Online Teaching and Learning Tools

Online Teaching and Learning Tools for Institutions

The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in shutting down of schools across the world. Billions of children and students are out of classroom. Because of this, education has changed dramatically. The distinctive up rise of online teaching and learning tools, whereby teaching and learning is done remotely using elearning platforms.

Previous researches suggest that online learning has proven to increase retention of information, flexibility, self-paced learning. Other benefits are better time management, boosting of confidence, interactivity, Improved Virtual Communication and Collaboration. This means that the change caused by coronavirus might be here to stay.

While some advanced countries adopted educational technology fully by using their already made digital platforms for education, developing countries are struggling to catch up with the new trend. In Africa, and Nigeria in particular, many institutions especially government own school are yet to adopt elearning. Some Nigeria private schools at different levels of education have embraced digital learning.

Many primary schools have adopted the use of messaging app like WhatsApp and Telegram for delivering of their classroom lesson. Teachers make use of the recording, sharing of media and other features in these Apps to deliver their lessons. The major reason of using this tool is because the Apps are free to use and doesn’t require extra skill from both the teacher and the learner as they are already in almost every smartphone. Some secondary schools adopted digital classroom known as Google Classroom for their online teaching and learning. Institutions like private universities and even some secondary schools have developed customized elearning website for their online education. Some of them have adopted to use Video Conferencing Apps.

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The question is – what is the best tool needed for online teaching and learning? The aim of this post is to showcase the best combined tools that are needed by the schools or higher institution for online education implementation. Now, it is time to unveil the tools, read on.

Online Teaching and Learning Tools

There are two major tools that could be adopted by schools and higher institutions for their online teaching and learning activities. These tools as we shall soon see can be integrated together to enable institutions to achieve their required goals. Most time, choosing an already made tool may not be good enough for an institution, especially for those who have the financial muscle to developed a customized tool that will address their peculiar need.

Some already made tools were developed with business concept. Some times, they are filled with disturbing and distracting ad banners.

Customized Website

Website development are basically done with three tools, they are HTML, CSS and JavaScript. HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the structure of every website, Cascade Style Sheet is used color and beautify web pages. JavaScript is used to create interactive element in web page front-end. Designing and developing an elearning website requires much more than just these 3 basic tools. Knowledge of Database Management System (DBMS) and Script Language are also required.

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Developing a customized website for secondary and tertiary institutions is perfect for their online teaching and learning. This will help to cover the peculiarity associated with the institution’s needs. In developing this customized website, different types of contents will be used to convey information to the student. They are broadly categorized as text and images.

Text is usually formed the major parts of the elearning website, it is used to create lecture or lesson notes by the lecturers and teachers. Images which include graphics, charts, animation, audio and video are used to enhance the text note in order to drive point home. Images helps in better understand of concepts and for illustrations.

Inasmuch as images can be embedded to different section of the lecture material, using a real-time video conference for discussion classes can also help in a synchronous method of learning.

Video Conference Apps

There has been a rise in the usage of different video conference app since the lockdown caused by Covid-19. Application like Zoom has received a lot of attention that caused millions of new sign ups recently. Others video conferencing platforms are: Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Adobe Connect and whole lots of other video conference apps.

Real-Time discussion also known as synchronous learning has numerous advantages. It gives students and teachers opportunity to collaborate, ask question and get answers in real-time (immediately). Unfortunately, the cost of internet data and poor network coverage in many parts of Africa makes this method not to be the best practice. Again, any student that misses out from a lecture may not have access to that particular lecture again.

Therefore, Video Conference App alone should not be used for school online teaching.

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It may be okay for private tutors and people in that category to use a messaging app or video conference app, but institutions should develop a website for their elearning programme and integrate other software into it. By so doing, they will have full control of the platform and be able to reuse whatever resources they may have created overtime.

Lastly, employing a Content Management System (CMS) with Learning Management System (LMS) will help you to come up with a quick solution for online teaching. We have used this method for different school with small amount of students. You can get in touch with us for discussion.

Pat Ugwu II
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