This post suggests some e-learning platform for Primary & Secondary Schools and Colleges/ University. Also explained how e-learning or online class or online teaching or training software will reform the traditional education system in Nigeria/ world at large and vital tools an e-learning application should have.
Online education platform has seen a steady rise in the number of learners in the past few years and is slowly replacing the traditional methods of learning. The same trend is now true for instructors who want to reach out to more learners but aren’t able to due to many constraints. This increased adoption of online education can be associated with the various features online teaching platforms have to offer, some of them being: ease of use, flexibility to both instructors and learners.
Today in Nigeria, many school owners searching for one e-learning platform or the other. More especially, the free e-learning platform. Many school managers have found few e-learning systems online but many did not meet their needs as the application was not tailored to their needs. School can integrate e-Learning platform to their school management software with the help of technology.
While some educationalist or owners of schools has embraced the new challenge to take some of the classroom work online, others are still finding it difficult. E-learning is revolutionizing the traditional educational eco-system
What is traditional learning?
Traditional learning refers to any form of instruction that utilizes classic paper and pencil methods in a regular classroom setting. In short, traditional refers to any kind of learning that involves methods that are typically implemented in any school. This can include typical lecture-style instruction, assignments and exams, and homework for students, classic teaching pedagogy and training for teachers, the use of assigned textbooks and other course material, and an in-person instruction system.
What is e-Learning or Online Learning?
Broadly speaking e-learning refers to any sort of instruction that is communicated electronically, usually over the internet. Think of any sort of educational content you might have consumed on platforms like YouTube or other streaming sites or online courses taken through a university or even virtual classrooms where students and teachers sign in remotely – all these would count as examples of e-learning.
With the increasing ubiquity and rapid spread of technology, e-learning is an inevitable evolution of the educational ecosystem. E-learning is increasingly becoming a feature in classrooms across schools and colleges in the world due to the many benefits it transfers to all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem.
School Software Pro is an online school management software/ system that help in managing all your school activities from admission to graduation and even to alumni. It help in teaching, grading, online examination, assignments, group assignment, internal messages, result management, Online Meeting, attendance and many more.
Features of e-Learning or Online Teaching System/ Software
1. Global Reach
One of the significant factors behind the multi-fold increase in teachers choosing to go online is the wider reach offered by online platforms and well, the internet. Using the internet, teachers can reach out to students across the planet, which isn’t possible with traditional teaching platforms.
As a teacher, the right online platform to start with would be one with a good number of active users worldwide or in the geography of your choice and features that compliment the diverse set of students who might be opting for your course. Moreover, a platform with support for foreign languages is also a very important feature, which means that you can teach students without worrying about the language barrier.
2. Measurement of teaching effectiveness
Having an in-depth knowledge is just not enough to be an effective teacher. In addition to having a deep understanding of the subject matter, a teacher also needs to be aware of the factors that affect the learning process, which might include how content is delivered, course-ware design, student engagement, and more.
Online platforms that allow teachers to build their online academies and get actionable information about their courses, classes, and content delivery. Such powerful features enable teachers to get insights into students’ activities through informative reports which cover information, such as content consumed by each student, live classes attended, and the percentage of the course completed to keep a tab on the number of dropouts. Teachers can use this information to refine their course content or courseware design, improve their teaching approach or methodology, and do a lot more to increase student engagement to enhance learning outcomes.
School Software Pro, a School ERP is one such online platform which provides these reports to teachers and schools who are still following the traditional methods of teaching. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and School Software Pro is that one step which your school can make to ease the transition from traditional teaching to online.
3. Content Security
Teachers work very hard to create their instructional content making it their intellectual property. It is natural for them to be concerned about the security of their content as information on the web can be accessed and used by everyone. Content security remains one of the biggest concerns of teachers looking to teach online or offline.
One of the ways to claim content ownership is by controlling the dissemination and access of content so that it’s accessible to only the intended students. Server security, encryption types and other such technologies are used to keep your data safe on online platforms, so before deciding on which one you are going with, make sure to get a good understanding of who gets to access your data and how they get to do it.
The versatility of the software or platform decides the type of online teaching or training activities that you can do. You need to take into consideration the level and type of interaction that you normally have with your students and choose the software accordingly.
Sometimes, you may need to include polls or quizzes, and other interactive elements in your course to engage students. You may also need to have live audio and video communication with students during your class. The platform you choose must be versatile enough to provide you with access to such features, and in an effective way.
In addition, since instructional content comes in various formats, you need to make sure that the software or platform supports content in all the widely-used formats, such as PDF, Microsoft Word, presentation, audio, and video, just to name a few.
5. Mobile learning
Smartphones and tablets are radically transforming how we access content and stay connected. We have instant access to information and expertise – from informal electronics lessons on YouTube to online courses. Data is being consumed at a rapid pace on mobile devices and education is getting infused with our daily routine. Mobile learning takes online education right to the student, making it their choice and not the teacher’s choice.
As pedagogy and learning needs change, learning tools evolve. With the online education landscape changing rapidly, teachers and students are adapting to new technologies. As more and more people join the online community owing to ease of use, scalability, flexibility, affordability and choosing the right platform or software continues to remain a crucial factor in the success of your teaching, training or business.
Some e-Learning or Online Teaching for Primary & Secondary Schools
Google Classroom is part of the G Suite for Education (Google for Education) package that includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar and other apps. It’s targeted to teachers and students in both K-12 and higher education markets. It has strong collaborative focus, easy to set up classes and assignments, integrates with other Google products and many educational apps.
