In this globalized pace of education, students are leaning more and more towards online academic courses through various educational institutions worldwide. Many known universities are also providing courses, degrees, and worldwide recognisable certifications, completely through online class courses. Thus, it is the responsibility of these institutions to make learning comfortable for their students with the correct technology tools. In this article, we are going to categorically determine the important tools which support students opting for online education.
For instance, Preply, which is one of the best language learning platforms, provides ample tools to improve their students in their progress. Like say for English, you can take intermediate English classes, and then go to the advanced level: a systematic way of teaching.
It is not only the students who face a tough time if there is no factual technology required for online education. It is also equally important for the teachers as well, to make their job affluent and enhance the teaching standards as well. We will be prioritising mainly the five most important categories in our article. For giving you a broader view, here are some categories of technology tools that are very essential for online education.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
This is the very basic and probably the most important part of distance learning technology. LMS is a software application that delivers the study courses to the students. It will provide course materials, initiate exams and quizzes to check and track the progression of the students, post grades, and initiate the classes with reminders and teasers. The fundamental platform on which the whole online courses and classes take place is the LMS. Nowadays LMS are also finding their ways to become better. Most of them are cloud-based, where students are allowed to access the study materials and other contents only through a website log-in. The LMS works as the foundation or building ground on which other technologies collaborate to create the ultimate education-friendly environment.
To name a few well-known LMS systems, there are Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas.
The function of these tools is quite self-explanatory by their name. These are the tools, in the form of applications or software, which makes the daily tasks of the learning website more efficient for the teachers and students. Among productivity tools, we can include note-making, remainder lists, document formation, calendar, e-mail, cloud calling etc.
It is essential to choose only those productivity tools which can be easily incorporated with the LMS, otherwise, various software hindrances may take place. If not done smartly, productivity tools can decrease productivity instead of enhancing it.
For all kinds of educational approaches, the most essential part is the teacher-student collaborations. On online platforms, it is done virtually. Initiating virtual collaboration, though we are in a technologically advanced era, can be troublesome at times. This is the reason why it is significant to have a trustworthy collaboration tool annexed to the LMS. To name some of those collaboration tools, there are Cisco Webex Rooms and Cisco Webex. Collaboration tools are the software that passes on information from the tutor to the students in various ways such as messaging, videoconferencing, file sharing, voice sharing, digital whiteboarding, virtual office hours, etc. In short, collaboration tools create the interaction between the student and the teacher on online teaching platforms.
Digital simulations are very interesting. This is a form of testing or trial learning where a tutor creates a classroom-based, online scenario for the students to apply their rational skills and navigate. For example, in nursing courses, online education will not be able to provide a hospital setting. This is why Digital Simulations become extremely crucial especially in human and health services, where students need to develop clinical and practical skills for their course. Just like a video game, a teacher can assign a student to a digital simulation where he/she can interact with a patient. It is a form of made-up reality.
For distance learning online education, digital simulations become undeniable as the student must get an institution-like feeling which enhances their learning capabilities greatly.
This is the final category among the five. As the name suggests, assistive technology assists the ongoing software with vital tools to aid the students. For example, assistive technology tools will assist and support a student with learning or physical disabilities to get better. If we put the words by the Assistive Technology Industry Association, they say, “any software program, equipment peace, items or product systems which can maintain, enhance or increase the present functional capabilities of a person with some disabilities, can be termed as an assistive tool.”
For example, a complete video guide of lessons especially designed for hearing, for students who can’t see or availability of captions on video classes for students with impaired hearing, etc.