The next generation of online learning

General comments and chit-chat, or tell us how we can improve KiasuParents.com

The next generation of online learning

Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:46 pm

Like it or not, online learning is coming of age, and will likely grow and gain momentum in the next 5 years.

Most of us parents of Primary school-going children usually associate e-learning with assignments given by schools to do at home on computers. We are all familiar with problemsums.com (now renamed Learnlogy), EZhishi, 10c, etc. Kids, of course, love e-learning days because they are disguised "holidays" where they get to stay at home. And most schools use e-learning as a way of getting kids out of their hair while they are busy invigilating and marking examination papers.

The key problem with such e-learning is the lack of interactivity and feedback. Most e-learning tools do not have the intelligence to size up each individual student and present the most relevant material in the most suitable way to ensure that students will be able to learn and master concepts effectively. It is also very difficult and costly to create e-courseware to address this issue. Human teachers and coaches, are still most effective in this aspect. For this reason, parents still prefer the good old fashion approach to helping their children through face-to-face learning with human tutors.

A new class of online learning is now emerging that leverages the real-time communications advantage of the Internet to connect remote teachers and students and facilitate the learning process. Video conference is now a mature technology, and consumers use it regularly to connect with their loved ones across continents. The same technology can also be used to facilitate classroom learning between a teacher and multiple students even if they are in different parts of the world.

I have seen a few of such services, and one of those I have tried out for my daughter is the TutorMe service being offered by Starhub. The proposition is simple: Just sign up for a package, and select a date and time for the lessons. Just before the lesson starts, point your web browser to the given URL, and a video session will then be started to connect your child with one of TutorMe's Chinese teachers who is based in China! During the lesson, the teacher will be able to see and interact with all the students connected to that class, show lesson materials on a powerpoint-like screen and play videos. The lesson lasts between 45mins to an hour, and from what I can tell, my daughter was fully engaged throughout.

What I liked about the service is the convenience - no need to bring my child to class anymore (yay!), and the fact that she can learn within the safety of our home. I don't have to worry about leaving my daughter alone with the tutor. I can also discreetly sit in and monitor the session if I want to, to evaluate the quality of the teaching. The fact that the tutor is a native Chinese who is trained on our Singapore syllabus is also important to me, since the subject is Chinese :).

Most of the key problems I faced are related to the technical issues - the need to have a PC with mic and camera, to install a plug-in on my browser, and to ensure that I pay for my Internet fibre connection :) And of course, the lack of eye-to-camera coordination which is a problem with all video conferencing applications - we don't know if the other party is really looking at us.

But both my daughter and I loved the system. I'm quite surprised at the robustness and the effectiveness of the teaching.

There are also other systems which I'm trying. I'm thinking of doing Yoga, but can't bring my lazy butt to a gym. So I've been looking at Muuyu.com, which offers Yoga lessons to people at home, practicing with coaches all over the world through video conferencing. I've signed up for a trial lesson. Will report on how I liked it later on :)

I have no doubt that this is the future for online learning. There will come a day where we can learn from practically everywhere. Perhaps even schools themselves would be disintermediated within the next decade. So much for distance-based priority for P1 registration! :)

If you have come across other examples of online learning such as the ones I mentioned, please share them here with me. I'd love to try them out too.

ChiefKiasu
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15221
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Singapore
Total Likes: 319


Re: The next generation of online learning

Postby BeContented » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:27 pm

Interesting.
Will wait for your yoga sharing ......

BeContented
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 3670
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:25 am
Total Likes: 84


Re: The next generation of online learning

Postby mumcat » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:27 am

My girl has been with TutorMe service for the past one year. She is learning P2 higher chinese over the video conferencing system. She loves the interactivity and the teacher engages her in lesson. As it is a small group class, she can focus better. What I like about the class is the frequency, she attends lesson for 3 times a week. It is important for language and literacy learning, especially we seldom speak mother tongue at home.

mumcat
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:40 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: The next generation of online learning

Postby limlim » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:25 pm

Can the starhub tutorme service run on ipad?

limlim
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 6623
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:43 pm
Total Likes: 102


Re: The next generation of online learning

Postby alng » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:42 pm

Yes, the mode of teaching/learning is changing. The roles of teachers and students are changing too.

