2020 has been a challenging year… Lots of things have been happening all over the world, but the biggest, I might say, it’s the pandemic known as Coronavirus. When a pandemic like this one happens, a large number of changes in the way we live are needed, as well as a lot of care and safety measures, meaning our lives have to be adapted to a new reality. Yet, life can’t stop, people work from home, they respect each other’s space in public places, and they learn that for everything to work out we need to stand together as a big community. But there’s another reality alteration that hit a certain group of people in a more concerning way: Students.
They can’t go to school, it’s too crowded, classrooms are full and no kid/teenager can stay with their friends, so online classes came around to help students and teachers not to stop education entirely. There are a lot of platforms that could be used, but today I’m here to talk about the ones I consider best, not only for the students, but also for the teachers, so let’s get to it:
By now, most people have already heard about Zoom, especially since the beginning of the pandemic. It was created in 2011, yet, it only came to the world in 2013. Zoom is a videoconference service that allows anyone to chat, and to call (audio and video) another person from a computer or smartphone. Since this all started, a lot of people started working from home and some schools rapidly connected their students and teachers through this tool, so it’s not that surprising that its ratings have grown around 67% in just a couple of months.
This service has the incredible feature of allowing the recording of calls, which can be great for students to use them later to study, it also features screen sharing and probably its best characteristic when compared with its competitors – the possibility of having around 100 people in the same call. Even though the company offered middle and high schools the complete package for free in some countries, not everyone owns the full pack. That ends up being the only big downside, since the free version only allows you to be on a call for a 40min limit. In summary, Zoom might be the favorite and one of the best online teaching services around.
A different type of platform, CK-12 was created in 2007 by a non-profit organization. Free for its users since its beginning, this service allows teachers to give assignments to their students, to closely follow the process, and, besides that, it additionally enables online classes.
The greatest thing about this platform is that it gives students all the content they need, in a diversity of ways. Not everyone learns at the same rhythm or with the same technique, so giving pupils a range of different techniques for the same topic will make sure no one is left behind. CK-12 also features a system called “Flexbook”, which consists of a website with various downloadable resources and a lot of content to go hand in hand with regular classes. It also has created a teacher’s version, full of quizzes, questions, and exercises. Practical, easy, with a perfectly founded system and a great interface, it runs on smartphones, computers, and even tablets. Surely this platform is every teacher’s dream.
A fun name for a fun platform. Launched in 2013, Kahoot is a learning-based gaming platform that allows teachers to create educational games and quizzes for their students, either in a chat room with other people or individual “challenges” – kind of like a more creative alternative homework.
This service was a university project and it became so popular around the world, that even Disney decided to invest. It’s definitely a different service compared to the ones I’ve talked about before, but in stressful, pandemic times, it’s a good resource to keep students invested and interested. Lastly, it allows teachers to make their multiple-choice tests fun and entertaining and still makes kids learn.
Very unique, created in 2013, Ted-Ed is a platform within a platform. A Youtube channel filled with short animated educational videos for all the curious students in search of more and more knowledge. Not only does it offer a range of educational videos, but it also has an international platform where teachers can create their own animated videos and interactive lessons. Not your typical platform, but it’s a different way to learn and easier for some students, mainly because multimedia has been proved to be more efficient as a learning method, when compared with more traditional ones. It can be super helpful during these tough times and give our children a new learning system.
Finishing this Lesson
It’s been challenging for everyone, but students are still students and have to keep studying and learning and giving their best. None of them is the same, and they all learn at a different pace, with different difficulties – some are better at math, others at history, and some prefer science. Fortunately, these platforms are an excellent solution to this issue and all of them have their own benefits, so using two or three at the same time can give each student the solution to their own individual problem. Thank you for reading!