What’s the Right Online System?

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Did you ZOOM over here to read this!? Well, no surprises there! Let’s find out why!

With an explosion of online teaching due to the virus, many educational providers have been scrambling to find the right solution to conduct online lessons for all types of students.  Individuals to groups for in company teaching all the way to very young learners.

In a world where schools will remain closed for the indefinite future, deploying a temporary system that foregoes critical components of a student’s educational process could work against you

As an educational provider, understanding what your customers expect is crucial not only in how you educate your team to tackle this new move to online teaching but also what your short, medium and long term plans are going to be.

In a world where schools will remain closed for the indefinite future, deploying a temporary system that foregoes critical components of a student’s educational process could work against you as everyone will be bombarded with ‘low cost’ online lessons.  In this highly possible, new world, delivering a curriculum, homework and an interactive experience to retain, engage and track students’ performance will be the biggest USP of your business.

This compared to an approach with low team visibility, short term sight and no unified processes will result in a quick uptake to teaching online by your teachers but will also start providing your students with varying levels of quality depending on various factors like; IT savviness, confidence in front of a camera, reporting and logging information correctly / manually, etc  These approaches typically have the lowest upfront cost but require additional pressure from the educational provider to check in with teachers and students at least on a weekly basis. The reliance on constant communication is paramount 

​These admin heavy processes increase the amount of human input errors that can occur as well as the additional human admin hours taken to maintain this. So you could ask, ‘short term pain, long term gain’ or vice versa and everything in between.

Today, we take a look at the plethora of providers out there and how they all stack up against each other in being the right and robust solution for education online. How did we get this list? After calling and surveying over 80 educational providers in Poland of course! The power of community J

Firstly, let’s talk about this ZOOM thing.  The immediate uptake and gravitation towards this platform has been both a combination of; viral marketing (If they’re using it, so will I, or, everyone seems to be using it, so will I) and simplicity of signup to a free account have been the major factors.  Notwithstanding these points, we will look at the systems functionality later in this blog.

Before we get stuck into all the systems, it’s important to clarify some fundamental differences with these companies.

LMS – Learning Management System

The role of a LMS varies depending on the providers’ objectives, online training strategy, and desired outcomes. However, the most common use for LMS software is to deploy and track online training initiatives. Typically, assets are uploaded to the LMS, which makes them easily accessible for remote learners. In some cases, the LMS may even have built-in eLearning authoring tools that allow you to develop online training materials without additional third-party software.

Online Classroom VS Online Meeting

The majority of systems out there are designed for business meetings and there are fewer ones that are designed and geared toward delivering quality online education.  Although the business meeting ones can be manipulated to function well enough in most cases, language learning is a specific process that requires the full functionality of an online classroom.

Special Offers

During this pandemic and the fact that ZOOM has doubled its share price has motivated most providers to increase limits on their free and basic plans and unlock some features as it’s become a race to control market share.  Please keep in mind that this article was written without considering these.  Although it’s possible to achieve online teaching for a school by asking each teacher to have their own private account purely to save a little money so advise against this.  It’s unprofessional, poses several security risks regarding under 18’s not to mention relevant breaches of GDPR. Register for the business account options and enjoy the same, in most cases more visibility of your teachers, students and classes.  Saving headaches on administration will be worth their weight in gold whilst we move through these rough waters.  If you are using any of the free offers out there, one thing you can be sure of, once the pandemic is over, using a system that one day will turn around and say, OK, it’s time to pay or you lose x,y & z features is almost guaranteed.

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