The Outbreak of Covid –19 has paralyzed all the aspects of human life such as causing a paradigm shift in the education sector. Our teaching learning community is going through severe stresses which is creating a demand for E- Learning that takes place over the Internet. In such environment students are more passive thus teachers have to upgrade themselves professionally. Although teachers , educators of urban areas and some renowned institutes are comfortable and facilitated enough of conducting online classes effectively but a large number of teachers , educators of primary and secondary schools and colleges of Bangladesh especially those from remote and rural localities are not familiar of this machine based learning , they are undeveloped in technology . This article will thus focus to introduce the digital learning tools to facilitate the whole teaching, learning process systematically during the time of crisis.
Keywords: E-learning, Virtual &Traditional classroom, Types of e- learning, Teachers role, e-learning tools.
The pandemic Corona Virus has made the world to face one of the greatest challenges we have ever experienced over a century. Every sector is confronting the potential catastrophe including health, education, industry, defense, aviation, navigation and so on. The whole world is under lockdown for sustaining. We are inboxed cannot go back in our regular life. In this regard the emerging of technology are propping our daily lives. E – Learning is one of the boon of technology that has become popular and now need of the day. What is e- Learning? E – Learning is an updated method of teaching through electronic mode. It requires effective use of technology which is accessible 24/7, anywhere, anytime, anyone (3A+). It is also termed as” Online Education ” or “ Distance learning ’’and is different from traditional classroom teaching .As a teacher we have to understand the differences between online teaching and classroom teaching, the contrast between the pedagogy of a face to face classroom and virtual classroom . In the online classes there is absence of physical meeting, no direct communication, flexible schedule. It requires the preparation for content designing. In online class setting students get a delayed feedback and teachers fail to realize the weakness, strength and understanding level of a student.
On the other hand, online teaching promotes self – learning. It is an instructor-led learner centric education. Students can learn in their own personal pace and space. No flexible routine so they can avail it anytime, anywhere, as many times as they desire. Online learning includes synchronous , asynchronous and blended / hybrid learning .
|Synchronous Learning : –
Happens in Real Time
Immediate Feedback to students
|Asynchronous Learning :-
Recorded Audio/ Video
Don’t happen in the same
time & at same place
Autonomous Learning so that
can be self-paced
|Blended/Hybrid Learning :-
Blended learning is necessarily superior
in parallel with online teaching.
Combination of both Synchronous
+ Asynchronous Learning
Teachers can visualize and track each
Students have no confusion
dredge through learning materials
This autonomous learning led us from brick (classroom, school, building, institution) to click (typing in smart phones) which encourages interaction, collaboration and communication.
The role of teachers is very crucial for an effective online education. Teachers are considered the strongest components in any type of teaching either its classroom teaching or it’s an online teaching. To be a teacher is not an easy job, specially 21st century’s globalized world demands several requirements from teachers & instructors. A teacher should be a great motivator who would instill the love for learning in his/her students. A teacher is someone who has a 360-degree eyesight who sees the positive aspects in his learners before his weakness or limitations. A teacher must be facilitator. His role has shifted now from a sage on the stage to guide on the side. As Albert Einstein says, “I do not teach anyone I only provide the environment in which they can learn thus teacher is Someone who inspires and build interest in students for self learning and self development So teachers play an important role in the learning process. Online teachers must be a great motivators who must know to grab the attention of students during both (synchronous & asynchronous) class, hence they need to be updated with technological equipment, having knowledge of web browsing , and must be familiar the E – Learning tools and devices (web cam , laptop smart phone, software ) .
Initially they can start with what is easy to create, write on paper with pen and record it with audio explanation using smart phone. We can record computer screen with audio explanation, one laptop is enough to create screenshots and can be sent by emails. Also, we can send home works, notes, lecture sheets to the students by mail.
Podcasts can be used to teach language and motivate people by providing summary of lectures. We can record and publish it with just our smart phones. We can make short videos (long videos are boring). Videos about 7 to 10 minutes long are ideal to engage the students. In this regard we can breakdown large topics into smaller sub- topics. Each short videos should be followed by a discussion forum, reading web material and self-assessment (quizzes) .
Video+ discussion+ reading material+ self assessment quizzes+ feedback.
