How Online Communities Are Helping Improve Education

CIOReview Team | Thursday, 25 April 2019, 08:44 IST

How Online Communities Are Helping Improve Education

By definition, an ‘online community’ is a community of people with shared interests who interact with or collaborate through the internet. The members of these communities could be spread out across the world. They may use various media to communicate online such as websites, instant messaging, discussion boards and email.

A Look at Some Online Communities

Concerning education, online communities benefits both teachers and students.Teachers use platforms like Teacher Connect where they can learn new teaching methodology from others teachers, improve upon the ideas and implement in their classroom and share their effectiveness with other teachers. ClassDojo is other example of a classroom communication application that enables report sharing between parents and teachers. Teachers and students can share messages, photos and videos connected to classroom or school happenings for the students’ families to view.

Language learning platforms such as Duolingo and Busuu, powered by AI enables users to practice their language skills and test it.

The online community Harvard’s Education with New Technologies is intended to assist educators with successfully using new classroom technologies. Need help with homework? For assistance with assignments, webassign answers, research papers and even business writers, there’s an online community of writers qualified with advanced degrees at HomeworkDoer.

Brainly is another great student community where students can ask questions and share their homework problems which are answered by other students and experts.

Benefits of Online Communities for Education

Below we discuss seven key benefits:

1. Global Collaboration And Exposure

Students and teachers that are part of online educational communities benefit from the ability to share knowledge with members from an international landscape. The interaction among people of different countries enables understanding of varied cultures, belief systems, values and viewpoints.

2. Practical Learning

Online learning communities are a great platform for practical learning. There are activities and actions that make it easier to take in and memorize whatever knowledge is gained. Learning through chatting with co-learners also assists with retention. It is indeed an exciting and fun way to learn.

3. Improved Productivity Outcomes

The collective group knowledge acquired from online communities means there are more minds working together to solve a particular problem. With many minds collaborating together, a better final outcome can be expected.

4. Technology know-how

Notably, online universities and colleges utilize the latest technology to benefit students. The use of advanced educational technologies ranging from online discussion forums to mobile learning apps makes learning in tune with the times, convenient and engaging.

5. Strengthens Tolerance

The collaborative learning across continents fosters a sense of connectedness that makes learners more welcoming of other values and cultures. From active involvement in online communities, learners understand how they must communicate and deal with people of other backgrounds, mindsets and ethnicities for common good thereby also encouraging sensitization and tolerance in them.

The interaction is not just among different parts of the world but also among different professional backgrounds, ages and life experiences. This can be very enriching in more ways than one.

6. Ease of Communication for the Shy

Online communities are a comfortable platform for those who are not confident to speak in front of a group. The quieter learners can contribute without having to be expert public speakers. In addition, participants can think carefully before they respond to a question. There’s no rush as is the case with a traditional classroom. Better responses in turn could contribute to more fruitful interactive educational collaboration.

7. Flexibility

Online communities are great for those who seek higher education but may have other domestic or professional commitments and cannot therefore afford to be tied down to regular, fixed class meeting times. Thus, participants have the freedom to delegate their time to various commitments including the online learning as per their convenience.

The scope of online communities in education is immense, taking it to an entirely new level, opening up its doors to a wider audience and making the achievement of educational goals easier than before.

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