“Online Learning is not the next big thing, it is the NOW big thing”
Donna J Abernath
At SOFT TARBIYAH ONLINE SCHOOL we believe that ,
Not everyone fits into the traditional school model, and the online program provides another way for the students to develop their basics and make him to invoke and enhance their capabilities and also for us to meet diverse and unique needs of our students and make them ready and prepared for the successful future.
There are two fundamental equalizers in life – the Internet and education.”
Computer and technology literacy is a requirement for successful online learning. Without these skills, successful completion of online classes can be negatively affected. Succeeding in an online course or program requires proficiency in multiple areas of digital tools and skills. Both student and teacher have to know about the basic of digital tools for the efficient and fruitful online learning.
DIGITAL TOOLS TO SPARK CREATIVITY:
Whenever we think about online learning, the questions arises in our minds. What will be the digital tools to meet the challenges? Would it be able to create an effective learning environment? Of course yes. Any resource that challenges, encourages and fosters a sense of enthusiasm in the classroom can have an impact.
It is crucial to focus on the purpose of digital tools and their ability to add value in a learning environment. This piece of writing looks at three examples of online tools that I feel any teacher or learner can use to spark their creativity.
OPPORTUNITY TO BE EFFECTIVE & INNOVATIVE:
We should consider digital tools as part of a plethora of resources available to teachers and learners. Used appropriately they can have significant impact. Used without planning or careful consideration they can be an utter waste of time. It isn’t about the technology, it is about the learning.
Effective digital tools are those that provide learners with the opportunity to be innovative, to approach challenges from different perspectives, and to develop their own creative solutions. In recent years a justification for using digital tools is that they enthuse and energies learners. These can no longer be the only reasons. There has to be a tangible benefit to the learning process.
Whilst teachers can be creative in using digital tools to enhance their presentation of lesson materials, this doesn’t necessarily spark learners’ creativity. The real impact can be identified when learners take ownership, are asked to justify and explain their digital choices, and are encouraged to deliver on the higher potential of such tools.
CHANGING ROLE MODELS:
Where, when, how, and even what we are learning is changing. Teachers need to consider how to engage learners with content by connecting to their current interests as well as their technological habits and dependencies. Learning with digital media isn’t solely about using this or that software package or cloud computing service. The altered roles of the teacher and the student substantially change teaching itself. Learning with digital media isn’t about giving our well-worn teaching practices a hip appearance; it is, more fundamentally, about exploring radically new approaches to instruction. The future of learning will not be determined by tools but by the re-organization of power relationships and institutional protocols. Digital media, however, can play a positive role in this process of transformation.
EXAMPLES OF ONLINE TOOLS:
When talk about online tools we found many, some of them are given below.
Socrative is a quiz, survey and feedback tool. It can be used to deliver a quiz during a lesson and then shared with the entire class to identify progress. However, it becomes far more powerful when learners are challenged to create their own activities. This tool can spark creativity by encouraging learners to construct their own digital reflection. They can gather feedback on their latest work, test understanding and evaluate the impact of their work. They can also share their proposals with the rest of their class, gather feedback and then ask for votes on that feedback. This is straightforward within Socrative and enables an effective collaborative and creative process.
Classtools.net is a splendid online collection of tools to spark creativity. It allows anyone to create their own learning and reflection activities. Again, this is most powerful when learners are challenged to create their own versions. There are 40 freely available tools and frequent new additions. One of the best examples is ‘Facebook’. Learners can create their own Facebook-like page for an individual or topic that they are studying. For example, they can create profiles that track the impact of an important event, reflections on a political debate or a stream of creativity that led to a musical masterpiece.
This is precisely the additional value that a digital tool offers that simply isn’t possible via a more traditional medium. It isn’t a replacement for other resources but rather an extension or catalyst for creativity.
Kahoot is my personal favorite digital tool for learning. It allows anyone to create their own quizzes for classroom competition. These quizzes, or ‘Kahoots’, can be shared with a whole class who answer using any device from mobile phones to desktops. There are multiple layers to this. When first used it seems like an entertaining plenary exercise. A scoreboard based on response time appears and a whole additional layer of competition reveals itself. It becomes both an intellectual and timed response challenge. Do learners try to press the answer buttons as rapidly as possible or should they take time to read the question carefully?
As with Socrative, the greatest impact is when teachers transfer ownership to students. This sparks learners’ creativity by asking them to create their own learning activities. They have to decide which aspect of a topic to focus on, design their own challenging assessment and take ownership of the learning process. When a ‘Kahoot’ is shared across multiple classes, regardless of geographic location, it enables a far deeper learning process which empowers learners.
LEARNING WITH TECHNOLOGY:
Online learning is more than just learning content, doing homework, and submitting assignments. Everything you do in an online class involves technology. Students should be comfortable with all these digital tools before taking an online class. No doubt, digital media place both teachers and students outside of their comfort zone. Every day new educational resources become available. It is important that both teachers and learners become discerning users and don’t immediately see the latest flashy tool as being some form of digital silver bullet.
The above content add considerable value to the learning process. Approaching such tools with critical enthusiasm enables teachers and learners to deliver on their creative potential and embed digital tools within their learning. Online courses give students the opportunity to plan their study time around the rest of their day, instead of the other way around. Students can study and work when they are at their peak energy, whether that’s early morning or late at night.