Tech and Science

5 Technologies That Make Remote Learning Comfortable

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Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote education has been the new normal. After the initial shock, colleges and professors have learned how to adapt to it. Sure, students still need to work hard on their GPAs and often need to get help from services akin to, but at least they no longer struggle with getting used to online classes. E-learning tools have made remote education as seamless as it can be. Here are some of the most helpful among them.

#1 Zoom

During the pandemic, Zoom became the default platform for basically everything, from team meetings to birthday parties. It was also how colleges and universities all over the world managed to keep providing education despite the safety restrictions. Over the past couple of years, Zoom has turned into a universal phenomenon, which is clear from the place it has taken in the meme culture.

For the first couple of months or so of the pandemic, educators and learners alike complained about the restrictions of online learning and Zoom in particular. Such conditions as Zoom fatigue and depressive disorders caused by the lack of in-person communication became quite common. But humans are adaptable creatures. Now, a lot of companies and colleges that can safely allow people back in the workplace or classroom choose to stick to Zoom.

The truth is, Zoom is indeed a convenient e-learning tool. It allows students to listen to lectures from the comfort of their homes. Or even without changing out of their PJs as long as their teachers allow class participation with no camera on. It’s also great for those who prefer to listen to their classes on the go.

#2 WhatsApp and other messengers

Messengers are also awesome for remote learning. First, they enable peer support, which is critical for effective learning. Students can ask each other questions about course materials, motivate one another, and share their ideas for group projects.

Also, WhatsApp (as well as most other messengers) is useful thanks to its document-sharing feature. Sure, sending documents via email is still a thing. But it’s much more convenient to have all communication on the same platform. As most students use WhatsApp for texting their classmates, it makes sense to send course readings and papers for peer review there as well.

What’s more, most messengers, including WhatsApp, support group chats. Thanks to this feature, students can keep in touch with their professors, TAs, and one another to discuss course-related topics. Or they can create separate group chats for group projects and informal study groups. The options of audio and video messages make online group communication that much more effective.

#3 Educational apps

Aside from Zoom, apps are perhaps the most popular and helpful e-learning tool available to students. Some of the best ones to consider are:

⦁ Coursera. Coursera is irreplaceable for everyone who’d like to expand their knowledge beyond what’s taught in college. It’s a platform that offers thousands of courses from top universities across the globe.

⦁ edX. edX is an alternative to Coursera. Created by Harvard and MIT, it offers some of the best courses in various disciplines. edX is perfect for self-education and lifelong learning.

⦁ Kahoot! Kahoot! is a learning app that embraces the gamification trend. A lot of companies and some educational institutions use it to increase learner engagement using educational games and quizzes.

⦁ Evernote. Now, Evernote is the app for every college student. While it’s branded as a note-taking app, Evernote is so much more. The app is perfect for classifying and storing course materials, sharing them with one’s peers, creating interactive to-do (to-read, to-learn) lists, and whatnot.

⦁ Khan Academy. Khan Academy targets mostly high schoolers, but it can be helpful for college students as well. The platform offers tons of free lessons in almost all disciplines. It’s great for catching up or learning something you neglected in high school.

#4 Discussion boards

Educators and psychologists keep saying that dialogue is central to education. They’re right. If it were enough to just read a book, colleges wouldn’t be a thing. When students talk to one another and their instructors, they learn how to defend their position, be open to other people’s views, and admit their mistakes when they are wrong. So discussions are critical for students.

E-learning is convenient and all, but it often lacks the communicative aspect of its traditional classroom-based counterpart. Luckily, discussion boards help solve this problem, at least to an extent. Most colleges have been using discussion boards as an e-learning tool for a while. But they’ve become especially relevant during the pandemic.

Discussion boards are online spaces where students get to do what they typically do in the classroom. Normally, professors give a writing prompt, and all students have to respond to it in a post. Then, they are expected to engage with their classmates’ posts by commenting on them, asking questions, and starting constructive debates.

#5 Moodle and other learning management systems

Finally, most colleges are already using Moodle and other learning management systems (LMSs). These are platforms where colleges and universities can do basically everything related to the learning process. On Moodle and other LMSc, they give access to course materials, create discussion boards, post organizational information, and more.

Moodle is branded as an all-in-all learning platform, and rightly so. It’s like a college campus (with classrooms, Student Center, library, and so on), except online. The platform is also helpful for document sharing, which is why a lot of instructors ask students to submit their papers there. LMSc are properly protected, so both colleges and students can sleep soundly knowing their data are safe.


E-learning tools have been on the rise for years now. But the pandemic has given them an unprecedented boost. Now, remote learning can be as effective as traditional classroom-based education thanks to such technologies as Zoom, discussion boards, and learning management systems akin to Moodle. In turn, messengers and e-learning apps support informal education, which also helps a lot.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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