The advent of technology decades ago prompted online teaching and learning. Universities and Places of higher education offered some form of online education for some of their courses, it was opted by few, and the success of online education was barely notable.
November 2019, When the pandemic struck, every school shut down, they had to ensure that education continued, Schools depended on tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and google classrooms for their teaching, and this opened the doors to ensure the continuation of education to a lot of students who were sitting at home, unable to return to school
Has digitalization helped? Are the advantages of learning and teaching online enough to break the barriers that schools have experienced all these years?
Learn from anywhere
The education system went in for a complete overhaul in terms of the delivery of content. There are numerous ways of teaching, Sharing worksheets, Videos from the internet, Websites for self-study, yet the most preferred method is when you have a teacher, from your school, teaching you the content from their own space using a teleconferencing app. The advantages are numerous, right from being safe at home during the Covid-19 outbreak to having active interactions with your teacher at the comfort of your home.
Teleconferencing apps have evolved not just to make calls, but to also have an ecosystem to support online teaching and learning. This includes online notes, Assignments, Quizzes, and other third-party app integrations. Students are also able to learn essentially from anywhere, this is making education interesting and doable at the time of crisis.
Technology can only help you when you have the needed support, For example, Electricity supply, a good stable internet, a working device, etc. What if one or all of these are not available at any time? Is it the end of online teaching and learning?
This situation is indeed cliched, But the solutions that exist, overcome this problem, offer even more to the learner, and offer relief to the teacher.
With the help of teleconferencing apps, teachers can record lessons while it happens, or independently at their own time, this provides equal opportunity to students who may have missed the lessons, an added advantage is that students may choose to re-learn the concepts and perhaps revisit them when revision is needed, this becomes an important tool to Re-Learn anytime.
Tests! Tests! Tests!
Tests or assessments play a vital role in informing the teachers about students’ performance and teacher feedback. But how effective are the assessments administered online? The thoughts that strike teachers are mostly about how they will administer paper-like tests online. It is impossible to get the same results. However, with time and technology, online assessments have given teachers flexibility and accountability. Formative assessments can be made very interesting with the help of several tools like Kahoot, quizizz, and Microsoft forms. Students love to see their performance in real-time and get to learn through these gamified sites. Summative assessments can be administered using various sites like exam.net or Inbuilt software of schools. It is well known that “Assessments inform teaching”, Now, we could say that “online activities and Assessments inform teaching”.
The future of education using technology
The covid-19 outbreak is surely coming to an end, But the technological aspect we gained during the last two years is here to stay. Schools are indeed opting for Hybrid teaching and learning, which uses the same technologies as mentioned. Laptops are now becoming a norm for students and teachers. Where it is not available, different solutions such as Smartboards, usage of online video platforms could still be used. Usage of technology will never stop in class, rather it will only increase.
The digitalization of teaching has proved its worth and it will continue to do so. Innovations will help create better learning environments online and in the Hybrid mode.