You never really know how long is 500 words, until you have an academic assignment that you can’t complete. 

There is a compromise in systems design: a system can be resilient, or it can be efficient. Usually, these two are inversely proportional. The problem with our modern world is that it is made to be as efficient as possible. 

We order food, and it’s at our door in less than an hour. Products from across the planet can arrive in days. Until recently, everything was high-speed and low cost. 

However, these circumstances didn’t fall out of the sky. There is a global logistics supply chain, with thousands of moving parts. Every disruption is felt and can cripple the entire effort. 

Online learning and lessons from the Pandemic 

What does system design have to do with learning? Well, the recent Covid pandemic exposed the fundamental weakness of modern education systems. Overnight, millions of children could not go to school, and governments struggled to adapt. 

A wrench was thrown into every education department on the planet. The basis of modern society was apparently very fragile. Lacking their own infrastructure, educators were forced to rely on a third-party company’s product, namely Zoom. 

In addition, the results were abysmal even for kids who attended online classes. Teachers learned that you can’t just copy paste lesson plans and just implement them via Zoom. Adaptation is needed, with the specific challenges of teaching online. 

So, we had to learn on our feet, and learn fast. Meanwhile, the world isn’t getting any calmer, richer, or more peaceful. These emergency situations may be appearing more frequently, and online learning is by far, the best and safest alternative to traditional schooling. 

Let’s take a look at some promising applications that facilitate interactive e-learning, according to the TampaBayTimes:

Zoom Education 

As previously mentioned, Zoom practically saved the education of millions of kids. Sure, there were other video communication tools such as MS Teams or Skype, but Zoom could consistently and regularly handle calls with dozens of people without too many problems. 

It uses a cloud-based service and an intuitive interface that even a preschooler can handle. Also, Zoom has some nifty features such as allowing you to generate a digital whiteboard so you can scribble or draw. You can even show your screen with ease, as the process only requires a single click. 

Seesaw

This software is one of the most popular online learning apps on the planet. Overall, it incorporates tools that allow teachers and parents to generate a stimulating online virtual classroom. 

You will be able to highlight the student’s strong points, but also see areas where he is failing. You can also get a bird’s eye view of the general trajectory of his learning journey. 

Even homeschoolers tend to use this software in certain situations. 

Photomath 

The human brain is very bad with numbers, that’s why we had to invent computers. Being “good” at math is a very rare skill, but every person has to at least be competent. 

Photomath is an application that many older people wish that they had in grade or high school. 

As the name suggests: you take a photo of a math problem, and then the application helps you to solve it. 

I appreciate the fact that the answer is not binary. It doesn’t just say “right” or “wrong”. It walks you through the necessary steps and shows you where you went wrong.  This is how people actually learn, namely by tracing back to the point where they made a mistake.

In math, one of the most frustrating things is that you can misapply a formula or copy a wrong number from the sheet, and continue to work on the exercise for a long time. Nothing will stop you from wasting time, and you don’t even know from which point you started to deviate. 

This is how most people fail math tests; by pouring all of their time into one failed exercise, instead of cutting losses and analyzing mistakes if they have time left.

Overall, this app’s benefits are enormous. 

Socrative 

Named after the parent of philosophy and (by extension) science, Socrative is an application that seeks to simplify and enhance the e-learning process. 

Overall, Socrative stands out not by the quality of its learning material, but by the degree of customization that it enables. Teachers are able to track the progress of each student and send out personalized reports, corrections, and reviews. 

In addition, it can serve as a baseline assessment tool for commissions and people who are responsible for lesson plans. Everyone from teachers to the ministry of education workers can get some good value out of this app. 

There is also a library of quizzes that are ready to be used, acting as time-saving tools for overworked teachers. 

Animoto

Humans are profoundly visual creatures. A stunning percentage of our brain is dedicated to processing the information incoming from our eyes. And here lies the problem, there is little to no visual stimulus in the learning process. 

You are expected to sit down, shut up, and listen. Taking notes or reading does help, but ultimately it is profoundly uninteresting for most students. This is why documentaries are so popular: you are putting info in a video, visual format. 

Animoto is an application that allows teachers or parents to create stunning visual content for their students or children. Of course, you will also be able to affect the accompanying audio content. This app gives you a much greater chance to capture and hold someone’s attention. 

Conclusion 

We are a long way from replacing teachers with electronic applications. In fact, seeing teachers and technology as competitors is fundamentally flawed. As is everything in life, technology is supposed to enhance what is already there. 

Construction workers didn’t vanish just because cement mixers and cranes were invented. 

Using e-Learning applications, teachers can gain two major advantages. First, they will be able to automate a lot of tedious work. Apps can be used to track progress instantly or correct tests. Second, and most importantly, it will make learning more interesting. 

Considering that it is very difficult to store memories of things that do not interest you, we better invest in making learning more engaging.

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