There will hardly be any aspect of life left waiting to be going online. Our addiction to technology is not going to let up, and it has confirmed after expanding the role of apps to spread education.
Yes, those apps are none other than WhatsApp and WeChat. They are the best things to happen at schools and institutes, offering tremendous communication opportunities to communities to stay connected.
Using such apps, instant online education has become possible even if you are away from your school. Bad weather and outbreak of a pandemic disease or virus-like coronavirus often account for the shut down of schools and institutes for weeks.
It leads to the loss of studies at a significant level. Many schools do not have a budget to put their courses online, and if they have, commercial options available to them do not support the curriculum, and above all, they do not have time.
However, resistance to accepting the new method of learning is not limited to just schools. Most of the families are not ready to invest in computers, laptops and cellphones as they do not need it for other purposes during the day. Sometimes, students do not find it comfortable to accept a new learning system.
Online education does not just aim at sending over materials and assignments and some instructions in textual format. It should have the potential to hold classes and encourage learning among students. The purpose of launching such apps in the education world is to help students to learn independently, communicate, and collaborate with others.
Although there are various apps used for online education, this blog will throw light at WhatsApp and WeChat. Both these apps are flexible and easy to use to create groups, share videos, and send files, images and messages.
To integrate these apps for instant online education, you need to follow the following steps.
- Daily lesson plans are necessary. The first step is to structure lesson plans for different lectures, conduct quizzes, and receive students’ work.
- You will have to review such apps to familiarise with all features such as video chat, text messaging, image transfer, and group chat.
- You will build a course design that includes learning objectives, lectures, activities and assessment.
Why promote such apps in classrooms?
The use of such applications in classrooms will encourage students to interact with students from other countries. It will enhance their communication skills. They will feel encouraged and enthusiastic to collaborate with others at the remote. Apart from individual learning, it will contribute to the teaching of others.
By the installation of such apps, students will be able to conduct research independently and share their findings. These chat apps will allow them to ask questions and share their opinions. They could discuss various topics to broaden the horizon of their knowledge. They will also learn how to use digital tools to gather, evaluate and use information.
Further, students will understand human and cultural issues related to technology. They will understand the right way of using technology. Ethical behaviour is most crucial to develop among students.
By integrating courses on such apps, they will learn to practice safe, legal and responsible use of technology. It will help to build a positive attitude toward technology, leadership skills and individual responsibility for learning.
The best way to build digital etiquette is to create a rule for using social media sites. Teachers should ensure that they have laid specific rules and regulations about assigning and receiving the task. They must ensure that everybody abides by them. Students should learn not to use such apps for inappropriate purposes.
Teachers should also discuss the use of these apps with parents so that they have a complete idea about the ethical use of such apps. They must have permission to access the chat to ensure that everything is as per the protocol. On a weekly or monthly basis, it should be reviewed to admire the performance of students for encouraging others to do well.
Benefits of using apps for online education
- Students and parents can feel safe using the app because it is limited to a specific group of users.
- Students can share their ideas. They will learn to work more independently.
- Teachers can create any file to share with students to explain to them the topic in a better way and much details.
- It provides plenty of methods of communication and learning.
Drawbacks of using apps for online education
- There is always a risk of bullying on social media.
- Not all students consider it an engaging tool.
- Sometimes students get distracted with a lot of features.
There is no doubt that the education sector is embracing technology. Many students are relying on several applications to get a better experience of learning, and most of them do not mind taking out short term loans for students.