructors in a class (e.g. distribution of materials, submission of assignments).


UTOL is UTokyo’s learning management system. It provides functions such as distribution of class materials, submission of assignments, online examinations, and notifications from faculty members to students. One of UTOL’s advantages is that it is easy to pass information “only to the students of UTokyo” or “only to the students of a specific class” because UTOL is linked to the UTokyo Account and UTokyo Academic Affairs System (UTAS, UTokyo’s course registration system). UTOL is also widely used by students, so we recommend that you make UTOL the first choice for distributing class materials and exchanging assignments.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a tool provided by Google as part of Google Workspace, which allows you to distribute materials and submit assignments in class.

Cloud Services

Google Workspace (ECCS Cloud Email)

Google Workspace is a collection of Google services such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Sheets. UTokyo has subscribed to a paid license, which is provided under the name “ECCS Cloud Email”.

Microsoft 365 (UTokyo Microsoft License)

Microsoft 365 is a collection of Microsoft services such as OneDrive and the online versions of Office. UTokyo has subscribed to a paid license, which is provided under the name “UTokyo Microsoft License”.

Form Creators

Below are tools for easily creating online forms. The forms can be used for surveys, polls, quizzes, and many others.

Google Forms

Google Forms is a form creator included in Google Workspace. You can restrict form respondents to UTokyo Accounts only by using Google Forms with your UTokyo Account.

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is a form creation service that is included in Microsoft 365. It allows users to specify which individuals may answer the form and to create branches in a single page where the questions change depending on the choices.

Document Creating/Sharing Tools

Below are tools that allow you to create and share documents online. Many tools support simultaneous editing by multiple users, making them very suitable for taking notes during meetings and group work.

Tools Included in Google Workspace

Google Docs

Google Docs is a document editor included in Google Workspace. Multiple users can easily edit documents simultaneously or share documents using URLs because they are stored in a cloud (Google Drive).

Google Slides

Google Slides is a slideshow maker that is included in Google Workspace. Multiple users can easily edit documents simultaneously or share documents using URLs because they are stored in a cloud (Google Drive).

Google Workspace also provides other document generation tools such as the spreadsheet editor Google Sheets, that can be used similarly.

Google Drive

Google Drive is an online storage provided by Google Workspace, which can store documents such as those created with Google Docs.

Tools Included in Microsoft 365

Word Online

Word Online is the online version of Microsoft Word. Word files are saved in a cloud (OneDrive), and can be edited simultaneously by multiple users and shared using URLs.

Microsoft 365 also provides online versions of Excel and PowerPoint, that can be used similarly.


Scrapbox is a tool for storing and organizing a large number of notes and memos online. It allows multiple users to edit notes simultaneously, and to share notes using URLs. Scrapbox’s unique feature is that you can easily connect many pages using “links” and “tags. Utilizing this feature, Scrapbox can be used as a portal site for online classes.

Handwriting/Whiteboard Apps

Below are tools for handwriting text and diagrams on tablets and touch screen PCs. These tools can be used for board writing in online classes. They can also be used for group work if the tool has good simultaneous editing functions.

GoodNotes 5

GoodNotes 5 is probably the most popular note-taking application for iPad. It is a paid app that can be purchased for 980 yen (as of Jan. 2022).


OneNote is a digital note-taking application that is included in Microsoft 365. Notes can be simultaneously edited also from the web browser, although there are some differences/limitations in functionality.


Miro is an online whiteboard app provided by Miro.


Padlet is an online digital canvas provided by Padlet.

Communication Tools

This section introduces tools for communicating in various ways including chat (text messages), voice chat, and video calls. These tools can be used for communication in not only classes but also laboratories, departments, and clubs.


Slack is a groupware app, and is a tool for communicating with group/team members through text messages. Users can create multiple “channels” where you can post text messages and have separate interactions at the same time. This feature is likely to be especially useful for communication within laboratories and departments. (Of course it can also be used in the classroom setting).


Discord is a tool for communicating within a group or team. In addition to text chatting in Slack-like “channels”, voice chatting (voice calls) is possible. The voice chatting feature is useful for holding casual meetings among friends.

LINE OpenChat

LINE OpenChat is a feature of the LINE messaging app that allows users to create chat rooms (Talk Rooms) that can be entered with an invitation code. Users can join the Talk Room using the code, even if they are not registered as LINE friends beforehand. Users can set a different profile or even make themselves anonymous in every Talk Room they join, which is a preferable function for students who want to join without sharing their private LINE profile.


Gather is a conference tool with a playful retro-game style UI. Users enjoy interacting through online calls in a different way from the formal meetings on web conferencing systems such as Zoom or Webex.


Remo is a web conference tool that allows you to join different meetings by moving your icon between pseudo “tables” on your screen. Users enjoy interacting through online calls in a different way from the formal meetings on web conferencing systems such as Zoom or Webex.


SpatialChat is a conference tool in which the sound volume changes depending on the “distance” between you and other users on the screen.

Interaction Apps for Web Conferences

Here we introduce tools that can be used in conjunction with web conferencing systems to help stimulate two-way communication between students and faculty members.


Slido is an interaction app that provides functions such as Q&A, live polling, and questionnaires that are useful for interactive communication with participants in classes, conferences, and lectures.

  • Slido (in Japanese): utelecon’s page summarizing usage and practical examples of Slido.
  • How to Collect Questions via Slido (in Japanese): A practical example of using Slido in class to receive questions, and tips for collecting questions.


CommentScreen is a tool that allows you to display student questions and comments anonymously and in real time directly on the screen of an online class.

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