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How to Quickly Transition Your School to Online Learning
In today’s world, things can change and evolve very quickly. As we have seen in recent weeks, situations may arise where traditional face-to-face classroom instruction is no longer the best decision. But that does not mean that education should be put on hold until everyone can return to the classroom. Thankfully, the technology exists that allows schools and universities to continue instruction online, without wasting valuable time or losing the progress students worked so hard for. The silver lining to today’s adversity is the unique chance for educational institutions to make education more flexible and accessible by embracing technology.
To make the shift to online learning, you need to make sure that your school and students are ready for the change. Every school is now taking the part in normalizing online education, and it is the common goal to give the students the best experience possible. Here are some tips to help you quickly transition your school to online learning.
Get the Right Applications
Many different applications provide virtual classrooms or meeting rooms today. There is no need to try and create your own software, especially in a time crunch. Utilize one of these existing off-the-shelf virtual classroom solutions to get your school up and running online quickly. Many of these services also include support for their premium customers, so you have some help when you need to resolve any issues with the application. Be prepared by deciding on an application and having it ready to go should you need to begin using it. And if you need help with selection, implementation, and support — get in touch with your 3nom expert.
Cloud Computing Services
Most schools and school districts do not have the IT infrastructure ready and available to handle a huge shift to online learning. In most cases, it does not make financial sense to have that much equipment idling in case it might be needed one day. With education budgets already stretched thin, you want to find ways to save money anywhere you can.
This is where cloud computing can really help. By using cloud computing, you can quickly scale up your infrastructure without the need for buying additional hardware and waiting on someone to install it. Cloud computing is designed to be flexible, so you can also ramp your resources back down as you transition back into the classroom. Cloud computing is a great option for handling spikes in IT demand.
Consider a Managed Service Provider
Whether you are using cloud computing or you have the necessary infrastructure onsite, a spike in usage typically means an increase in demand for human IT resources is necessary as well. Server maintenance, performance monitoring, and backup services all require more time as the demand increases. Consider utilizing a managed service provider to handle all these tasks for you. Let them take care of your IT systems while you focus on teaching your students.
Depending on how long you need to use online learning, you may have students completing tests or exams through an online platform. In this case, it is extremely important to ensure that you have proper authentication procedures in place. You must ensure that the person who is supposed to be taking the test is actually the person logged into the system completing the exam.
There are several providers today who provide testing authentication services, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel on this one. Proctored exams are intuitive for students and a tested way to guarantee academic integrity. Make sure that you have a plan in place should you need to handle testing as part of your online transition.
As schools shift to online learning, some students find that they are unsure how to access their classes and assignments. In an emergency, this can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. If you have given your students occasional online assignments while it was still “teaching as usual,” they will have fewer challenges. If your learning has only happened in the classroom so far, ease your students into online learning by hosting real-time classes via Zoom and live training sessions for students and parents to help them navigate the new learning platforms. Prepared students will be able to make the shift online seamlessly and quickly.
Security is a Must
Security is always an important consideration, but even more so as the usage of your systems increase. As volume across your network increases, it can be more difficult to detect and manage threats. During a transition to online learning, the last thing you need is a security breach. Not only could this be detrimental to your efforts but could also bring some bad press along with it. Strongly consider hiring a security expert who can take care of this piece of the puzzle for you through VPNs, two-factor authentication, and more.
By following the tips above, your school can be ready to make the shift online learning promptly and efficiently. You can be certain that both your school and your students are prepared for the necessary changes. Luckily, you do not have to do it all on your own. 3nom has set up and managed remote IT infrastructures for decades and is ready to be by your side every step of the way. Get in touch and let’s get the learning back on track!
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