As many schools are feeling the impact of the shut-down, it’s important that education doesn’t suffer. Some schools have already reached out to ask how they can take advantage of tools at their disposal for online learning so students don’t...
As many schools are feeling the impact of the shut-down, it’s important that education doesn’t suffer. Some schools have already reached out to ask how they can take advantage of tools at their disposal for online learning so students don’t lag behind. Questions like “How can I get started immediately?” or “We heard that So and so school is using Zoom - how can we get it too?”
First of all, please remember that what works for one school is not guaranteed to work for you. Do you have the same resources - capable teachers or even the same type of students(age group, access to the internet), etc?
More than anything, schools need information at this time. E-Learning can take many possible forms. You can virtually create a classroom environment online and do all you would do physically, or you can make pre-recorded video lessons, digital notes, set up quizzes and so on.
Naturally, there are also many tools to choose from. Which is better and how to choose? Frankly, no certain tool is better than the other so that’s not a question you can find a straightforward answer to. However, there are certain factors you can consider when making the decision to help you pick one that’s the perfect match for you.
1. The number of students: The population and size of your school always matter when choosing a solution. How many students do you have and how many do you intend to reach at once using the tool you’ll be choosing? Most platforms offer a free version but they usually place limits on the number of accounts or users at once per organisation. On the same note, most tools also offer larger discounts when there are more users per organisation.
2. Internet access of tutors & students: Do you have any students without access to strong internet connection? Even if the students have access, consider how strong the connection is - given the locations and if you think there’ll be lag on the connection, how will it affect the classes you offer if you decide to go with live classes for example? Unfortunately, internet connectivity is still an uphill battle in Nigeria. If you determine this to be a major obstacle, you may need a virtual classroom environment (LMS) such as Moodle or Google classroom where you can upload classes & notes in addition to the option of video lessons i.e a platform that allows you create content & distribute rather than stream live classes.
3. The age range of students: Older students are more independent and familiar with technology already so there may be more flexibility and less need for strictly face to face classes. Conversely, younger kids might need a creative combination of tools and content types to stay engaged online.
4. Staff technical knowledge: How tech-savvy is your teacher? Conduct an honest assessment and decide before starting how easy the platform you have in mind is to use for your staff capacity levels - otherwise, you will need to invest in training - which won’t only pay off now but in other aspects as well.
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5. Will you need extra technical support?
If so, is this available readily from the software provider or the consultants you hire? Do you have an in-house technology go-to person (‘IT admin’) to offer maintenance and technical management?
Most e-learning solutions aren’t particularly expensive; some are even free. So costs shouldn’t be a major concern for you. However, is your IT budget realistic? Will you charge parents extra, is it already built into your costs or is e-Learning even reducing your existing overhead costs? This is important to note as well.
7. Existing resources:
The resources you have will also affect the type of content you’ll be able to create and deliver - live lessons? Will you be able to record videos beforehand & share? Can you make pdf notes etc
These are just some of the questions you should answer in the process of deciding to take your school online. There might still be some unique constraints that are left out which vary a lot by individual circumstances. To get personalized help with your e-Learning strategy and advice about what tools will work for you, including set up, training & support, visit elearning.flexisaf.com now.