Pros and Cons of Using eLearning Software in Your Classroom

Author: David Andrade
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EdTech Café

EdTech Cafe
 Standford EdTech (Author)
EdTech Café is a podcast series produced by the educational technology team at Stanford Medicine.

Although some academic institutions and educational professionals still doubt the high value of eLearning software, technology-based education is no longer a myth. And the Covid-19 pandemic has proved that EdTech and eLearning are integral parts of modern academic reality. Lockdown aside, why are more teachers turning to online educational software? What are the benefits and drawbacks of its everyday usage? Let’s find out.

Reasons to Make Use of eLearning

There are plenty of advantages when it comes to eLearning technology for both teachers and students. Proper education and academic knowledge simply cannot exist without the support of technologies in the modern world. Let’s consider some reasons why.

Study in real-time 

eLearning exceeds borders, covers distances between people, and fills their knowledge gaps at the same time. Technology allows you to teach and learn from any part of the world with Internet access and electricity. All you need is a device and software, like Google Hangouts Meet, Zoom, Join.me, GoToMeeting, or other tools that facilitate studying. Sure, having specialized software for learning is great, but these will at least start you off on the right foot. 

Instant verification

Online learning software allows controlling the learning process better and watching out for academic dishonesty. Because of the pandemic, the problems of effective control and prevention of cheating have boiled over. Luckily, teachers can rely on community-driven plagiarism detection and prevention platforms to secure the principles of academic integrity and trust. 

Both students and teachers work with large amounts of material, so they need a robust online plagiarism checker to verify writing. Teachers can often spot plagiarism themselves, especially if the source is familiar, but detecting contract cheating is almost impossible for a human. Fortunately, Unicheck’s contract cheating identification engine Emma does just that – all thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP). Students, on the other hand, are often tempted to use text modifications and essay mills services, but such plagiarism detection software as Unicheck can help them keep up with educational standards.

Stay tuned in

Top-quality portals for educators allow instant access to up-to-date information on EdTech trends, new product launches, and innovative teaching methods. Here are some educational resources and software that can help teachers keep pace with the innovations and implement them in their classrooms:

It is one of the biggest communities for eLearning professionals, designed as a massive wisdom-sharing forum and educational news portal.

  • Blogs of EdTech Companies

You won’t find any academic research, lesson plans, or hot education news on these websites. However, EdTech companies study the market, pay attention to trending topics or the latest advancements, and cover them in their blogs. Here is an excellent example of an EdTech company that produces valuable content for educators. They interview influencers, writers, futurists on educational issues and publish these interviews on their blog. 

Coursera is a fascinating medium because it partners with prestigious universities, educational institutions, and even museums to provide students with online courses on a wide variety of topics. 

Of course, specialized online periodicals had to land on the list. Training and education 

professionals use the resource to find out the latest news about eLearning and education, as well as share their priceless experience, knowledge, and ideas on the matter.

Engage students

Online educational platforms help create a more engaging and exciting environment for students in the classroom. EdTech solves the problem of students burning out from learning with various engaging activities for both teachers and students. These include:

  • Personalized learning curriculums

  • Adaptive learning

  • Tailored lesson plans

  • Gamification

  • Peer-to-peer learning

Become a coordinator

There’s just so much information on the Internet! One person can hardly keep all that knowledge in their mind, let alone update that information constantly. That’s why, in the era of online education, the teacher’s role shifts from being a content expert to being a guide, a coordinator, a mentor in the information mazes of their class or course. This allows teachers to shift the narrow focus of just providing information to the broader (and more rewarding) task of teaching students to learn.

Drawbacks of Online Learning Software

Even advanced technologies and sophisticated eLearning software won’t make online education accepted widely and immediately by everyone. And, without a doubt, it has disadvantages. Here are some of them.

Accessibility

It may seem like the world is open to technological advancements. But the truth is, not all students, educators, and institutions are ready for digitalization. The research and education policy tracking documents developed by the Center for Global Development state that eLearning technology and online learning software right now don’t solve learning problems, especially for children from low-income countries or disadvantaged schools. 

It also states that less than 25% of low-income countries practice remote learning at least by using TV and radio. In contrast, 90% of high-income countries provide remote learning opportunities, and most of them are online. On top of that, in many countries, including Peru, Brazil, or Thailand, only 50% of children have a home computer. Not to mention, there are areas with no Internet connection at all.

Cost

Most technologies are not free and may not be affordable to all academic institutions. In fact, equipping schools and the staff with tools for remote education is difficult for most schools. Although plenty of apps are available free of charge or offer freemiums, profound online education requires professional platforms, and those are pretty pricey. 

Harder to focus 

Teachers still have to learn how to focus students’ attention and raise productivity while using software. Yes, keeping students active and engaged is also a challenge in the physical classroom, but teachers don’t have the same control over their students remotely. It’s even harder to see who’s slacking off or cheating in a virtual classroom, which can result in inaccurate grading.

Human control needed 

The human factor has been essential in traditional academic education since ancient times. We can’t possibly underestimate and completely diminish the contribution of real teachers, even at the vanguard of digital learning. Indeed, no matter the classroom, it is still a real person who keeps it alive. Digital methods are good, but what’s the point of using them if people can’t make sense of what to do with these methods?

Conclusion

The market is overwhelmed with various EdTech products and solutions. Their value for the educational process is immense, be it an online plagiarism checker, a virtual classroom, or a form of tech-enabled assessments. 

But teachers have to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using eLearning software and choose the proper and most effective one. It’s a good idea to go with the one that allows incorporating memory, senses, and higher cognitive processes to enhance teaching practices and improve the results of learning. Good luck in your searches!

** Disclaimer – this is a sponsored post **

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