Here are few e-learning tools that is available to facilitate the digital learning process:
Zoom: It has become very popular and familiar and frequently used in school, colleges and universities for conducting online classes almost every country including Bangladesh. But only in the urban areas, teachers from rural and remote communities in our country are not that much familiar with this software. Zoom is very simple to use. In zoom we can schedule a meeting as host and also join as guest. We can share the screen having photos, teaching materials, videos, lecture sheets, demonstration etc. We can talk as usual and can record video during meeting, we can mute others while the host is speaking. We can download this version free of cost on laptop or smartphone from app store or Google Play store. (Android, iPhone, PC or MAC) Google classroom is also a free web service. It saves time and paper. Easy to create individual classes, can be used for distribute assignments, giving feedback, students can attach files, links or images of their work. Teachers can take test allocating a fixed time. No live lecture is here but all types of assessments like creating broad question questions, short notes & MCQ all facilities are here. Teachers can also get exam scripts and homework from students. Go to :classroom.google.com> click “class” icon in the top to create a class > Add a name for class (ex, class 5 ) > section button ( section A ) so that students identify their class > subject field ( Bengali , English etc ) optional field > class is created and students ( Gmail users )can join class with a code send by school or teachers .
Students > click “class” button using code can join the Google classroom.
Google meet is also there for sharing screen, documents, files and effective for online classes. Easier to use than zoom.
Microsoft team is a global education network that helps all learners to be connected with the teachers and the institution. Teachers with a valid email address get unlimited chats audio and video calls plus 10 GB of file storage. Students can participate as a guest.
Socrative.com : We can engage our students using Socrative, which is very effective. The site requires all teachers to create a free account. Complete the get account web page. After signing in with account credentials, the user home page provides several clickable options – To access a Tutorial, click on the Getting Started icon To design a quiz, quick questions or exit ticket click on the icon labeled Quizzes. To active a quiz, quick question or exit ticket for student’s access, click on the icon labeled launch. There is also student’s login.
Moodle an open resource management is now being used in many private universities and other educational communities in Bangladesh in addition to the face to face classes. It is customizable and easy to use that provides the most flexible tool set to support both blended learning and synchronous learning. Organizations are free to download it and is used for assignments, feedback, survey, quiz, report, certification & enrolling students.
Mentimeter it is a polling tool can be used for voting and MCQ assessment, it can create interactive presentation and workshops. There is a free version of mentimeter which offers a free trail. It costs around $8 per month.
Edmodo functions like Google classroom. it is a free social learning network for teachers, students and schools. One of the easiest ways to connect, share content and excess homework. Also offers parents separate accounts here.
Prezi : For instructors for creating content with the help of audio visual aids.
Padlet : Tools for educators to create digital boards or web pages.
All these EdTech tools and apps do not require any programming skills. Just need a valid email address (Gmail, Yahoo, Gsuite anyone) and a little knowledge of web browsing and typing skills to make an effective learning environment. We can download them from google play store or app store by any android, iPhone, laptop computer within few minutes.
Few educational institutions, schools, colleges, universities have already started to utilize some of these apps to continue their learning process. Among them iSTEM Bangladesh (An Innovative Learning Platform) is the one that has taken the initiatives to practice these applications specially Zoom, Google classroom, GMeet, and Moodle to engage students with the learning environment just after the closure in response to the Covid-19. Among them we observed that Zoom is very effective for live lecture, direct interaction and giving feedback to students on the other hand GMeet , Google classroom are convenient for providing assignments, making exam paper, quizzes and evaluation. As iSTEM believes in innovation and motivation to engage students with studies and build interest for learning & self-development, we are trying to introduce the digital learning tools to our teachers, educators and advisors on the regular basis by arranging workshops , so that they can develop and update themselves both professionally and academically to cope up with every situation .
Due to the present pandemic the definition of life, socialization, schooling, teaching, learning, evaluation, human needs each and everything are going through rapid changes. Thus, there is a need for systems based on technology to survive in this diverse situation E – learning is the best option to facilitate our teaching learning program. We should take the advantages of E – learning in good light and eliminate the drawbacks which are pulling back many of our students and institutes from achieving excellence in education due to COVID – 19 pandemics. In this juncture it is high time for Bangladesh government to introduce more technologically equipped education sectors, to arrange workshops and training session to acquaint with E- learning tools and their usage to teachers and institutions. And also ensure strong net connectivity in remote locations so that students wouldn’t be affected by this type of educational disruption again. This way we will be able to encounter trying times caused by epidemics, pandemics, war and the like in the future too. Along with digital Bangladesh the nation demands now a high level of digital literacy.
If any enthusiastic educators, teachers or faculty have any query about the workshops or any kind of assistance regarding these E – learning tools they are welcome to contact with iSTEM Bangladesh (An Innovative Learning Platform) House#14, Avenue-1, Block-A, Section -2, Mirpur, Dhaka 1216
Or Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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