Even though the pandemic has forced many of us to stay in lockdown, distance learning has been evolving for years now. Thanks to the various developments made over the last decade, even prior to the current situation, many teachers and students took advantage of its benefits.
Distance learning opens up opportunities that used to be unheard of. To let you focus on your studies & save you time, we’ve compiled this list of our recommendations. Check out some of the best apps for distance learning!
What Do You Need For Distance Learning?
If you’re not quite sold on the whole concept of distance learning yet, you may find yourself doubly lost and confused under the current circumstances. It’s true that recent times have brought adjustments that many teachers and students had to quickly adapt to. However, some schools have taken advantage of distance learning long before 2020.
Distance learning is a studying method that allows students to learn remotely, without real-time interactions with the teachers. It can be done at home, at a coffee shop, a library, or just about anyone else that allows the student and teacher to use the internet, including email, and mobile apps. There are still lesson plans involved, but the students work in their own time.
Some of the main differences between traditional learning and distance learning are:
- Distance learning is always remote and doesn’t include any face-to-face interactions between students and teachers. This differentiates it from online learning, which uses the internet, but can be done in person.
- Distance learning is a replacement for teachers. Students receive pre-set lessons without real-time interactions with teachers.
- The learning process in distance learning is a lot more individual than online learning or traditional learning. Each student is able to learn in their own time, according to their own time and ability, with minimal help from mentors. A lot of it is centered around watching an online video and absorbing the knowledge found within it.
- Distance learning is entirely remote, so it can connect students to universities or schools they would otherwise be unable to access. Thanks to this, they are able to receive free education from their dream schools.
There is often some degree of confusion between online learning and distance learning. The reason is that distance learning relies on tools made for online learning. However, it removes the interactive aspect of it and gives the students the freedom to learn when they want to.
What are the benefits of distance learning?
Distance learning, while it may seem odd at first if you’re a fan of traditional schooling, comes with a vast array of benefits. Many students actually prefer it over traditional lessons. Why exactly is distance learning so good?
Distance learning is an ideal option for people who suffer from depression, anxiety, ADHD, or other mental health issues. The ability to study at your own pace, replay the lectures as necessary, and study in a safe space is extremely important. Moreover, students who suffer from social anxiety enjoy solitude, so not having to interact with teachers is a great help. Thanks to these improvements, disadvantaged students get a shot at education. Most of them use it well and they excel at it.
While some parts of distance learning may require the student to be online at a certain time, most commonly this type of schooling adapts to the student’s schedule. This means that people who lead busy lives, be it due to work, family, or in-person schools, are able to keep on top of their online lectures and obtain an education that they want. This is also a great help to stay-at-home parents who use the moments when their kids are not around.
As mentioned above, distance learning opens up opportunities for students from all around the world. A person living in a country thousands of miles away would not be able to attend in-person university in another country without relocating. Luckily, distance learning fixes that issue and lets student use Google Classroom and other tools to learn fast and learn well.
Disabilities and health issues
Much like mental health, physical health can prevent a person from attending school. This is why many people with disabilities enjoy the benefits of distance learning. It allows them to continuously better themselves without endangering their own health.
Types of Distance Learning
Now that we’ve heard about the basics of distance learning, let’s take a glance at the different types of it. Some of these types are more suited to some groups of people than others.
This is the bread and butter of distance learning. Online courses usually consist of a variety of material, most commonly videos. They can be included in many types of education. As long as your students have a computer with internet access, they can receive videos, quizzes, and essays over the internet. This means that the method works well and is a great help to both traditional and digital teachers.
Another often used variation of distance learning is hybrid learning. Hybrid courses combine the in-person interaction of traditional learning with online learning at home. Oftentimes, on these courses, you will attend classes every now and then. On the other hand, the majority of the learning is done at home with some teacher interaction over voice or video calls. This can be a great help if you don’t want to be left entirely on your own.
You’ve surely heard of correspondence courses. They were the pre-cable-internet introduction to distance learning. These courses allow the students to still use the internet on occasion, such as for receiving email. However, the majority of the course is done by your lonesome with no interruptions, and often by snail mail. Teachers prepare lesson plans and the students get to follow them & work at their own pace, in whichever way suits them best.
Of course, like most things, correspondence courses had to move on and are now almost entirely email-based. This should help all students that don’t want to deal with generating unnecessary paperwork.
