School IT Blog

COVID putting a focus on ICT education at home but what’s new?

Tue 16 February, 2021

With the onset of COVID, there has been a huge focus on keeping the UK population educated when it is not possible to be on-site at Schools, colleges, and universities. This has seen a huge focus on school ICT companies developing new and innovative ideas to make this happen and not seeing a band of students suffer as a consequence of home education.

Some universities and colleges have used home-based learning for years with different levels of success but never has the UK even attempted this for schools. It is much harder to gain younger children’s focus at times when usually visual learning really benefits them as well as the one-to-one help when misunderstanding takes place. Now we’re going to look at what’s new in ICT education for 2020.

New Teaching Platforms

Virtual learning has seen the use of platforms that have been adapted to school learning such as Zoom and Skype. These are very good for face-to-face learning but can struggle at times to get pupils engaged as really all you do is talk to each other. There are no exercises available just straight talking. This is where new platforms, developed due to the pandemic, succeed. As their main aim is to make the virtual learning experience as close as possible to a normal classroom and if possible, better.

Below are 3 Platforms that will get the virtual classroom way more involved and enhance their learning

1. WizIQ

Features

  • Specifically designed for tutors and students
  • It includes a whiteboard so that you can, and your students can convey your ideas better
  • Your lessons are automatically recorded
  • Deliver assignments to your students who can then submit them
  • Feedback can be given easily
  • Group calls along with ‘breakout rooms’ where students are split up in groups that talk with each other privately. Much like a normal classroom exercise.
  • You can upload worksheets, presentations, and several other features

Price = £140 - £660 per year dependant on the package.

2. G-suite (Google classroom) *Recommended by Soft Egg

Features

  • Secure Teaching Environment, Safeguarding Reporting & GDPR Compliant
  • Trackable Assignments and Homework
  • Communicate with Classes or Year Groups & Student Interaction
  • Teachers can control accessibility
  • Senior Leadership Team Shared Area
  • Easy to Use Video Conferencing & Secure Shared Areas
  • Multi Factor Authentication, Auditing & Access History
  • Private Conversation

Price = £4.14 -£8.28 per user per month

3. Docebo

Features

  • Audit trail, allows you to track how students are performing
  • Blogs, Users can create blog posts to ask questions
  • ILT Classroom, easily schedule and manage your Instructor-Led Training (Classroom) that will be delivered in different sessions and locations.
  • Learning plan, create learning plans by structuring a specific sequence of courses.
  • Group calls

Price = NA

These are just 3 of the possible platforms that could be used specifically for classroom teaching, of which we recommend Google classroom here at Softegg. As we believe it is the best value for money platform with a range of features making the virtual learning experience very much like a real classroom. It is key to use School specific platforms for teaching online as they are specifically designed for the job at hand.

Brand new resources

As well as new platforms available there are resources that can be used alongside these to make activities more fun and inclusive. These include quizzes and a range of educational games. A fan favourite has to be Kahoot, a timed quiz where you compete against your classmates to see who’s quickest on the buzzer at getting the answer. Extremely competitive and gets the class going. Learning by Question would be more of an old-style quiz where there is a range of questions you can work through as a class with answers at the end. Moving onto games. Wordflex, Pictionary with key terms of a topic. Fairly self-explanatory. If you are trying to get the class to remember the key points of a subject memrise.com could be used. These are just a couple of ideas of different resources that can be used online when in a virtual classroom. For loads more ideas of new resources available check out @TeacherToolkit where there is a range of resources for all different subjects and types of learning.

So yes, it is possible to teach at home successfully. Hopefully, this has helped you if you were looking for the best options and ways to teach online. If you ever need any more help or guidance please don’t be afraid to get in touch with us at Softegg.