Survival Guide For Distance Learning Education

Computers have provided students and teachers with a plethora of new opportunities in recent years. Technology has progressed beyond books and chalkboards. Every day, more computers are being introduced into schools. With the world becoming more computerized, it is more important than ever to teach people how to use technology. Learning for kids is not only more fascinating, but also more enjoyable, thanks to the modern technologies that teachers employ. The Internet has made a huge difference in schooling. We can now take lessons online from hundreds of miles away while yet feeling like we are in the classroom thanks to the Internet.

Learning can be a difficult task for anyone who wishes to broaden their horizons. Learning has entered a new era with the help of online schools, which is quickly expanding. Secondary education is now available online for individuals who wish to earn their degree. For some pupils, this may not be the best schooling, but for others, it is ideal. To maximize the benefits of online college, a student in an online school must learn to apply his or her educational abilities and tools.

Goal-Setting and Goal-Achievement

Creating an action plan is the first step in doing anything significant. This action plan will assist any student in achieving his or her objectives. This strategy is just a set of objectives. Short-term and long-term attainable goals should be established in order to demonstrate the student’s progress. The long-term goal would be considered the action plan’s final result. Although a student may have numerous long-term goals, it is critical that each long-term goal has its own plan. Short-term goals should serve as stepping stones toward the achievement of the major long-term goal. Short-term goals should also be attainable in order to help the student gain confidence and demonstrate progress. Setting and achieving goals will be extremely vital throughout one’s online learning journey.

Retrieval technique

Retrieval technique entails bringing knowledge from memory to mind. Students do this when they take practice tests or quizzes, but it can also happen in other ways. Students can, for example, jot down what they remember on a blank sheet of paper or even sketch ideas. The important thing is that they should recall the knowledge from memory. So, while duplicating one’s notes would be ineffective, attempting to summarize one’s notes from memory would be extremely valuable. Students do not need to recall everything and can use their notes or course materials to fill up any gaps following retrieval.

Using Time Efficiently

Time is a valuable commodity. Each kid has an own learning style. It is critical to understand each student’s personality and learning style in order to maximize each student’s abilities. Participating in Discussion Questions and speaking with one another allows each student to evaluate who is the greatest at learning in each type. People with the personality styles of organizer, adventurer, giver, and thinker fall into this category.

Elaboration

Elaboration entails posing “how” and “why” questions regarding a certain issue and then attempting to find answers. Students understand and learn more when they try to describe and explain how and why things work. Students can also apply the themes to their own life, or compare and contrast two topics to see how they are similar and different. This method can be assigned to a single student or a group of pupils. Students can use elaboration in online discussion boards or virtual groups via video chat in a distance environment.

NEW AGE OF ONLINE LEARNING

Getting educated has never been this easy. Putting the relevance of colleges under the spotlight.

A few decades back, not everyone had the liberty and the opportunity to go to college. The huge numbers of people joining colleges rather than the workforce was not the thing back then. 

The expensive college system paved the way for such a trend, which was also aided by the lack of infrastructure and other opportunities in most sectors which are quite relevant now.

The brick and motor system of people finishing school and then going to college to get a job has been changing slowly but significantly for the past few years. Lesser and lesser people have been seen shutting the eye towards getting a college degree to have a guaranteed successful career across the industries.

The current pandemic status quo is sure to have put a dent to this trend on a larger scale. With the ever fluctuations in the job market and the downward scaling of businesses, employees in most industries are scrambling to make sure that they will have a living by the end of the pandemic. 

Making the fear of the pandemic second to the fear of having a job to hold on to sustain a living. The hardships of having a job did not seen this hard in a while.

The upscaling of technology has certainly impacted the education system the most. With the widespread of internet and other gadgets, it has allowed people to even resort to remote learning; from upskilling to even pursuing degrees these days.

Aiding schools and universities to function on with their course structures to an extend.

It has also paved the path for people building up and pursuing shorter courses, which helps in building up certain skills and foundations in almost all the sectors of business. Contributing to a more conscious and productive workforce yet to have hit the floors.

People now have the liberty to sit from the comfort of their homes and with a few clicks be able to start doing a course to up skill their own person. Making the opportunities to learn a plenty and the easiest it has ever been.

The pandemic and shifts in the education system has promised that the system is never going to be the same again.

With people resorting to digital measures to eliminate their shortcomings of knowledge regarding different spectrums, it has started giving major companies sound grounds to even consider candidates without a proper degree for various job opportunities.

With the ability to receive information and answers regarding almost everything with just a click of a few buttons, has shown that the people are going the extra mile to incorporate additional skills that might help them become more educated to handle the tasks at work and also developing as professionals. Paying homage to the age old saying, “with great powers, comes great responsibilities.”

These all have made the jobs of the recruiters much easier, by letting them have the freedom to have a chance to hire people with the right skillsets, which would let them employ the workers without further training or other actions. Making the pace of the workplace faster than ever.

