Nadav Avni, Marketing Director at Radix Technologies discusses the advantages of device management in education and the future of remote learning.
The pandemic effectively displaced 1.2 billion students from receiving classroom education in 2020, catching many schools and teachers off guard. Consequently, many institutions received little time and resources to transition the shift from in-class training to online. This isn’t saying that technology in education, specifically remote learning, is a new concept for schools. However, most schools had to come up with a plan to change their mode of learning from in-person classroom to fully remote.
How did different technologies help this rapid transition from traditional to virtual classrooms? How can a fully-featured classroom management solution help resolve issues?
At the minimum, an effective teaching session requires three platforms for the teacher. First, a classroom management solution that gives the teacher the authority and the tools to keep students in check and maintain their attention. The second is video conferencing software to serve as the primary means of visual and audio communication. And lastly, a learning management system (LMS) to manage the cloud storage for school and study-related documents. This includes school and student records, course syllabus, subject materials, activity books, and other data.
A typical online class session involves the teacher multi-tasking and handling multiple tasks and challenges at the same time. This includes ensuring all students are present and accounted for, making all course materials and activities ready for the sessions, managing the classroom, minimising disruptions, and running the video conference meeting. Given the limited class hours, teachers are fighting a losing war with technology in education. Instead of devoting most of their teaching hours to educating, online sessions often mean more time spent managing the technology and making sure everybody stays connected.
Then, there’s the matter of managing the students’ devices. In an ideal world, the prevailing technology in education means each student reports to the class using the same laptop that the teacher uses. In reality, issues in infrastructure and the limited availability of affordable computing machines mean varying network quality and device types.
A crucial issue that took a back seat during the early days of the pandemic is data security. School administrators need to ensure that students’ data are kept secure and confidential. With online classrooms, data keeps flowing back and forth between participants with minimal network protection. On top of that, teachers require continuous access to school records that contain private information.
Ideally, the teaching system should be compliant with existing policies regarding student data privacy, such as the provisions listed in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Both parents and teachers can feel better knowing that the cloud software used by students is FERPA-compliant and ensures secure connections during every session.
In most teaching systems, the learning management system is where the class syllabus and materials are stored and managed. It’s designed to ensure that students and teachers alike have access to data anywhere and anytime. While LMS features an efficient way to manage information, it often does not provide an embedded communication system that teachers can use to talk to their students. Hence the need for a separate video conference software.
A modern approach to education in technology involves integrating the functions needed by teachers to successfully conduct an online class. This means providing a cloud-based distance-learning platform that combines classroom management and video conferencing capabilities and access to learning management systems.
Distance learning solutions often come with an integrated video conference system that provides better means to manage the classroom. Using distance-learning solutions, educators can provide personalised instructions and assistance. Each student’s monitor can be accessed at any time, and the system allows teachers to engage in 1:1 sessions.
Teachers can also use and share interactive virtual whiteboards and launch websites. Classroom management solutions also allow the simultaneous transfer and sharing of files during sessions. This facilitates better collaboration between teachers and students, just like they do face-to-face.
Modern distance learning platforms can manage numerous devices running different operating systems, meaning students can use their computers or mobile devices without worrying about compatibility and ease of use. OEM device manufacturers and vendors are looking for a cost-effective solution to bundle their hardware offerings with these scalable classroom management applications.
The choice of remote teaching systems becomes crucial once schools realise that they will have to accept new methods of delivering classes at some point. In particular, schools can benefit from a flexible system that can be used for in-person learning, remote instruction, or hybrid classes. Investing in a learning system that can handle all three methods provides the school with the advantage of being ready for any situation.
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