April 20, 2020, Kathmandu
Technology has played a significant role in the 21st century. From the black DOS command to the complicated Linux code and during 1980, Bill Gates has announced that 640 KB RAM (Random Access Memory) will be enough. The prediction about more than 640 KB of RAM has bypassed with 8 GB of RAM which is readily available in the market, and it’s expandable to 16/32 GB. The gaming system and server need more RAM. These things can be customized at the time of the buying system or server. Also, Hard Disk Drive can be changed to Solid State Drive, and the capacity of RAM can be added on the time of customizing or later on the future.
Technology has been changing almost everything related to technology. The updates of versions, new software, and timely update of mobile phone operating systems and the wide ranges of adaptable hardware are at a reasonable cost these days. Also, the capacity of buying has been increased in a big mass. Technology & computers has created a good impact on the community, business, and services.
The computer does not only mean desktop or laptop; it means smart mobile phone, the system, the computerized machines, automated machines which process data in faster & fastest way. RAM, processors, storage disk, and a few other significant components manage data processing quicker or slower.
The flow of information technology has been changed by COVID-19 Pandemic & lockdown. It became hard for people to access everything physically. Connectivity has taught many of us to use technology in a better way. People are beyond regular Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and many other social media. They have also adapted many things more than social media. It has shown that there is one more world than regular social media.
The users of Google Hangout (Now Google Meet), Microsoft Team (Skype), Zoom is increasing day by day due to lockdown where people are using in family, official works, online meetings, etc.
Work From Home:
Since March 2020, Work from Home has been in top priority in Nepal. As work from home was not a new term. Even in Nepal, few organizations like Ncell, Standard Chartered Bank was implementing “Work From Home” on their Workforce. Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress (An Open Source CMS), had expressed his views through a video on 5th February 2019 which video is viewed 1.8 Million plus views which was about how to work from home is being developed and how it will create a good impact in remote working on TED Talk.
If work from home will be customized and managed in these growing ways, then it will also help to build better products in the Nepalese Workforce. When work from home creates an impact, then Study from home will also make its presence.
A study from Home: When an office going person, an employee can work from any corner, then college, schools, and academic institutions can also upgrade their system and implement these things for their students, teachers, and parents. Online classes, assignments, attendance, video call, a conference call with students, teachers, and parents can be done in a natural way, which can be challenging to practice in an early stage. Still, in long term value, it will help to manage everything online.
Online classes, Online Learning, are not the new term in Nepal when Lockdown was started; The British College of Kathmandu began its online courses for students, which bridged the gap between students and teachers in few clicks. More colleges and educational intuitions are following online directions and starting teaching online.
Online Class and Online Learning Management has no more difference, but online class means teaching online, and online learning management means teaching & managing classes like physical classes.
How to Start online Classes?
Online Classes can be started with Google Classroom, Moodle, Microsft Teams, Blackboard (Brand name of Learning Management System), and similar kinds of an online learning management system, which helps to manage the class, course, etc. Online courses can be quickly started with video conferencing, which needs a good internet connection. Learning Management System can monitor the interaction between teachers, students, parents, and even any team or department.
Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas have made a good impact in the USA & Europe, where Microsoft has Microsoft Teams, and there are many LMS providers in the cybersphere. Even the company behind Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator named Adobe has its products named as Adobe Captivate.
Learning Management System:
Learning Management System can be an Open Source, free edition, freemium, or even license-based system which needed to pay every month or yearly basis. Open Source Learning Management System can be hosted on its local server or remote server.
This learning management system manages to create assignments, notifications about the tasks, grading of students, interaction between students and teachers, creating exams, checking plagiarism of assignments, finding the copied source. Learning Management System has many facilities like archiving courses & classes, reporting parents, assigning parents to see the activities of students, question answers, checking assignments, etc. It can be easily accessed from Mobile Phone Application, Tablets, and any Browsers. These all are features that can be taken or implemented earlier or can also be added later as required.
Learning Management System helps to manage classes, exams, certificates easily. This Learning Management System can have multiple user roles that can easily show the performance of categories, the flow of lessons. These reports and features can be assigned by super admin where a super admin can assign roles according to the administrative functions of the teacher, parents, guardians, class teacher, etc.
It also efficiently manages contents between teachers and students. Monitoring students, creating discussions, creating video conferences between students, parents, and the teacher are the significant features of the Learning Management System.
Learning Management System hosted in the cloud acts as SaaS (Software as a Service). SaaS (Software as a Service) is a cloud-hosted service. SaaS is mostly hosted in CDN (Content Delivery Network), which delivers from the nearest server location to the users.
Open Source Learning Management System can be hosted on local premises or in the nearest server location, which serves in a faster way rather than organized in a different country or as compared to the low-performance server. These systems can be hosted on a customized system as a selection of Ram, Storage, Uptime. VPS (Virtual Private Server) can be used to install these LMS. Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, etc. are based on SaaS, which comes on freemium (Multiple plans with some free programs and other paid) models, and they are hosted by the provider company, which only needs a browser to access.
Google released its Google Classroom preview on 6th May 2014 based on G Suite on Google Education Platform, which was open to all Google users on 2017, and on the same year, it gave access to all users to create classes and start Google Classes. Google Classroom, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Gmail were combined to develop a paperless education system and educational institutions. All the classes of Google Classroom are stored automatically in Google Drive.
Microsoft Classroom is a part of Microsoft Teams which has functions like creating and checking assignments, editing courses, viewing workflow of tasks, creating reminders, creating a calendar, etc. There must be a valid Office 365 subscription to use Microsoft Classroom.
Moodle is an Open Source Learning Management System that can be modified and customized on demand. It needs some tech knowledge to operate Moodle. Moodle can be hosted in own premises as it’s a fully open-source LMS. With little technical expertise, Moodle can be hosted locally. Accessing the LMS can be very fast if these are organized in a local server with the minimum or maximum server requirements. It can be hosted in a custom server with load calculation, the number of students, users, parents, teachers, and admin. Moodle even has versions of Windows installer, which helps users to install in clicks.
There are similar tools or software like Moodle, Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, which are versioned as Open Source, Freemium, and licensed based as their feature. Edmodo LMS, Teacher, Dashboard 365, Talent LMS, Classlife, Brightspcae, Schoology, Learn Dash, Seesaw LMS, LearnUpon, Plantoost, Teachable are few examples of Learning Management System which has similar and few different functionalities which can be customized and started classes online and managed adequately.
Author: Prakash Upreti is an Information Technology graduate from Hyderabad, India, and been working on the Information Technology sector for 17 years in Nepal.