Cloud-based learning becoming popular in SA

2013-07-11 09:44

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Cape Town – COL Campus, a cloud-based learning platform, is changing the way in which teachers and learners are embracing web technologies.

Shaun Swartz, founder of COL Campus, told News24 that this learning platform "has improved learning in schools by allowing learners to be in control of their learning and review class materials on demand".

Teachers and learners can use COL Campus to post classroom materials, share links and videos, access homework and school notices.

According to Swartz the most important improvement is making learners more comfortable asking teachers questions and receiving more attention from teachers.

COL Campus, which was founded in 1997, is restricted to 50MB of storage space per course and there are no restrictions to the number of courses a teacher can create.

Currently there are approximately 60 schools, colleges, FET’s, universities and corporate companies throughout the country that is making use of this online learning platform. There are also about 350 courses in COL Campus and a few thousand registered learners, Swartz said.

No costs involved

It is free for schools to sign up and become part of this cloud-based learning platform. Students can also access COL campus from a desktop computer, cellphones and smartphones.

Swartz said they do however charge a monthly fee when schools or universities want to display their logo together with a customised look and feel and receive consolidated reporting.

If teachers want to be part of Col Campus they can visit the website and register. Once they are logged in, they can begin to set-up a new course.

It is open to all ages and grades but is not viewable by the public as access is limited to learners, parents and school staff at a specific school to ensure privacy.

COL campus offers support to institutions using the free version via e-mail but Swartz said they will eventually stop the service if they can't maintain the volumes.

Swartz said teachers are using this cloud-based learning platform more frequently for formative assessments.

"We are seeing teachers share materials and they can also do collaborative work not only in their own classrooms, but across classes."

He said parents are also starting to see the positive impact and are slowly starting to use the system proactively.

"We also push out notification e-mails to parents so even if they don’t log into the system, they know what’s going on with their kids."

According to Swartz there is definitely an increase in schools interested in this type of learning and it is growing as schools and institutions are hearing about it.  

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