How online education can support classroom education
Walls are falling for elementary and high schools. Although classroom learning remains essential for student success, online education is beginning to show its importance and gain space.
Current scenario of online education in schools
The crisis generated by COVID-19, which caused the closure of schools and put the world in quarantine, launched a new look at the digital market and distance education.
Projections prior to the crisis already showed that spending on e-learning initiatives was already on track to reach $ 325 billion in the next five years, as educators seek to leverage the growing impact of digital education.
What has changed is the inclusion of elementary and high schools in this scenario, since distance learning was more concentrated in universities and free courses.
The coronavirus crisis is expected to be an opportunity to bring more technology to the classroom, just as it has been in China, where around 200 million students have started using distance learning since February 9 and only will return to the classrooms in early April.
“It will be a meeting of a generation of children and teenagers who are already very digital with teachers who are still stuck in an analog teaching model,” says Mário Ghio, CEO of Somos, in an exclusive interview with EXAME magazine.
The biggest concern of schools is trying to avoid losing the school year, considering that they usually have a mandatory number of teaching days to complete.
For schools that are beginning their journey towards digital learning initiatives, there is no rule that describes the ideal processes for implementing and adopting this method of education. Which makes the challenge even greater, as significant planning and preparation are required to ensure that online education is effective.
“We are seeing a great commitment from everyone who works with education to face this crisis. Everyone will leave with a different mentality of this experience.” says Mário Ghio.
Online education as mean to provide a deeper learning
The crisis of the new coronavirus has affected the entire world almost simultaneously, which is why online education in schools is being debated by the vast majority of countries, who present their impressions and experiences.
According to the North Carolina e-Learning educational initiative, E-learning is “utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom”.
“I have real faith and confidence in the future of electronic education,” says Jessica Millstone, co-organizer of the New York EdTech MeetUp, which facilitates industry discussion about what’s working and what needs work in education. “It’s useful for our entire lives, and there’s going to be a hybrid moment where all the technology we’re developing for consumer and business experience will become part of e-learning as well.”
But, Millstone notes, “the most successful versions of e-learning revolve around a split classroom. While some assignments are completed online, there’s also a certain amount of content acquisition — teachers then explore it more deeply in the classroom.”
The result? Online education in schools is not a single service model. Instead, it is a dual-purpose approach that offers:
- Problem solving: Physical school infrastructure is not always accessible. As a result, some schools adopt digital learning days to allow instruction to continue during adverse weather conditions or amid serious disease outbreaks.
- Practical supplementation: Emerging technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, “provide a trajectory in which e-learning is integrating real-world experiences to provide deeper and more concrete learning,” says Millstone. With proper technological support, classrooms can be “incredible labs” that complement digital learning initiatives.
Millstone points to the advantage of a multimodal approach. In her experience, “the least effective model is to tell students ‘go learn this by yourself’.” Instead, she suggests starting with an independent technology platform, like Coursify.me, which allows teachers to connect with students inside and outside the school’s walls.
Advantages and difficulties of online education
Both in online education as teaching in conventional classrooms, there are two types of students: assets, focused on learning as much as possible, and liabilities that do not show so much concentration or enthusiasm.
In both classes the task of promoting some change in this passive behavior and arousing the student’s attention and interest is largely up to the teacher.
The good news is that when it comes to online education, there are several tools that can be used to achieve this goal.
To help make your online classes more interesting, we have listed four strategies that can make all the difference:
- Create an interactive virtual environment: create a forum or group on any social network that can be accessed by all the students. This generates a feeling of “class” that encourages interaction and helps teaching in a more relaxed way, eliminating that “obligation” character of the classroom.
- Allow the student to control his learning time: use tools that allow the student to pause the lesson and resume it from the same point whenever he wants. Providing flexibility for the user to access the material at the time that is most convenient for them is a great advantage of online education.
- Show that you are present: the figure of a teacher is very important for the student to feel supported and confident in learning something new. Make use of recorded videos or live streaming so that your students can see you and continue the relationship they have in the classroom.
- Encourage evolution: create a competition, a scoring system for those who finish each stage of the online class. Build a ranking. By transforming the learning process into something similar to going through the stages of a game, you make your lessons more fun and attractive.
Many people believe that when it comes to gamification in education, it is related to the complex task of developing a game.
In fact, it is much more about taking advantage of some elements of this universe and applying them in the learning process, such as:
- Establishing missions and challenges;
- Scoring for each phase won;
- Ranking according to the score;
- Prizes: both at the end and throughout the game.
Currently, it is easy to connect the school to the universe of young people, as they are used to systems of ranking and distribution of rewards, present in the environment of games and digital media.
By promoting experiences that involve students, gamification helps to gain greater engagement compared to traditional teaching models.
Barriers to online education
For online education to happen, administrators need to think about the types of systems and devices needed for virtual learning.
It is essential to analyze and consider whether the student has the necessary technological infrastructure. For example, if not everyone has good access to the internet, schools may be better served by resources that have offline components or that require minimal connective bandwidth.
It is also necessary to verify that everyone has computers through which they can access classes, so as not to hinder the progress of any student.
Importance of the Online Education Platform
In order to effectively offer the benefits of online education to students, it is important that digital learning technologies work every time students try to access them.
“Reliability is as important as relevance,” Millstone says. “Teachers will try something once, and if it doesn’t work, they won’t try it again. A great product isn’t enough if it doesn’t work properly.”
For schools that want to successfully implement e-learning initiatives and learning management systems, this means carefully evaluating potential suppliers and products before closing any partnership.
Ask the following questions: Are they reliable? Do they have all the features I need? What kind of support do they offer? How quickly do they respond?
Attending schools, businesses and professionals in more than 60 countries, the Coursify.me is a dynamic Learning Management System, ready to serve you.
With all the necessary resources to enable and facilitate online learning, the platform has a friendly and fully customizable interface, allowing each school to maintain its visual identity, facilitating recognition by part of the student.
The Coursify.me features integration with other content platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, which is ideal for teachers who want to provide lessons in videos.
In addition, users can upload videos, texts, images, audios and any other material that is hosted on Dropbox or on their own computer.
There is no limit on the number of students allowed, and the school has full control over who has access to the classes, being able to monitor each student, to find out who registered, attended the classes and fulfilled the activities sent.
Visit our website, test the platform and bet on online education to continue teaching your students in the best possible way.