The era of eLearning is upon us. You can blame the pandemic for part of it. Almost overnight, grade school students had to move their education from the school house to their kitchen table. Neither schools nor families were prepared for this massive and sudden paradigm shift.
But long before the pandemic, universities and students had discovered the benefits of online education programs. So high schools were not without precedent. They had a working model of how such programs could work. That model is what made it possible to successfully make the transition in such a brief period of time.
Now, there is an explosion in eLearning programs. They are not all created equally. Many are woefully inadequate. If you are interested in developing such a program, Here are the things you will need to separate your efforts from the rest of the pack:
1. eLearning Software
A great eLearning project starts with great eLearning software. From a single source, you can develop and manage engaging educational programs. Multichannel publishing capability is a key factor to eLearning software because you do not want to have to start from scratch for every platform. Spend your time developing your educational program and not on compiling disparate pieces of software that might not work well together. One great piece of software is all you need to get you started on the right path.
2. A Fast Internet Connection
Before you can become an online educator, you have to have a fast and reliable way to get and stay online. There is a way to do all of your eLearning programs without an online component. But it is limited and uncompetitive in today’s market. You can make DVDs with prerecorded lessons. But you have to bear in mind that the most popular computers on the market do not ship with any type of external disk player, and haven’t for a long time.
There is also the matter of interactivity. Students need to be able to ask questions and you need to be able to answer them in the moment. With a speedy broadband connection, you will also be able to add an effective video component in the mix to better accommodate visual learners.
3. Two-Camera Video
By now, it is obvious that you will need some sort of video capture device so that the students can see your face and make a personal connection with you. However, you will also need a camera focused on what you are demonstrating. The best vlogging camera in the world is not enough to pull double duty.
The camera for your face could be the camera that is already on your laptop or iMac. These are not terrible cameras. Though you can always upgrade to something even better. You want to go for something that is at least 1080p. Despite the marketing material, 720p is not good enough and should be avoided. For the demonstration camera, you will want to jump to 4k. If you are demonstrating guitar chords and techniques, clarity is essential.
You might know everything there is to know about a subject. But you will not be able to convey that information if you do not learn how to organize it in a way that makes it easy to follow and retain. The proper organization not only makes the information easier to digest but easier to reference later. Don’t let the lack of proper organization ruin an otherwise excellent learning program.
eLearning is not about technology. As a remote teacher, you have to cultivate the kind of personality that reaches through the screen and headphones and engages the student despite their surroundings and distractions. Your subject matter is important. But it is your personality that will motivate your students to complete the lesson and come back for more. You have to win them over with your infectious laugh as well as your insightful commentary. No piece of technology will overcome a lack of personal connection. If you do it right, they will come for the lessons and stay for your personality.
eLearning programs do not have the benefit of location and presence. Make up for it with the right software, impeccable organization, and a winning personality that reaches through the screen, whatever size it happens to be.
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