At Acmo Network Private Limited, we have offered our staff an option to work from home and as we are all set up to work remotely, this will not have any impact on our ability to deliver the same level of work that we currently offer.
But wait, why to mention this here? This is because the same tools that are used by IT professionals to make work from home not only possible but also preferable, can also be used by the education sector to make virtual schooling a reality in these situations.
As we all are aware about the fact that Coronavirus is spreading its wings across the countries as a global pandemic that unfortunately has affected directly or indirectly the education sector which means the future generation and we believe that it should be preserved at any cost.
The Coronavirus that has erupted from China, has reached masses around the globe. In response to the Coronavirus disease outbreak, many governing bodies are ordering nationwide school closures as an emergency measure to prevent the spreading of the disease. The Ministry of Education estimates that millions of children and adolescents are confined to their homes.
Now, as countries across the world are taking these steps to restrain the virus, many schools and universities globally are moving classes online. Schools are in dire need of educational applications and platforms to help systems facilitate student learning and provide social caring and interaction during the period of school closure.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) jointly advised national and local authorities on adapting and implementing emergency plans for educational facilities in the event of school closures. They also mentioned schools should have solid plans in place to ensure the continuity of learning, including remote-learning options such as online education strategies and radio broadcasts of academic content, and access to essential services for all the children. These plans should also include steps for the eventual safe reopening of the schools.
Education Institutions may look up for a variety of solutions having their pros and cons. Some of the solutions as also mentioned by UNESCO are:
● Digital learning management systems
like Blackboard, CenturyTech, ClassDojo, Edmodo, Edraak, EkStep, Google Classroom, Moodle, Nafham, Schoology, Seesaw, Skooler, Study Sapuri.
● Systems purpose-built for mobile phones
like Cell-Ed, Eneza Education, Funzi, KaiOS, Ubongo, Ustad Mobile, Can’t Wait to Learn, Kolibri, And Rumie.
● Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Platforms
like Alison, Coursera, EdX, University of the People, Icourses, Future Learn, Canvas, Byju’s, Discovery Education, Geekie, Khan Academy, KitKit School, LabXchange, Mindspark, Mosoteach, OneCourse, Quizlet, Siyavula, YouTube.
● Mobile reading applications
like African Storybook, Global Digital Library, Lezioni Sul sofà, StoryWeaver, and Worldreader.
● Collaboration platforms that support live video communication
like DingTalk, Lark, Hangouts Meet, Teams, Skype, Zoom.
● Tools to create digital learning content
like Thinglink, Buncee, EdPuzzle, Kaltura, Nearpod, Pear Deck.
All the above platforms are good and help students cope with studies during school closures but they are very independent and lack the interaction between different roles. The students, particularly those below higher secondary grades, require regular care and assessment. So the proper interaction between students, parents, and teachers is very important. Even other members of schools like non-teaching staff and administration need to coordinate for proper school functioning. This is where Acmoschoool excels, as it provides a unified platform specially tailored for schools to help them keep functioning and par with modern-day technologies. It not only has tools to facilitate regular academic routines but also provides advanced features like:
● Accounts Management
● Payroll Management
● Online Fee Management
● Transport Management
● Hostel Management
● Library Management
● Inventory Management
● Attendance Management
● Online Exams
● Messaging Module
● File Sharing Module
● Complaints Management
● Visitor Management
● Advanced Reports and much more.
Talking only about the academic module can be vast enough to require a separate blog post. So let us just condense it to a simple example to present an idea about how this unified solution can help achieve virtual schooling.
A school when added creates virtual premises of it on our servers. An admin can create different roles according to the structure of their school besides the default roles we have already created. All the members belong to a specific role and have their separate account credentials to enter their private spaces. Each role has certain privileges that help create different workflows for almost all scenarios. Some of the basic workflows are:
● A teacher uploads an assignment for a class. A student completes it & uploads it.
● Administration creates an exam and schedules a date, the student appears in the test, the teacher evaluates papers, and then the administration promotes students as per their performance. Administration can also create Online Exams.
● Students, parents, teachers, or other members of the school post their concerns in the Complaints module, the respective authorities take the action accordingly
● A teacher can council a particular student or a group of students through the inbuilt communication module
● and so on…
The point is not to tell how things are done but to mention how Acmoschool workflows are similar to the existing operations of the school. Even having that much similarity we do recognize navigating this new way of schooling presents a set of challenges that are new to everyone impacted. Our Team will be available to provide all the support to help make this transition as easy as possible.
The above-mentioned workflows are just a few examples of one module. Acmoschoool is a unified platform for many modules to perform almost all the tasks that one can think a school would be doing but in a more productive, efficient, and convenient way. All this requires a one-time basic setup like adding classes, sections, members, and assigning designees, and other academic setups like creating timetable routines, syllabi, and schedules. And to make this process easy, we have included batteries in Acmoschool to automate the setup and get going in minutes. We also have developed it to be flexible enough to fit your existing structure and provided online documentation and support forums.
Acmoschoool was not developed to counter education disruptions but it existed way before and we will continue to empower it with loads of features. The first version was published in 2018 and since then we have added many premium features. And the roadmap includes Mobile Apps releasing next month and then we have plans for hardware integrations like Biometric Attendance, RFIDs, & GPS Tracking features, and by the end of this year, we will launch an offline-first app as in many places like Kashmir, people have limited network speed due to restrictions imposed by the government. Acmoschoool is already empowering some of the top- tier institutes like Delhi Public School.
All the solutions mentioned here are great and we encourage students to look into them as they provide ample resources for learning. And if you are from the management or administrative section looking for a unified platform for your institute then you should go with Acmoschoool.