Technology today has brought a new dimension to education. Students can learn from the comfort of their homes without going to the four walls of a building called a school. The way students learn and teachers teach has changed.
During the pandemic in 2020, millions of children worldwide transitioned from face to face classrooms to some virtual education set up at home. Everything has since then changed, including the way kids and university students go to school.
Today, many Nigerians are getting used to learning remotely, especially since the pandemic and the lockdown restrictions it brought in the year 2020.
As a result of the popularity of online learning, many institutions today are now making use of the hybrid form of learning where some days can be in the four walls of a classroom or online.
Online learning tools are very essential because they are the means through which students connect with their teachers. Your equipment needs to be updated and working to its fullest.
So what do you need to ensure that online tutorials are effective?
Here's a list of some of the essential tools that will enhance your learning experience and ensure your lessons online is successful.
An Internet-Enabled Device: Computer, Smartphones, Tablets
An internet-enabled device is very important for any type of online learning whether it is an audio or video class.
Online tutorials are useful as tutors don’t need to travel across town to teach lessons and can teach people all over the world. The same goes for students, they do not have to travel or move from one place or another to receive lessons.
To have a successful online lesson, you need the right internet-enabled device like a computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. This is an obvious tool that is essential. When choosing a computer, it’s better to have a decent and reliable one that does not freeze or lag during your online lesson.
If your system is full of programs, apps and files that may take up too much space and slow its operation, then you might want to clean up your hard disk before you get started.
Thankfully, a computer is not the only internet-enabled device to take your classes. You can decide to use your laptop, smartphone or tab.
The good thing is that some of the tabs they are making now are well suited to online tutorials and often come with an integrated webcam just like a computer or laptop. You just need to install the right video conferencing software like Zoom, Skype etc and you are ready to go.
We will advise that you turn on your internet-enabled device a few minutes before your classes start in case it takes a while to start up or you encounter any start-up issues. That way you can quickly look for an alternative.
No matter which device you’re using, make sure you’ve updated your operating system.
Good And Fast Internet Connection
Learning with a slow speed internet connection can be frustrating and this is why you have to choose your internet service provider wisely.
The good thing is that there are several internet providers in Nigeria. All you need to do is proper research to know their internet speed and what will suit you especially if you will be doing a lot of video conferencing lessons.
Most online teaching companies recommend you have an internet connection of at least 20 megabytes per second (Mbps) for lessons online. You can get information about your internet speed on websites like speedtest.net.
If for some reason, your internet connection is having a problem or is slow due to some reasons already communicated by your provider, you can go to coffee shops, restaurants, hotels etc to use temporarily use their internet till the problem is rectified.
Alternatively, you can consider using the 4G on your phone. Some phones can share their internet connection with other devices and act as a WiFi router. The good thing about online classes is that they can take place anywhere. It could be in your bedroom, living room, a library, garden, in your car etc.
The most important thing is that both the tutor and the student should have a good internet connection. If one person's internet connection is poor, it will affect the other party especially if it is a private one one one online class.
Microphone And Headphones
If you are going to communicate often during your classes, then make sure you have a good microphone. A microphone is essential for an effective dialogue between the teacher and the student. This way students and teachers can express themselves, ask questions and so on.
Ideally, most computers, tablets, and smartphones come with an inbuilt microphone. However, if it doesn't or if it is not working for you then you can invest in one. It is quite affordable and ideal. You can buy a headset with a microphone.
Headphones are the way to go since they’re like a 2-in-1 solution offering you both the clarity you need for your students to hear you loud and clear and vice versa.
You can purchase headphones with noise-cancelling features which will be great in eliminating noise if you are in a crowded place.
Always test your microphone before each class starts.
Camera And Webcam
You will need a camera if you want to see your tutor and vice versa, just like you will need a microphone to speak and hear each other.
Depending on what you are learning online, the tutor might need to be able to see you so that they can correct what you’re doing or you may need to see the tutor just to have an idea of what they are doing.
The good thing about modern computers, smartphones and tablets is that most of them already come with an inbuilt camera that will work just fine for your online lessons.
If you are using an older computer or a desktop without a built-in camera, you’ll need to buy an external camera or webcam to plug into the computer. This way your tutor or students can see your face during the online learning session. It is a small investment that will improve the quality of your lessons.
A visual online class where both the students and teacher see each other is highly recommended because it will create an atmosphere for a greater bond between the student and the teacher.
It will also ensure that the student is focused throughout the class since the consciousness that they are being seen is there.
A camera can also make a lesson feel alive. Just listening to a tutor’s voice might be quite boring, but lessons can become more interactive and interesting with a camera.
If your online classes involve both the teacher and student to see what they are doing, then good lighting is very important.
What's the point of the camera being turned on if both parties cannot see each other?
Good room lighting ensures that you’re visible to your tutor and vice versa. Good lighting improves the overall quality of the lesson. You can ensure that the lighting of the room is bright enough for your lessons or you can use a lamp or a selfie ring light to improve the lighting of the room.
Online communication And Video Conferencing Tools
Effective communication is the key to successful teaching and learning whether it is in a virtual or physical classroom. Once you have gotten some of the hardware we discussed earlier, you’ll need some software to be able to speak with your tutor.
There are several apps and programs out there you can use to make audio, video calls or videoconferences with your tutor. Each of the various apps out there has its unique functions, pros and cons. Some are free at no cost while others aren't.
Some of the apps and tools to enable a successful audio or video conferencing lessons are:
- Ms Teams
- Google Hangouts
- Facebook Messenger
These software and apps enable communication with larger groups, with video conferencing, instant messaging, audio calls, virtual rooms, and more, with any device and from anywhere.
You can be in any part of Nigeria and be receiving your virtual lesson with a tutor from any part of the world. Before you start your remote lessons, ensure you and your tutor agree on which software will be used for classes.
If you're looking for private tutors, remember to head over to Superprof Nigeria today. There are several qualified and experienced academic support tutors to choose from that offer both online and home tutoring.
Most of the tutors usually offer the first hour of their classes for free.
Head over to Superprof NG Now.
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