DISTANCE EDUCATION

What Is Distance Education?

Distance education is defined as the practice of using correspondence, either written or virtual, to learn. With this practice, a teacher in New York could provide instruction to students all over the United States and the world. This helps students access teachers who may live geographically too far away to attend a class; it also assists students who cannot take classes during traditional hours because of work or other responsibilities.

Growth of Correspondence Courses

By the late 1800 s, correspondence courses had taken off, especially in the United States. Colleges and universities began offering correspondence courses, including some large schools such as Baylor University and the University of Chicago. As popularity in distance education grew, so did the number of schools offering the courses. By the mid-1900 s, schools all around the world relied heavily on correspondence courses to supplement their on-campus student bodies.

THE TYPES OF DISTANCE EDUCATION :

  1. You have the option of pursuing a distance learning programme from the one and only national open university of India – the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) or any of the 13 state open universities in India.
  2. All distance programs must be approved by the Distance Education Bureau (DEB) of the University Grants Commission (UGC.) You can access the list of ODLs (Online and Distant Learning Institutes) that are currently approved by the DEB on their website.
  3. Distance learning has evolved a lot in the last couple decades. With advances in technology, distance learning now also includes online learning or e-learning.
  4. Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainability Science (PGDSS)
  5. Appreciation Programme on Sustainability Science (APSS)
  6. Post Graduate Diploma in Food Science and Technology (PGDFT)
  7. Post-Graduate Diploma in Food Safety and Quality Management (PGDFSQM)
  8. Though two degrees cannot generally be pursued simultaneously, a student can pursue two programmer simultaneously through the distance mode or combination of distance and regular modes from the same or different universities/institutions in the following various combinations:
  9. One Degree and one Diploma/PG Diploma/Certificate
  10. One P G Diploma and one Diploma/Certificate
  11. One Diploma and one Certificate
  12. Two PG Diplomas
  13. Two Diplomas
  14. Two Certificate
  15. 8.There are now many institutes/ colleges/ universities in India that offer only online courses. University 18 is such an example. It has been developed in a Public Private Partnership with national universities like Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), Uttarakhand Open University (UOU) and IIM Shillong. Another such 100 percent online education platform is UTS. You can submit assignments online, access an online library 24-7 and take exams online.

beST DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM :

Take the leap towards the next stage of your career with programs that have been thoughtfully designed for working professionals. They are structured and scheduled to allow for a fulfilling work life & study balance. Depending on the need and depth of up skills, students have an option to choose from specializations within following: Certificate programs, Diploma Programs, Professional Programs, PG Diploma Programs and Master Programs.

DURING PANDEMIC PERIOD DISTANCE EDUCATION AT HOME E LEARNING :

The idea of rolling out of bed and moving onto the couch to study in your pyjamas may have once sounded like a real dream come true. But in reality, the novelty will soon wear off (if it hasn’t already) as you realize you’re getting through more Netflix series than you are assignments and lecture notes.

Increasing Student Participation During Zoom Synchronous Teaching Meetings

Due to Coronavirus, many schools are moving online, and teaching through Zoom meetings. If it is only being used to present content to students, then why not just record videos and have students watch them on their own? The value of Zoom meetings is that the educator can create synchronous interactive conversations and activities. My goal is to have all my students actively engaged throughout the meeting. Below are some the activities I have used during my. teacher education Zoom meetings although they can be adapted for any age group and age level (3rd grade and up), and in training professionals. Along with the tools that come with Zoom, I also use online web tools and applications to increase interactivity and engagement. All tools I describe below are free and work on any device, any browser.

Whole Group Discussions

Whole group discussions should be just that – discussions. I believe that the teacher can use this forum for short lectures but, again, they should be short as the power of synchronous Zoom meetings is that it permits interactivity and active learning. Questions about class content can be posed with student responses elicited through verbal responses and/or through the Zoom group chat.

A favorite whole group activity I do is to have a group video viewing party. For this activity, I begin with a short overview of the video and a question of what they should look for during the video. Student responses are put in the chat during and/or after the video.

Whole group activities and discussions can also be used for Breakout Groups follow-up to share what they discussed and did. In this case, I inform the Breakout Groups to decide on a spokesperson or two to report to the whole group.

Breakout Groups

One of the best tools in Zoom is the ability to put students into smaller, self-contained breakout groups. Some ways to use the Breakout Rooms include:

  • To discuss a prompt or questions provided by the teacher or another student.
  • To do online research about a given topic.
  • To discuss a real life scenario or case study. This can be done in a jigsaw strategy whereby different groups are given different case studies. When they are brought back into the whole group, each Breakout Group shares their thoughts and conclusions.
  • To create projects using some of the web tools such as Google Slides, webbing tools, or comics that I discuss later. Time is then given to each group to share what they produced with the rest of the class in a whole group setting.

Quizzes

My students of all ages, kids and adults, absolutely love the competitive, real time quizzes – Kahoot and Quizziz. Both of these online tools – applications have huge archives of teacher created quizzes. They also let teachers create their own and remix the quizzes other teachers have created.

