Using technology in education has been around for years, but it is still a major challenge to many schools, institutions, teachers, and students. That’s due to the huge resistance by some traditional communities who still prefer the face to face education. Many entities or enterprises still do not recognize online education as a formal one. This post share 6 key elements for successful e-learning.
Due to the hard time that we all live in right now, with the significant spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, people are already working from home. Many educational institutions, as well as teachers and students, all found themselves forced but to go to e-learning in a very short period. They suddenly have to use new tools, new teaching methods, and some issues that happen, might it even harder for students to learn.
Communication is always the most important factor in education, it may be more important sharing knowledge, or if the teacher is good or not. using the technology should not be on an obstacle, but an advantage. Below are six key elements for a successful migration to e-learning.
1. E-learning needs e-content/ e-materials
One of the mistakes that some teachers and institutions fall into during this quick move is to keep using traditional content. They are only using technology for its video conference capabilities no more. A teacher should not put the camera on his/her book or board while pointing to a section. When the content is already in electronic format, things will b easier for both students and teachers. A PDF version works, or at least as a teacher, prepare some PPT presentation to go through during the session rather than reading from the same book that students have.
2. Setup your environment
It’s called a classroom even in e-learning, and like any classroom, it should be a quiet and clean room, has some educational tools included like the board, pens, and some desks for students.
Wither from their homes or offices, teachers and students must set up the environment before the class starts. Do not join if you are in a noisy place, or if you have a kid in your room. Imagine a class of twenty students. If only ten has some noisy surroundings, no one will be able to listen.
3. Set up your e-learning environment
Make sure all the software, drivers, tools are installed prior to the session. Make sure you have a stable internet connection and do a test or trial session to test things out before the actual one. If you are teaching French, make sure the French Keyboard is installed on your computer and ask your students to do the same, before the session starts. Let your IT team assist you if needed
4. Slow down, manage your pace, and keep checking for feedback
If you are in a traditional classroom, as a teacher, you can feel and know if you are going fast, and you need to slow down your pace a little. You can quickly get direct feedback with student’s facial expressions, voice tone, and reactions. The same might not be that easy online if the proper tools are not utilized.
5. Two ways noise or effective communications?
Even when you set up your environment you still can’t control all the noise. For this, use a professional Mic rather than the built-in mics, preferably an affordable USB mic will do it, and make sure it is USB, the voice will stay digital and will stay clear.
Also, you need to mute all attendees except you. Allow each student as needed. Most tools including Zoom allow such features.
Advantage and features
If you are using any tool, please make sure you as a teacher learn how to use it. For example, Zoom is not only a video chatting application, but it also has many tools and capabilities designed especially for e-learning including content sharing, digital whiteboard, polls, and feedback, etc.
6. Do not use free/trial license
If your students are paying you, you can’t offer unstable service. You have to use paid software and provide premium features. If you are using Zoom free account, there is a 40 minutes limit per session. Out of nowhere, all attendees are kicked out, and the teacher must create and share a new meeting link. A premium subscription is only $15 per month.
Finally, I recommend teachers reading the following resources by Zoom for school instructor and how to use Zoom for education:
This blog post is based on a bad experience that I had to witness recently, did you have a similar experience? Can you add more key success e-learning elements? Tell me your story.