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College and COVID-19: The Increasing Importance of Technology

Written by CB Community

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, more than 1.2 billion students around the globe were unable to attend college and other educational institutions – and many students worldwide are still not able to attend classrooms.

Thankfully, technology has enabled learning to continue even when colleges are closed or not at full capacity.

Countries around the world have swiftly shifted to remote and online learning to ensure high quality and sustainable teaching remains at the center of education. At the heart of remote learning is the use of technology.

Online Tools Being Utilized for Education

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, learning was becoming more online-based. However, because of the coronavirus, many big companies have expanded the availability of their remote learning tools and resources.

For instance, Microsoft’s Office 365 and the Google Classroom app are free for educational use.

The latter is fantastic for creating, distributing, and grading assignments. It also makes it possible for students and teachers to share files easily.

With so many other online tools, such as video conferencing apps like Zoom and BigBlueButton, language apps like Duolingo, and PDFSimpli’s PDF to jpg converter, learning and sharing assignments and completed projects on the web has never been easier.

Online Teaching Platforms

Various teaching platforms are available online to help teachers organize assessments and lecture plans, gain feedback from students and track students’ progress.

Some colleges have their own institutional platforms, while other colleges use free software like Socrative and Easyclass.

Socrative is one of the most used virtual classroom platforms on the planet. With a free account, teachers have one virtual classroom for up to 50 students, and they can easily launch one activity at a time, perform quizzes, and do other assessment activities.

Easyclass is a great open-source alternative for a virtual classroom. With Easyclass, educators can create online classes, store course materials like assignments and exam questions, monitor deadlines, grade results, and provide students with feedback, all from one virtual place.

Visual Collaboration Apps

To make online classes more dynamic, which in turn can motivate remote students more, there are several apps teachers can use for visual collaboration and communication.

Miro is one of the best. It acts as a virtual whiteboard. Educators and students can apply for a free education account to gain access to three online whiteboards. The number of guests is unlimited.

Another good app for visual collaboration is Mural. Educators can apply for a free facilitator account and begin collaborating with students and other educators immediately.

Mural enables teachers to use canvas layouts and frameworks, perform virtual brainstorming sessions, and much more.

How Technology Is Keeping Teachers and Students Safe During Covid-19 Times

Technology has become an essential part of college learning during the Covid-19 pandemic but tech is not only used for student and teacher tools and resources. It is also helping teachers and students to stay safe in the wake of coronavirus.

For example, the Dominican University in Illinois introduced the #CampusClear app for self-monitoring and reporting.

Also, in November, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched the exposure notification application MI COVID Alert at Michigan State University. MI COVID uses Bluetooth technology to detect nearby app users. The app then notifies people when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Another tool being used by colleges in the United States is the Kiana Analytics Contact Tracing and Facilities Management cloud-based platform.

It leverages a college’s existing Wi-Fi network and uses device detection and location analytics to help prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

The Importance of Technology

As you can see, technology has become increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, both as a way to continue facilitating learning and to keep students and teachers safe.

Thankfully, with all of the new apps and software available to create an online learning environment, students can continue to pursue post-secondary education with no interruption.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.