Open Culture has upto 200 Free Kids Educational Resources: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites & More
Each of the educational shows your children watch on PBS has its own section on PBSKids.org. Find sing-a-long songs, sorting and counting games, bonus videos, and more.
Younger children will love everything about Sesame Street’s online home. They can watch hundreds of the show’s video clips and play games that help them learn letters, animal sounds, rhymes, colors, and more.
TIME for Kids
From the publishers of TIME magazine, TIMEforKids.com is loaded with fascinating articles, photos, and videos, covering politics, the environment, entertainment, sports, health, and more. TIME for Kids isn’t as interactive as most of the other sites on this list, but it tackles subjects that are in the news in a kid-friendly way.
Scholastic is one of the more unique educational websites for kids. This site, from the publishers of the educational magazines you find in schools, contains activities organized by grade level. Kids from pre-K all the way up to high school can find learning activities geared toward them.
Benefits of e-Learning/ Online Teaching over the Traditional Education System
The advantages of including e-learning education system methodologies within the traditional education system or even implementing e-learning options at your school and college are many. Some key benefits of an e-learning education system are discussed in further detail below:
- One Time Setup Cost
Many schools and colleges hesitate to invest in the e-learning education system since they feel that the cost of such an endeavor would be too high to bear. This is largely because of a change in infrastructure. While schools and colleges are used to investing in items such as pens and paper, desks and benches, blackboards and classrooms, it makes sense that the setup costs for an entirely new system of learning have to be carefully tallied against the school or college’s budget. However, with most e-learning education system methods or tools, the cost is primarily in the setup, which is then mitigated over time due to how much it is used. This means that the cost is a one time cost – an investment into the future, where the returns on such an investment are plentiful.
- Increases Inclusivity for Stakeholders
The e-learning education system may seem very modern and cutting edge since it makes use of the latest technology in the educational ecosystem. However, this does not mean that it is out of reach of the common man or exclusionary in any way. In fact, with the growth in low-cost technology and the proliferation of internet connectivity and internet-enabled devices in even the most remote parts of the world, e-learning education system looks increasingly implementable in the present day and age. This is especially important for marginalized communities that ordinarily do not have access, infrastructure or the necessary funding to build and sustain traditional education systems. E-learning makes it possible for anyone with an internet connection and an internet-enabled device to be able to sign into a classroom, which is revolutionary for learners who are often ignored or excluded from traditional systems of learning.
- Easy to Scale Up
Technology for the e-learning education system is built in such a way that there are continual improvement and development being done on the tools that support it. Whether it is a new version of an app with extra features or just advancing hardware, e-learning education system makes it easy for users to keep up with the times through easy patches or increasingly low-cost devices. This means that whether the school or college is small or large, it does make it easier to scale up to meet the present needs of the school when the e-learning education system has been implemented. Being able to easily update via a patch or software upgrade or having the rare hardware update also end up being cost-effective ensures that schools can scale up easily and stay up to date.
- Technology Embracing
In the modern world, the use of technology is becoming ubiquitous. Entire jobs rely on it and there is no industry that has not been affected and embraced technology in some form of the other. It is important for schools and colleges to also prepare their children for this modern world by embracing the use of technology at the very earliest. The easiest and most beneficial way to do this would be through the implementation of e-learning education system, which ensures that students familiarize themselves with the use of various electronic or internet-enabled tools and platforms in their day to day lives, to perform their day to day tasks. Not only do students then become comfortable using technology, but they also understand the systems of thinking that underlie it making them natural learners in an increasingly technology embracing world.
- Lowered Overheads and Labor Cost
Think of the endless overheads of running a school or college – from simple things like pens and papers to storage space for all the physical records that need to be maintained. A traditional education system comes with massive overhead costs. E-learning on the other hand naturally eliminates many of these costs, since so many of the tasks and processes take place electronically. From classroom assignments being submitted using school management systems like School Software Pro to even the elimination of the need for a physical space to call a classroom, e-learning education system drastically reduces overhead costs for all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem.
The same also applies to labor costs with a traditional education system. Many personnel are required to manage the logistical and temporal demands of a traditional classroom setting – from study materials that are physical to the natural restrictions in the number of students that can be fit in a physical classroom. With e-learning education system such restrictions do not apply. Instead, since many tasks and processes are automated, the need for a human agent to perform them is eliminated resulting in downsizing and reduction in labor costs. This kind of reduction in costs is vital for budget-conscious industries such as education since valuable funds can then be redirected towards more worthy causes that would benefit all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem.
As we move into the future, it is likely that educators and management will continue to take advantage of the many benefits of e-learning systems. However, some classic traditional education system practices will remain. Rather than creating a false dichotomy where one is forced to choose between a traditional education system and e-learning it is more likely that a new form of systemic learning will emerge that is a blend of the two. We are already seeing this in practice – with virtual classrooms becoming a reality thanks to tools like Uzity, learning management system that allows for a seamless experience, for teachers to reach students in remote parts of the world, and even students gaining access to universities, instructors and courses they would ordinarily not have access to through massive online open courses through services like Coursera. So, while it is unlikely that the traditional education system will ever be completely eradicated, it will continue to evolve to be inclusive of new forms of technology and learning, via the e-learning education system.
Shifting the whole operation from offline to online is not an easy task as it requires time, effort and money. But with increasing trend of online education or teaching system most of the institute and teachers are moving online as it enhances the education delivery and management. Therefore School Software Pro also has come out with solution using which institute can conduct online classes, meeting with the employees, and manage institute daily operations effortlessly.