Education amid COVID-19 lockdown: Technology to the rescue with online classes

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

Published: April 8, 2020 6:30:30 pm

A student from The Ardee School attending a class over Teams. The school had transitioned to remote classes over Teams in November when they had to stop classes due to pollution in Delhi. (Image source: Microsoft)

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, countries around the world have either placed isolation policy or imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19. While schools and coaching institutions stay closed, online learning platforms are seeing a rise. Some Indian schools and educators are also using technology to bring the teaching to the students right at home.

Schools using Microsoft Teams for online classes

Some schools in India, including The Ardee School in New Friends Colony (NFC), Delhi and The British School are using Microsoft Teams to provide remote learning to their students. These schools had also implemented online classes system during the time when schools were shut because of the severe air pollution in the national capital a while ago.

Microsoft Teams is a unified communication platform that combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and file collaboration. The service integrates with the company’s Office 365 subscription office productivity suite and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products. The Microsoft representatives provided these schools with a step-by-step guide to connect with the students effectively.

BYJU’S sees 6 million new students

BYJU’S is an online learning platform that hosts both the free and paid learning programs for different courses. The platform works similar to YouTube for the free content and users need to pay to access the premium content. BYJU’S has registered an increase of 150 per cent in the number of new students on the app after the nationwide lockdown was placed in India. Over 6 million new students have started using the app in March 2020. The platform has started free live classes on its platform from BYJU’S teachers for students in classes 4 to 12.

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Zoom for online classes

The video calling app Zoom is also being used to take online classes. Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service to virtually connect with people either via video or audio calls. Amidst the lockdown, the demand for the Zoom video calling app has spiked in the last month and has also been used by professionals who are working from home.

zoom, online education Zoom and Hangouts are available options to keep the learning continue. (Image: Bloomberg)

Unfortunately, the app got under the scanner over its privacy settings and problems with incidents of Zoombombing, where uninvited participants reported to have taken over a meeting and shared objectionable content. If you are new to Zoom, follow these steps to make your Zoom calls safe.

More online learning apps

BYJU’S is not the only online learning platform. Apps like the Unacademy, Shaw Academy, Udemy, and GradeUp have been around for a long time now. For those planning to take on a professional course, coaching for a competitive exam, or a specific skill, can explore these online learning apps to get started at home while the lockdown is in place.

Each application has something different to offer. For others who already have a teacher or mentor, can select Zoom or look for other video chat apps like Google Hangouts to get the learning curve going.

Also read | Find the nearby open grocery stores and products available in real-time on this app

Apps for creativity corner

With the lockdown in place, kids at home are stuck at home with limited options on entertainment and learning. However, there are a number of apps out there, which appeal to the creative corner of the young ones. One such application is the Solid Works that comes with tools to create, style, design, and print 3D models. It allows kids to capture photos, draw layouts, add materials with different shapes, sizes, and colours, and more to realise their imagination.

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