Kahoot

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform, used as educational technology in schools and other educational institutions. Its learning games, “Kahoots”, are multiple-choice quizzes that allow user responses.

Mentioned Kahoot and any student who has played it just lights up. I like using it at the beginning of a session prime students about what they will be exploring during the session or in the middle to re-energize them.

Quizziz

Quizziz offers self-paced quizzes to students. During my Zoom sessions, I do live Quizziz quizzes where the students answer quiz questions on their own yet compete with one another. It is similar to Kahoot but Kahoot is teacher directed, it displays the questions and answers on the teacher’s device; whereas Quizizz is student directed, it displays all the information on the student’s device.

Polling

Polling web tools can get real time information about students’ opinions, thoughts, and ideas which can be shared with them immediately.

Google Form

Google Forms can be used for student surveys and polling. More information about how to do this can be found at How to Make a Survey With Google Docs Forms. What I really love about using Google Forms for surveys and polls is that immediate feedback can be presented to the students through the response tab.

I like using Google Forms to check in with students and to inquire about what topics they would like to discuss.

Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere is a live student-response tool that offers whole-class participation and assessment through teacher-designed surveys, polls, and discussion boards. Tutorial guides can be found at https://www.polleverywhere.com/guides and video tutorials at https://www.polleverywhere.com/videos.

An example I did recently was polling the student teachers with who I work about special education services at their respective schools (see screenshots below).

Web Tools

There are lots of free, relatively easy-to-use web tools that students can use in Breakout Groups to create products about a class topic. The benefits of doing so include:

  • Students get to be creative during the synchronous meeting.
  • Creating products with visual elements helps deepen the learning.
  • Students have fun during the synchronous meeting.
  • Community is built as students work together on such tasks.

Before I give them their task and send them into their Breakout Groups, I give a screen share tutorial on how to use the tool. There are also lots of online video tutorials that can be shared with students.

As mentioned above, the smaller Breakout Groups share what they did with the whole group. To insure that the others pay attention, I ask them to share in the chat the favorite thing or what they learned from the smaller group presentations.

Shared Google Slides and Docs

Having students help create a shared Google slide show is one of my favorite activities. Individual or small groups are asked to take a slide of a shared Google Slide presentation to report on a given topic. I give some broad guidelines including finding and adding both content and images. The following video explains this process.

Below is an example that focuses on classroom management. In Breakout Groups, they were give a topic. Breakout groups 1 and 2 were given the topic. , groups 3 and 4 Classroom Environment, and 5 and 6 Instructional Strategies. They were given several online articles as references and also encouraged to use their own experiences.

Padlet – A Collaborative Sticky Note Board

Padlet is a website and app that allows kids to curate information onto virtual bulletin boards using a simple drag-and-drop system. Students, alone or in groups, can start with a template or a blank page and add videos, text, links, documents, images — basically anything — to the wall and organize it, like a page full of Post-it notes (https://www.commonsense.org/education/website/padlet).

I typically use Padlet as a whole group activity. What I like about it is that the students can easily see the responses, images, links that their classmates have posted.

For example, I love starting my first Zoom meeting with the Padlet: Time to Take a Selfie Icebreaker developed by Catlin Tucker. Below is one I did with a group of teachers with whom I worked.

Made with Padlet

I have also created and used Padlets for partner interviews, where they posted the results of their partner interviews, SEL strategies, technology in the classroom, classroom management, and collaborating with the community.

Collaborative Webbing – Mind Mapping

“A mind map is a diagram for representing tasks, words, concepts, or items linked to and arranged around a central concept or subject using a non-linear graphical layout that allows the user to build an intuitive framework around a central concept (https://www.mindmapping.com/mind-map.php).

I like to use Coggle in Zoom Breakout Groups. Coggle is an online tool for creating and sharing mind maps and flow charts. It works online in your browser. It is easy to use and permits real time collaborative.

To collaborate, one of the group members starts a Coggle and then invites others by clicking on the + sign in the upper right hand corner and sends email invites.

Below is an example the student teachers did in a breakout about SEL strategies for the classroom.

Comic Creator

Students can be asked to create a comic strip in their Breakout Groups to depict a given topic. My favorite is comic creator is Storyboard That but it has a bit of a learning curve for those who are less technology savvy. Although Make Belief Comix lacks some of the tools and options that Storyboard That has, it is much easier for students to use, so I have moved to using Make Belief Comix in my Zoom meetings. For more technology savvy groups, though, I recommend Storyboard That.

Once back in the whole group. students do a screen share of their product and explain it’s content to the rest of the group. For example, a here is a comic about differentiating instruction using Storyboard That.

As mentioned earlier, Breakout Groups then do a show and tell of their mind maps, comics. The following video shows how to do a screen share. The teacher needs to make sure they have “All Participants” enabled under the sharing settings.