With each new wave of technological advancement, it is difficult to remember what life was like before the “old” technology dominated.
Yes, technology and science will keep on advancing day by day. The advancement shown by technology in the field of education have made education far better than ever before.
The Accra Technical Training Center (ATTC) together with a local technology company, Real Studios, have launched a platform dubbed 'XtraClass Virtual Learning'.
The project has been designed to enable students to access their classroom from anywhere particularly to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools.
Unlike the existing platforms of today, the new system connects students directly to their classrooms enabling them to continue learning directly from their teachers without having to be there physically.
The platform offers a full classroom experience where teachers can post their lecture notes and tests for students to partake in.
However, teachers can teach from their various homes if they can’t report to school and students can learn from home if they can’t report to school.
In a statement to the media, the developers of this platform indicated that it will offer students the ability to literally join the classroom from anywhere on the globe by watching the teacher as he is teaching on the board.
It explained that the system provides an end-to-end solution that not only serves the students but the school authorities and parents as well.
According to them, students can never miss a class since all classes are recorded, archived and can be accessed at any later day with the new system which will also help students learn at their own pace, revise classes they missed or didn’t fully understand.
It also has features that allow students to post questions, join classroom discussions and get answers all in real-time.
Developers of the new platform further explained that school authorities will have full control over who has access to a class through an easy-to-use control panel.
The system is a first of its kind classroom broadcasting system developed and pioneered in Ghana. It expands the limits of the classroom and traditional teaching by enabling teachers to host lectures that can be accessed remotely by thousands of students nationwide, expanding the learning experience beyond the scope of the classroom.
The system is currently being piloted at a few select schools and notable of them is Jack and Jill Basic School at Airport in Accra and Accra Technical Training Center ATTC also in Accra.
Students of the pilot schools are currently joining their classrooms digitally with teachers teaching just as they would in their regular school times and has averred that all schools and educational institutions can join the platform.
The platform serves all educational levels from the basic institutions to tertiary and professional institutions.
According to some of the pilot schools, it is like school never closed, the only difference now is that students are learning from home. And for students who are currently using the platform, it blurs the line between physically being in school and learning from home.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Real Studios, Mr Muni I. Reindorf, the technology company the platform has been developed for the education space to help address the challenges in accessing quality education, not only in the times of this pandemic but also help usher in a new wave of 'Out of Classroom' learning to help students learn at the own preference and pace.
He added that the platform merges the features of a learning management system like Google Classroom and video teleconferencing system like ZOOM into a single easy to use platform that offers the core features of both systems into a unified platform.
The strength of XtraClass is in its ease of use and serving as a one-stop-shop for all tools needed to get schools online.
The platform can be accessed from any desktop or mobile device that can connect to the internet.
As part of the DES family, students can also access it on any DES Smartbook tablet devices which are currently being assembled in Ghana under the national industrialization program.