Here’s where we’re going if you want to jump ahead:
The online teaching methodology we’ve come to know and love has existed for decades now. While the motives of learning have changed very little, the methods, tools, and strategies have shifted shapes and taken on new identities. Not only has the digital era has completely revived the way we deliver educational content, but it has made learning more accessible than ever before.
This article explores five advanced technologies at the heart of modern eLearning technique. I recommend using these in your own online courses to facilitate higher retention and more intelligent exchange of information. In fact, these techs are equally responsible to make online teaching platforms competent for the business industry. So here they are:
Live video conferencing and live streaming are the results of years of continuous advancement in software, web-tech, and hardware infrastructure development. The difference between live video conferencing and streaming is that video conferencing allows a two-way transmission, while live streaming is one-way. That means, in video conferencing, all the involved parties can transmit their video feeds to each other, while streaming supports the transmission from a single source and receiving by multiple destinations.
Both the technologies have played a revolutionary role in transforming eLearning methods from text to online training software. With video conferencing or live streaming, came the real-time tutoring platforms, which allowed trainers to interact with the learners and conduct live classes like in brick and mortar classrooms.
Any learner with an access to a mobile phone, laptop, or a computer can join a live classroom via an internet connection and enjoy learning exactly in the same way as they would in a physical classroom. To fit face time into the online curriculum, educators open live video feeds, assuaging the physical distance between them and their student body.
The advancements that led to the existence of live video tutoring also gave birth to the radical video-on-demand streaming. The only difference with the former is that you can upload a video file on a server and let students see it anytime they wish to. This tech also supplemented live video streaming by letting users save the live streams as VOD to access the content at a later time or data, furthering the accessibility.
Both the techs made learning resources available in a 24x7 environments. Today, students can not only join real-time online classes but also access those classes in recorded format.
If anything that has evolved drastically over the past few years, it’s the whiteboard/blackboard used in the physical classroom. Introducing digital interactive whiteboards, created a learning system and officially cut the cord linking modern education to its antiquated predecessors, making online learning completely independent of physical methodologies.
An interactive whiteboard allows users to write, draw, manipulate and annotate over content digitally with supported tech. Interactive whiteboards use a touch screen, a pen input tool, and a whiteboard software, bringing these powerful tools together to enhance teacher to student interaction. Using pattern recognition capabilities, they convert handwritten text, shapes, and drawings into digitally transmittable content.
As a result, you can-
Transmit the workspace screen on a projector
Record the interaction and upload on internet as VOD.
Transmit the interaction live via streaming or on a video conference.
Trainers use interactive whiteboard hardware in physical classrooms for blended teaching.
E-Learning platforms use digital/software/HTML/ based whiteboards to teach in real-time or in VOD courses.
We have a digital whiteboard, a video transmitting tool, and a two-way real-time communication tool. Don’t you feel something is missing?
How could we forget the assessment part? Exams and tests have haunted us since the dawn of time and it’s only right that we retool them.
The next monumental evolutionary stage in the eLearning technology was the introduction of learning assessment systems, also known as Learning Management Systems (LMS). Take examples of Microsoft word software or Gmail. Just like one helps you to write digitally, and other lets you send digital mails, an LMS is a software program that lets an online trainer do the classroom stuff in digital format. You can call an LMS as a complete simulation of a physical classroom environment.
An LMS helps you create, manage and share online courses. It powers the teaching and learning process in two separate parts:
Server Side- A server program manages the core functionalities like
Learning progress tracking
Learning assessments (quizzes, tests, attendance)
Data analytics for report generation
User side- UI runs on the web browser to offer a visual representation of the server functions and functionalities for Admins, Teachers, and students. Each user enjoys his/her accessible functionality. For example-
Teachers to create, manage, and track courses, etc.
Admin to manage all users and the platform itself.
Students to access courses, take tests, get reports, etc.
The best part of these technologies is that they can exist on their own, or converge to form a robust eLearning platform. E-learning platforms are a mosaic of all the technologies we’ve discussed, giving them an environment to interact and converse. All of these activities are carried out over an internet or intranet network. Simply, E-Learning platforms are the websites or CMS used for online teaching and learning.
Ideally, your E-Learning platform allows –
You to add as many tutors on your eLearning platform as necessary
Tutors to sell courses to the students on the platform
Students to access the courses created by tutors on the platform
You to monetize the courses and earn money from them
You access control to decide who can access the courses
You access control to decide prices of the courses for students
You to take commissions from tutors selling courses on the platform
Students to pay for the courses to access them via internet
We’ve reached a point of total accessibility, a marketplace of online courses where tutors can sell courses and students can customize their curriculum and set their own agenda.
Wait…we’re not done yet
Here are few more technologies that fuel modern education. Although they’re secondary tools, they play an indispensable role in supporting your primary toolbox.
Authoring tools- A suite which comprises everything one would need to create an interactive online course in different digital formats like audio, video, text, PDF, PPT etc.
HTML 5- HTML 5 powers almost every tech used in eLearning. From white-board tools, responsive web pages, mobile apps, to authoring tool, you can find an HTML tag everywhere.
Video editing tools- Video editing tools that let you edit your recorded lectures, create explainer videos and do every possible tweak to make your video courses interactive and complete.
Animator tools-A tool used mostly for creating explainer videos in animated formats. The animations help in explaining different concepts and processes more easily.
Audio editing tools- Offers everything you would need to edit the course audio or narrate over the videos, etc.
Presentation tools- Tools like MS PowerPoint that let you create interactive lessons in slides format.
Katie Taylor is a professional blogger, guest writer & Influencer. Currently associated with Pinlearn as a content marketing strategist.
Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.
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