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4 Online Learning Platforms in 2020

6
5 Min Read

Online learning may seem revolutionary. But, as soon as you look beneath the rug, you will easily see that a lot of young students are already used to digital learning with online platforms. Many students already use Google for getting answers to their everyday questions. Wikipedia is a common contributor to their assignments. But the real challenge is to put all of this together into a structured format, like the curriculum in a school.

What is Covered by Online Learning Platforms?

You can learn a lot, without even touching the textbooks:

  • School curriculum including CBSE and ICSE education from Class 1 to Class 12.
  • Training for post high-school entrance tests like the JEE, NEET, SAT and CLAT.
  • Specialized sections of the curriculum focusing on one area of a subject like Algebra in Mathematics, Anatomy in Biology or Tenses in English.

What will You Learn from These Platforms?

As a parent or student, you would be amazed by the kind of learning opportunities these courses offer. Here are some critical lessons you or your child will get to learn, using online learning platforms:

1. Visualization Skills: Many of these courses are designed after putting a ton of research and resources into graphics. Imagine, getting to learn Pythagoras’ Theorem using real-world examples instead of diagrams. Most successful students already have strong visualization skills. But traditional learning methods don’t aid such skills in students who are disengaged with classroom learning. Online platforms spark and support the imagination necessary for learning.

2. Problem-Solving: Schools are a great place to learn a given curriculum, as set by the educational bodies. But most schools end up compiling everything for the children – the curriculum, textbooks, tests, answer-keys and practical lectures. This is great in many ways; but it also hinders inculcating problem solving skills. Online learning forces children to figure out things on their own – what subject should they start with, where are holes in their knowledge, how to frame their doubts and where to find answers.

3. Thematic Learning and Retention: Instead of organizing their curriculums in chapters, most online learning platforms have structured lessons in forms of themes. This allows children to learn a concept in its entirety and develop intuitive understanding around the concepts, instead of focusing on rote learning of principles and rules. At the same time, a ton of online learning platforms pay special attention to skills like mental calculations and learning tricks. They use acronyms, analogies and stories to ensure that children actually remember what they have just learnt.

Now that you might be able to see the value online learning can bring to your or your child’s learning, here’s a small tour of the leading platforms – Khan Academy, Google Classroom, Byju’s and Vedantu.

Quick Review of All the Four Platforms

Khan Academy

  • All the lectures are available for free. Just sign up with your account and start learning.
  • Wide Coverage of Curriculum: The curriculum is vast, going from Class 01 to Class 12 and covering several competitive exams.
  • Engaging User Interface: There are levels and points for learning. It makes the entire experience very engaging.
  • The only issues are the blackboard teaching and language. Most of the videos are built around the educator scribbling out course content. This may become boring, if your child is not an avid fan of learning theories. Plus, all the course materials, including the lectures, are in American English.
  • If you have doubts, you will have to figure out things by yourself in the forum.

Google Classroom

  • This is one of the best tools for Teachers, Schools and Non-Profits. Google Classroom gives the teachers all the tools they need to conduct an online class, followed by giving and grading tests, homework and assignments.
  • Like Khan Academy, it is free for teachers and non-profits. Plus, since it comes from Google, it’s reliable in terms of its technology, features and data security.
  • The tool allows students and teachers to collaborate in an ad-free environment, while still using the course material they would’ve used in the school.
  • Does not help with graphics or visualization as such. Also, if your school is not using Classroom, there is not much you can do about it as a learner.

Byju’s

  • Byju’s brought the online learning idea to Indian masses. It’s heavily focused on providing great learning that aids school curriculum. Whether your focus is on a specific topic or entire curriculum, Byju’s will have it covered.
  • Byju’s has the best visualization aid among all other platforms. This comes from the fact that the company has spent a good amount of resources in making its learning experience as immersive as possible. The animations are not distracting and help in driving the concept home.
  • Since it is a paid subscription, the company is liable to help you or your child learn. So, you will always have someone available to help you solve your doubts or understand a concept.
  • Investing in the learning of your child is a great idea but the price is a little steep.

Vedantu

  • Like Byju’s, the company has focused heavily in expanding the reach of its curriculum. Once again, you have your entire curriculum from school to entrance exams, ready to be used.
  • Instead of focusing heavily on visualization, the company focuses on the fluency of the instructors. You will find different subject-matter experts helping you with their specialized areas. This ensures that the quality of material remains consistent.
  • Although they too operate on a paid subscription model, there are a ton of free live lectures organized every once in a while. This will help you experience their course content and delivery methods, before shedding a dime.

Here is What You Should Do, Before You Get Started.

Taking care of these areas will help you ensure that you are getting the most out of your online learning experience:

1. Understand Why You Are Using the Platform: If you want strong visualization, go for Byju’s. If you want to just brush up some concepts, Khan Academy is great. If you want the familiarity of your school teacher, Google Classroom is made for you. Make sure your expectations are clear before you take up any platform’s subscription.

2. Platforms Help You Learn; You Still Have to Do the Labour: The platforms will not magically transform your work ethics. They will definitely make your learning more accessible and even enjoyable. As far as the consistency and discipline are concerned, you will have to do the labour.

3. Make the Physical Environment Suitable for Learning: It is very easy to get distracted when you are using a laptop or sitting beside the TV. Bedrooms make some people feel sleepy. Hence, make sure that the physical environment aids the learning. Try to use the same spot every day. Also, ensure you have working internet connection and your device is updated, before you begin your lectures.

4. Have Some Study-Buddies: Yes, you still have to maintain the social distancing norms. But it will tremendously help you, if you have someone else in your social circle taking the same experience. You can share notes, solve doubts and even talk about the common issues you are facing, without even being in the same building.

5. Have an Adult in the Process: Read all the agreements before you sign up for a subscription. Pay special attention to the device and the information your child is putting to use. Zoom, the video communication app, has recently faced a ton of data leaks and privacy issues. The platforms here are standardized, but make sure you keep checking on your child every now and then.

In Conclusion

Schools have given the children in India a great opportunity to acquire knowledge. That said, in these very uncertain times, we have to come together and ensure that learning does not stop, while still maintaining the need for the hour – social distancing. If you are ready to take up some initiative, online learning can be of tremendous help to learning while still maintaining social distancing.

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