Some tertiary institutions here are already developing interactive elearning platforms and teaching/learning resources. Currently. the moe schools are still relying on commercial elearning platforms. Some of these commerical platforms provide interactive learning and allow teachers to monitor the students' performance but I do not think these monitoring tools and e resources are effectively used by teachers.

In the absence of appropriate online platforms, I have seen some school teachers using edmodo, skype, etc for interactive learning in the past few years. There are many free elearning tools to be used by teachers today but teachers are often not trained in using these tools. E-tutoring service is also up and coming.

When I visited the MOE Exhibition at Westgate last Friday, I was asked to pen down my thoughts of future schools in 2065 (50 years later). One of the things I wrote was that future learning mode is e-mode and students could learn from home and only needed to attend schools 2-3 days a week for social/team activities and group learning.

alng
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 2185
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:27 pm
Total Likes: 36



Re: The next generation of online learning

Postby ChiefKiasu » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:01 pm

limlim wrote:Can the starhub tutorme service run on ipad?


My daughter used a notebook with a touchscreen. But I think it works on the iPad (need to confirm). But if iPad, probably need some kind of a standing case to prop up the device.

ChiefKiasu
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15221
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Singapore
Total Likes: 319


Re: The next generation of online learning

Postby ChiefKiasu » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:04 pm

BeContented wrote:Interesting.
Will wait for your yoga sharing ......


Yes... now I'm just trying to select a teacher. They all look so fit... so I quite shy with my body lah... kekkeke.

ChiefKiasu
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15221
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Singapore
Total Likes: 319


Re: The next generation of online learning

Postby ChiefKiasu » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:06 pm

alng wrote:Yes, the mode of teaching/learning is changing. The roles of teachers and students are changing too.

Some tertiary institutions here are already developing interactive elearning platforms and teaching/learning resources. Currently. the moe schools are still relying on commercial elearning platforms. Some of these commerical platforms provide interactive learning and allow teachers to monitor the students' performance but I do not think these monitoring tools and e resources are effectively used by teachers.

In the absence of appropriate online platforms, I have seen some school teachers using edmodo, skype, etc for interactive learning in the past few years. There are many free elearning tools to be used by teachers today but teachers are often not trained in using these tools. E-tutoring service is also up and coming.

When I visited the MOE Exhibition at Westgate last Friday, I was asked to pen down my thoughts of future schools in 2065 (50 years later). One of the things I wrote was that future learning mode is e-mode and students could learn from home and only needed to attend schools 2-3 days a week for social/team activities and group learning.


Until the AI is good enough, the intermediate step is still to use real teachers, but the instruction can be carried out across vast distances using technology. E-learning is great, but it just costs too much to construct for every lesson.

What are some examples of online tuition you have come across, alng? I'd like to keep a list of them here in this thread.

ChiefKiasu
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15221
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Singapore
Total Likes: 319


Re: The next generation of online learning

Postby alng » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:13 am

ChiefKiasu wrote:
What are some examples of online tuition you have come across, alng? I'd like to keep a list of them here in this thread.


Chief, I have not tried any online tuition services but I have seen a couple advertisements (which I forget the details) during the last few months. Recently, I was discussing possible business models with a former student who is a private tutor now and wants to be a full time private tutor after his graduation.

alng
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 2185
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:27 pm
Total Likes: 36


Re: The next generation of online learning

Postby patntee » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:52 am

Thanks for the sharing, Chief. This may come just in time as we are stopping Berries for last term for my P3. What is the cost like for the tutorme Chinese lessons? I tried to check the pricing on the website but can't navigate to the drop down menu using my phone. And would the lessons adequately cover oral and composition aspects too? Thanks in advance.

patntee
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 420
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:00 pm
Total Likes: 0


Next

Return to Recess Time