While countries are at different points in their COVID-19 infection rates, worldwide there are many Schools across the globe have already closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic –As a result, teachers are suddenly faced with the challenge of how to continue their students’ education. While this might seem a daunting task, there are several ways teachers can utilize the technology and resources already available to support online learning and ensure students still receive a quality education. It’s important to note that there is no one size fits all when it comes to learning. Different groups have different priorities, and the resources that should be used are context-dependent. One of the biggest concerns for teachers is how they will continue to engage students and keep an eye on their progress from afar. Now many companies are bolstering capabilities to provide a one-stop-shop for teachers and students. For example, myTutoring with smart scheduling and a virtual whiteboard.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!
– Lao Tzu
Coming up with the Right Technology
Blended learning could be of many types depending upon how much you are willing to blend. In some models, instructors drive learning, and their presence is a must while technology is just an augmentation tool. In other models, learning happens with little interference from the instructors and technology is the primary tool of delivery. An instructor needs to decide, according to the type of subject being taught, which model will do justice with the learning. At the strategy level, choosing the right technology matters a lot. Going for a blended learning solution or software just because it’s available, affordable, or widely-used can be a pitfall in your approach. The technology should be selected according to the learner objectives, the structure of the course, and its instructional design.
Making technology work
With new technologies, and great responsibilities. When the strategy is right, and the execution is taken care of, two things that may come in the way of making your programs successful is technical issues and a lack of infrastructural support. Does the platform support your course content for-mat? Do you have enough bandwidth to run video sessions? Have you explored the relevant tutoring-tools for online classes? Questions like these and more should be addressed beforehand. Your learners may be living in a place where internet connectivity isn’t so well. In that case, instructors will need to have Wi-Fi-enabled classrooms. Educational technology software and tools are well-designed to fit into your blended learning programs. Choosing the right platform like myTutoring at the right cost, testing it in all the learning aspects, and removing any bottlenecks is critical before you start. During the course, prompt and expert support must be given to the learners if they face any issues. Lastly, the technology should have elements that support the objective of the program. For example, if the session requires interactive tools like video conferencing, chat, screen sharing, document sharing, etc.
If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them.
Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.
– R. Buckminster Fuller
Keeping it together
The right strategy and foolproof platform like myTutoring are critical to the success of your program but, as an instructor, your responsibilities lie in making the most of it. A healthy mix of teaching content and activities running together need to be streamlined as well as assessed time and again so that the learner objectives remain at the forefront. The instructional design should be such that it makes optimum use of the technology, the flow of the course content should be smooth and intuitive, and exhaustive assessment measures should be in place to gauge the learner’s progress.
Online Tutoring Benefits
There are numerous benefits to online tutoring that can eclipse the experience of in-person tutoring. One of the main benefits is the availability students have now to the best tutors in the world. Geography and distance is no longer a concern. Students are not stuck with having a some-times below average tutor just because they live two streets over any-more. The tutor could be thousands of miles away in a foreign land. They could also perhaps be an expert in the subject area, but now they are only seconds away online. The student being tutored online can also record the lesson if it is being done on video or go back and read the instructions over again if they do not understand something fully. This means that the tutor does not always have to be available at the same time as the student. They can prepare the lessons ahead of time and provide the students with extra material if they need it. Another great aspect of online tutoring is by using share documents be-tween the tutor and the student. Interactive lessons and quizzes can be quickly created through myTutoring and shared with the student at any time. The best part of sharing documents through myTutoring is the ability for both people to be on the document at the same time. It does present an active tutoring session for the student. We all have witnessed that when humans and technology work together in harmony, beautiful things are created and if anything should get the maximum benefit from this constructive collaboration, it’s our education.