Virtual Classrooms: From Chaos to Collaboration

As the world continues to battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is our daily reality and how are teachers and students faring in virtual classrooms?

Not so well, apparently, as attested unanimously by Parents Anonymous.

Image credits – Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Most schools in Colombo already have a functioning distance learning system in place and well established mechanisms through which schools communicate with parents and students.

During periods such as these when schools are closed unduly and indefinitely, schools usually take measures to send out SMSs alerting all parents regarding any important news, changes in schedules, and guidelines to follow in times of crisis. Individual class teachers have WhatsApp groups created for the class, informing students about study packs, assignments, exam schedules, and such. Then there is the actual online distance learning system through which the teachers conduct interactive virtual lessons routinely.

This system functions fairly well most of the time with students managing by themselves.

So what’s all this fuss about?

A deeper look into the matter reveals several underlying problems, some of which are so banal that they would not have occurred to your IT administrator.

In one instance, for example, half of the students of Class A had completed an assignment that was meant for the whole Grade. The specific assignment for Class A, however, had been posted on the class WhatsApp group only. The students who worked on the wrong assignment somehow did not have access to that update, mostly because the phones were with their parents while they worked on some other device.

Another common issue encountered with running virtual classrooms is the disparity of devices and platforms used by individual students. The use of a variety devices such laptops, tablets, and smartphones are commonplace in today’s era of digital flexibility.

The Challenges

The main technical challenge posed here arises when integrating into existing or implementing new systems with the complexity of various disparate operating systems, hardware, software, and network requirements. The different devices and platforms for communication used by students also have to be taken into consideration as well.

A centrally administered platform, with precise User Profile Management can easily address the issues above.

The varying degrees of computer literacy among students, teachers, and parents using the system have to be taken into consideration as well. This plays an important role in deciding on a solution that works equally well for the not so tech-savvy.

The Benefits

The benefits of smoothly operating virtual classes far surpasses the concerns outlined above. This is going to be the trend in the future, so the focus at hand should be on ironing out the hindrances and adapting to the future and beyond.

Virtual classrooms are aimed at providing a fun, interactive learning experience that encourages students to individually explore, share knowledge, and learn through collaborative experiences.

Similarly, the age of digital pedagogy presents a novel teaching experience to tutors too when the right mix of trending technological techniques are employed.

The figure below summarizes how students, teachers, and parents can benefit from virtual classrooms.

Figure 1 — Empowered classroom collaboration with Entgra

How Entgra’s Solutions Can Help

Applying the right technology and using optimal solutions that cater to your specific requirements enable you to tap into the convenience and effectiveness of digitalization.

The right kind of implementation would allow students to explore without restricting their freedom of access to knowledge, and with right protection from misuse and abuse on the internet. Moreover, such potential need not be hindered by concerns of security and adverse accessibility to a plethora of unwarranted information for the students.

Entgra’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions for empowering classroom collaboration offers just that, tailored to the specific requirements of an educational institute.

Given below is what we are capable of in a snapshot:

Figure 2 — MDM solutions by Entgra for education

With over hundreds of companies around the globe already empowered by our enterprise-grade solutions, your virtual classroom problems are safely dealt with by our team. Built on extensible plug-in architecture and enhanced by world-class engineering expertise, the Entgra IoT Server is capable of empowering the best MDM services available today. Get in touch with us via contact@entgra.io and learn more about us here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *