The Staff and leadership of Accra Technical Training Centre (ATTC) together with a local technology company, Real Studios, on June 24 test-launched a platform aimed at introducing a new classroom broadcasting technology to connect students to their classroom remotely.
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 system broadcasts each classroom independently thereby enabling students to join their exact class and participate in each lesson remotely. Not only do they control the pace at which they learn but also are able to collaborate with other students and teachers through a messaging system that offers real-time questioning and answering.
The platform offers a full classroom experience where teachers can post their lecture notes and tests for students to partake in. Teachers can teach from home if they can’t report to school and students can learn from home if they can’t report to school.
The platform dubbed XtraClass virtual learning is designed to enable students access their classroom from anywhere. Students can remotely stream any classroom, pause and repeat any lecture until they understand and can also go back in time to watch lectures they had yesterday, a month or year ago.
The system provides an end-to-end solution that does not only serve the students but the school authorities and parents as well. With this system, students can never miss a class since all classes are recorded and archived to be accessed at any later day.
It helps 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.
School authorities also 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 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.
“All schools and educational institutions can join the platform. It serves all educational levels from the basic institutions to tertiary and professional institutions. Even kindergarten students are actively engaged in their lessons through this platform. It is very easy to set up and schools all over the country can benefit from it.”
“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,” part of the statement read.
According to the CEO of Real Studios, the technology company behind this platform, Muni I. Reindorf said 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 their own preference and pace.
This means no child can ever miss a lesson since all lessons are archived and whatever a student doesn’t understand can be repeated.
During the test runs, access to the system was opened to students not only in Ghana but other West African countries to learn on the platform.
Mr. Reindorf also iterated that the XtraClass Virtual learning platform is a new system of its kind which negates the need for multiple systems currently being employed by schools to get lessons online.
It 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.