In our last post, we shared our thoughts on how it might be beneficial to the retail industry to develop online learning courses or knowledge sharing platforms in order to increase productivity for the employees, and help them cope with ever changing market demands and trends.
In this second installation of a 3-part blog series, we will be analyzing how the education industry can get started with online learning.
What is Education Industry?
The education industry comprises of both the public sector like schools, colleges, institution and universities as well as the private sector where entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations which complement and supplement the public education. These include after school tutoring providers, school improvement and management services, special education services, professional development for teachers and educational content providers and suppliers.
Question 1: Why?
The first question to address before getting started with online learning is why. Why is it essential, or beneficial to spend money and resources on online learning or knowledge sharing platforms for the education industry? What problems will online learning help you address? What learning objectives will it help you meet?
As we know, the new generation of children, teenagers or learners in general are native users of technology. They grew up watching Youtube videos and playing games on their smartphones and mobile devices. In order to reach out and engage the learners, it is essential to provide them with learning content in a medium which they are most familiar with. Mobile online learning or mobile knowledge sharing platforms will definitely be one of the most effective ways to engage these learners, since they are already experts at it!
Question 2: Who?
The second question to ask is who. Who is your intended audience? In this case, the question of who might have to be more specific like the age group of your learners, or what type of learners they are. Are your learners visual learners, audio learners or kinesthetic learners? Knowing who and what type of learners they are, will help you determine the length, content and forms on online learning.
Question 3: Can you afford to do it (or not do it?)
The next question to ask is the cost of starting online learning or knowledge sharing platform. Do you have the budget to develop and support the platform? Most government schools in Singapore have a certain amount of budget which is catered for the Information Communications Technology department. Will you be able to tap on that fund to develop your online learning? If you are an educator in the private sector, will providing the online learning or knowledge sharing platform boost your business and give you an edge over similar competitors? What are the opportunity costs of not having it?
At the end of the day, the most important target we want to achieve is for the learners to meet the learning objectives. Will developing the online learning or knowledge sharing platform help you to achieve that target more easily?
Question 4: How “ready” are you for e-learning?
It’s important to find out how “ready” your school or organization is to support an e-learning program. Can your current network support multiple users streaming videos and going into the platform at one go? Do your learners have the necessary mobile devices for the mobile learning or does your school have sufficient equipment to provide for all students? An overloaded and slow network and/or a lack of access to well-functioning equipment will definitely frustrate your learners.
Question 5: Do you have a technology plan or an e-learning strategy?
A well thought out technology plan or e-learning strategy is crucial in determining success for online learning or knowledge sharing platforms. It can help align your schools’ or organizations’ or business’ goals and vision. A good technology plan or strategy identify critical gaps in the learners’ learning, develop steps for improvement and facilitate your teaching process.
In the education industry where it is important to ensure learning takes place for all types of learners, it is crucial to identify how your learners learn best and to facilitate the learning with the most appropriate tools. Hence, with online learning and knowledge sharing platforms, you will be able to engage the different types of learners using a variety of multimedia tools.
In our last post, we will be exploring online learning in the hospitality industry. Meanwhile, do leave your comments below and share your thoughts with us!
If you missed our previous post, here it is!
Part 1 : 5 Questions to Get Started With Online Learning For Retail Industry