Your Ultimate Remote Schooling Guide | COVID-19 and Beyond

Posted By graymatters On Fri, Jun 5, 2020

Guide Remote Online Schooling COVID19

It’s been exactly 2 months since we at Gray Matters Capital started our ‘Technologies for School Resilience’ blog and mailer series. The aim of the 15 blog posts published was to help the low cost private schools and their ecosystem of teachers, parents and schools to get acquainted with some of the free-to-use technology tools, platforms, apps and other educational resources recommended by us.

While there were many lists of such education technology solutions floating around in media listicles across different countries and recommended by organizations such as the UNESCO; the reality is that such lists can be at best overwhelming for some and confusing for many.

These lists had recommendations of solutions, which were indeed helpful to students from a content standpoint but were supplemental in nature. Meaning, while such solutions facilitated education continuity for students, the schools couldn’t add value or justify school fees or rake in new admissions based on recommending them to their students.

Our blogs have filtered such lists and done a deep-dive into those solutions which were not just free-to-use or easy to adapt by school leaders, principals and teachers, but also most relevant for the low cost private schools that we and our portfolio companies cater to.

Our recommendations of curated education technology solutions have served more as a ‘How-To’ guide to our school ecosystem, aiding them in their endeavour to survive and continue imparting quality education through engaging means by taking their classes online amid the COVID-19 induced school closures.

The solutions we have suggested thus far and links to their respective blog posts are listed below:

Recommended Solutions for Remote Schooling

Utility

Blog Link

Zoom

Microsoft Teams

Video Conferencing Live Classes via Zoom

 

Microsoft Teams – An Alternative to Zoom for Schools Conducting Virtual Classes

 

 

Google Classroom

Edmodo

 

Digital Learning Management System (LMS)

 

 

Digital LMS Platforms for Low Cost Private Schools

 

 

Adobe Scan

 

Digitizing Class Material

 

Tools to Convert Class Material from Physical to Digital

 

 

 

Google Slides

Pear Deck

 

Preparing Engaging Content for Virtual Classes

 

Upping the Engagement Quotient of Virtual Classes | Part 1 – Google Slides & Pear Deck

 

 

Quizizz

 

Gamified Class Assessments

 

Upping the Engagement Quotient of Virtual Classes | Part 2 – Quizizz

 

 

 

Education channels on DTH TV and Radio

 

 

Education for Students without internet and mobile device

 

 

Broadcast the New EdTech? Part 1: Non-Internet based Technologies for School Continuity

 

 

SMS, Toll Free numbers and Missed Call facility

 

Education for Students with basic mobile device

 

Education via Toll Free Numbers, SMS and Missed Calls | Part 2: Non-Internet based technologies for School Continuity

 

 

WhatsApp

 

Sharing class material via messaging apps

 

What makes WhatsApp the preferred medium of choice for School Continuity?

 

Meghshala

ChalkLit

tickLinks

Firki

Teacher capacity building & Professional Development

 

Access to ready-made digital content teachers can use in virtual classes

 

 

Online Curriculum-based Resources that Teachers can use for Virtual Classes

 

Khan Academy

 

Online Curriculum based Videos

 

 

How Teachers can make the most of Khan Academy for Remote Learning

 

Edpuzzle

Customizing education videos from YouTube and Khan Academy with teacher’s voice and assessments  

Customize Videos for Remote Schooling using Edpuzzle

Chrome extensions:

·        Screencastify

·        Tab Resize

·        Editor for Docs, Sheets and Slides

For teachers to create and share videos Screencastify and Other Chrome Extensions for Teachers conducting Virtual Classes

 

In addition to these recommended technologies, we also issued guidelines for schools to adopt on areas such as sanitation, operations, communications and social distancing, to prepare them for reopening [Read: Sanitation Guidelines for Schools Re-Opening in a post COVID-19 World]

Feedback, be it in the form of surveys [Read: Are Nigeria’s Low Cost Private Schools ready for Remote Schooling?] and also from school leaders and parents have guided the choice of topics and educational technology tools recommendations we have given. Going forward, we will continue to be receptive to such feedback to make our recommendations more relevant.

Importance of an Integrated School Management System

What has been missing in our list of recommendations above is a School Management System. There’d hardly be any school today operating without a School Management ERP solution, as manual database management can be quite cumbersome and ineffective.

While there are disparate solutions for managing admissions, tracking and facilitating fees collection and managing academic, administrative and operational aspects of a school, having these functionalities integrated into one seamless platform is of the essence. More so, in a post COVID-19 world.

With no certainty of schools reopening even in the month of July, experiments of schools reopening being mixed [Read: Spike in Coronavirus Cases Causes Hundreds of Schools in South Korea to Close After Reopening] and parents apprehensive of sending their children to school [Read: ‘My Child Can Lose a School Year, But I Don’t Want Her To Lose Her Life’], one thing that’s certain is that going online is the only option for schools to sustain themselves from a commercial standpoint.

School Management System COVID19

Questions that Schools need to find answers to

  • Do the benefits accrued to your school in owing a School Management System outweigh the cost in this current phase of COVID-19 induced school closure?
  • Does your existing School Management System come integrated with a Learning Management System that can help teachers to continue imparting education online?
  • Does your existing School Management System enable your school to keep a track of online class schedules conducted by different teachers across all the grades and sections?
  • Are records such as attendance, marks obtained and fee collection updated digitally without manual intervention?
  • Does your existing School Management System enable you to track fee collections and facilitate fees collection as well as manage the admissions process online?
  • Does your existing School Management System give you a real-time update on your school’s finances (fee receipts v/s vendor payments), class status, examination performance etc. with insightful reports that can be availed in a click?
  • Has your school adopted a centralized communication framework to send customized, individualized messages such as school updates, test notices, grades secured etc. to students and their parents (via Email/ SMS), instead of disseminating it through teachers via WhatsApp groups ?

If the answers to majority of the questions are a ‘NO’, then it’s a high time your school shifts to a School Management System that helps you answer them in the affirmative.

Our Global Education Finance initiative EdFina has a School Management Platform called ‘EdFina School eXCEL’ to help you

Keep track of our future blogs as we move beyond school resilience to cover educational platforms, apps and services that can help your school’s efforts towards improving quality of learning outcomes.

About graymatters

Gray Matters Capital (GMC) is an Atlanta based impact investor with a gender lens that is on a mission to “Find a more purposeful life for 100 million women by 2036." Aligning with its mission is its strategy of making sector agnostic investments globally in for-profit enterprises whose products and services benefit women and girls at scale.

GMC sees education, primarily catering to under-resourced and low and middle income sections of the society, as a powerful tool to bring about gender equality and social equity. Over the past 12 years, it has focused on supporting the education ecosystem India by funding for-profit enterprises in the ‘learning to earning’ space, besides being pioneers in establishing the school finance industry catering to low cost private schools in India with Indian School Finance Company (ISFC); Pakistan with the set-up of Taleem Finance Company Ltd (TFCL), in addition to Nigeria (with EdFin Microfinance Bank).

GMC has till date funded over 80 enterprises across the world to the tune of US$ 125 million.

To know more, visit: www.graymatterscap.com

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