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COVID-19 is reviving the need to explore online teaching and learning opportunities

od EPALE Moderator
Jazyk: EN
Document available also in: HR FI CS

Covid-19 tools

With the outbreak of Coronavirus being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, people worldwide are facing a major challenge. Coronavirus has significantly affected all of our lives, but it is also challenging our ability to adapt and be resilient.

We are in a state of emergency and must react with different ways of working, shopping, learning and communicating. Online shopping and social networks are not new to us, nor is distance learning. However, COVID-19 is reviving the need to explore online teaching and learning opportunities.

Online education

The education sector is responding to quarantine with a sudden shift to online learning. Nonetheless, online teaching requires careful thinking about how learners and teachers are equipped for the shift and serious consideration about whether the teaching style is still effective when taken from the classroom and transposed to technological devices. Moreover, inequalities are exacerbated when it comes to access to technology and to digital devices. Many learners suffer a form of digital inequality whereby they lack the connections and devices to learn remotely. In fact, this outbreak widens the gap between those able to access digital learning opportunities and those who are shut out. Access is not equal, and we see inequality growing.

And yet, even though the immediate focus is now on technology and tools, the most compelling quality is still human compassion.

Useful tools

Digital learning management systems, communication tools and e-learning platforms are playing a crucial role during this pandemic. Software and apps can help learning providers to manage, plan, deliver and track the learning process.

Let’s have a look at a few useful tools. The list is not exhaustive and adapted for adult education; is an excerpt of a more comprehensive list published by UNESCO.

Digital learning management systems

Moodle is a free open source software designed to help educators create effective online courses
Google Classroom helps students and teachers organise assignments, boost collaboration, and foster better communication
Docebo is a service offering a learning management system focusing on professional development
Blackboard offers solutions, resources and tools to help deliver quality online teaching
Edmodo is a tool for educators to send messages, share class materials, and make learning accessible for students anywhere
Skooler is a system exclusively and fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365
Ekstep offers a collection of literacy and numeracy learning resources and the chance to create new ones
Cell-Ed is designed to meet the needs of adult learners
LabXchange is an online community for learning, sharing, and collaboration
Quizlet is a mobile and web-based study application that allows learning and teaching through tools and games


Communication tools

Zoom is a tool enabling video communications, video and audio conferencing, chats and webinars 
Skype is a free tool for making videos and one-to-one and group calls
Microsoft Teams is a platform that combines workplace chat, video meetings, and file storage
Google Hangouts Meet enables text, voice, or video chats, either one-to-one or in a group
Dingtalk is an audio and video conferencing system



Canvas offers free online courses and classes aimed at the professional development of educators   
Alison  is a self-paced course designed by subject experts, with an interactive and enriched learning experience
Coursera gives access to more than 2000 courses and specialisations developed by the best universities in the world
EdX delivers 2000 Online courses from 140 leading institutions worldwide offering the chance to gain new skills
Future Learn delivers online courses aimed at further study, building professional skills, and connecting with experts
Funzi delivers training and educational programs via a mobile learning service
Empower supports collaboration and the sharing of expertise between European universities and providers on the latest developments in online, open and flexible education


These are just a few tools that can help ensure continuous learning during this Coronavirus pandemic.
As you already know, no technology will be able to replace your expertise, your enthusiasm and your human approach to education!

Feel free to comment and share your experiences!

By the way…

The World Health Organisation’s Regional office for Europe offers various online training courses.These are aimed at healthcare workers and public health professionals. In other words, those working on the front line in emergencies.
Discovery Education offers learners various resources and instructional materials about viruses and the outbreak
Morevover: the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources and its definition and more open educational resources in literacy and basic education.

[last update 24/03/2020]

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  • Obrázek uživatele Martina NI CHEALLAIGH
    Thank you for these tools.
    For those of you who read German, there are also some mre useful links in the exchange taking place on another article posted today entitled, "No education anywhere".

    have a look and you will be led to