A Guide for Schools to Prepare for E-Learning
Australia has had its fair share of the pandemic and one of the results of this has been for many schools to offer online learning as opposed to regular classes at the school campus. This makes complete sense if there is a deadly airborne virus and schools have to make a lot of preparations before they can offer distance learning programs.
Of course, the school must provide their students with the necessary IT hardware if they are to learn online, which would include headphones for schools supplied by an IT hardware wholesaler, which allow the students to listen and speak during the lessons.
The Following would be required by students:
- Desktop PC or laptop
- Stable Internet connection
- Webcam (often built into the computer)
- Headphones & mic
- Learning resources
With perhaps the exception of the computer, the rest of the equipment would be provided by the school (some schools supply student laptops). Of course, each student would have to download the VoIP software and install it on their computer, which will enable them to join the virtual class. It is likely the school would choose Zoom, which has all the features the school requires and the teacher would set up the host video call and send all students the meeting ID in order that they can join the group.
You cannot expect a primary or secondary teacher to be able to switch to distance learning unless they have some form of training. It is obviously very different teaching an online class than having all the students in the same room and the teacher needs to make the best use of whiteboards, file sharing and other features with VoIP platforms. The teacher can actually see all the students, as they have small thumbnails on their screen, while each student would only be able to see the remotely located teacher, and it takes a while for any teacher to master the virtual environment.
This is an essential aspect of distance learning, as parents of primary children would have to supervise their child, which could be split between both parents. The secondary students do not require parental guidance and would only need to interact with the teacher at the beginning of the class and when handing in their assignment.
The state would likely find distance learning to some degree and the schools would receive financial support to acquire the IT hardware, which every student needs.