Possibly the most popular right now due to COVID-19, conference classes allows teachers and students to meet up with your class and talk in real-time without meeting in person. Programs such as Zoom and Skype make this a breeze. Simply put, the teacher joins a conference call with his or her students. They are then able to proceed with the class as normal.
What is The Best Olatform For Distance Learning?
While there are many platforms and apps for distance learning, you want to get the best of them. It’s annoying to have to sift through ones that don’t suit you at all until you finally find one to settle for. There are many free apps on both the App Store and the Google Play Store that just don’t cut it, and if you want to help yourself, you will need to make the right choices and use an app that will work for you.
Watching an online video or two is not the right way to reach expertise. On the upside, you can make the most of the tools available to you. Get yourself a headstart and prepare for a whole new world of knowledge with the best apps for distance learning.
Udemy, as a platform, barely warrants an introduction. It’s one of the most popular websites in the world that allows you to learn any skill you want at your own pace. It’s no wonder that the creators of Udemy chose to also bring it to mobile, creating this distance learning app for both iOS and Android phones or tablets. This means that you can get it from the AppStore and the Google Play store for free.
Udemy is filled to the brim with various sources of knowledge. The courses are provided by the Udemy community and then sold on the website or app. This allows experts in certain fields to share their knowledge on the matter and make money on it. However, Udemy also offers many free courses or promotions that let you try out a course without paying for it.
Some of the most common fields covered on Udemy include all kinds of programming, languages, design, programs such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office, and more. There are also less hands-on courses, such as psychology, wellness, mental health, and languages. It doesn’t stop there. Udemy also offers courses on dog training, exercise routines, marketing, art, music, and more.
With tens of thousands of available courses, Udemy has helped many people not just learn something cool, but also change their lives. As an example, many programmers these days are self-taught. Some of the best affordable programming courses in the industry are, in fact, found on Udemy.
Udemy’s mentors and trainers prepare video courses with a whole lot of extra material in the curriculum. You will experience quizzes, browse through extra resources, and even contact your mentors or their teams. The mobile apps bring all of this to you in a single portable package. This makes it easier than ever to learn at your own pace, whenever you have the time.
LinkedIn Learning Online Courses
LinkedIn, much like Udemy, is a website that most internet-savvy people are aware of. Sometimes referred to as Facebook for professionals, LinkedIn is the #1 platform for professional networking and forming connections. It allows you to create your own business profile, complete with your previous and current jobs as well as your skills and achievements. Then, it allows you to connect with other people from within & outside of your circle.
The company behind LinkedIn is, obviously, somewhat of an expert in all things related to hiring, jobs, and people’s professional skillsets. Apart from tailoring their website to make it easier for recruiters and job searchers to connect, they are known for making their users seek perfection. One such way is to continuously learn — and what better method than distance learning? This is why LinkedIn launched its LinkedIn Learning mobile app.
Available on both iOS and Android, this app lets you learn on the go by watching LinkedIn’s video courses wherever you are. The app gives you access to over 16,000 courses, spanning across multiple fields. If you are diligent, this app alone has the potential to let you change careers entirely.
LinkedIn Learning offers courses on programming (including languages such as Java, Ruby on Rails, C++, Python, and more), personal development, IT, 3D animation, leadership, management training, graphic design, photography, and even basic things such as using the internet. All of these are useful for expanding your list of professional skills and may contribute towards you landing that dream job.
As said, this app lets you learn on the go, but you don’t even need full-time internet access to do so. Simply pre-download the courses to watch them when you don’t have a signal. You can watch whenever you feel like it, be it a single lesson or a full-on list of courses. These courses are wonderfully combined with LinkedIn itself.
Whenever you complete a course, it becomes displayed on your professional profile. This works as a double motivator — not only you get to learn but potential recruiters get to see your new qualifications.
Coursera may resemble Udemy, but the two platforms differ in some ways. However, Coursera has also made a great name for itself. This is due to the excellent courses that can be done in the cozy safety of your own home.
Coursera may not provide the most courses of all the apps we’re talking about, but that doesn’t mean it’s not one of the best apps for distance learning. It features a respectable over 2,000 courses, but here’s the catch. All of these lesson plans are developed by leading industry experts.
What does this mean for you as a student? It’s simple. It will save you time and confusion, as you will be learning directly from experts who know the subject matter. Udemy provides many more courses, but almost anyone can upload content there. As a result, if you’re not vetting the teachers too much, you may end up with outdated info. It’s fortunate that there are better alternatives, such as Coursera.
Coursera provides some of the highest education levels of all. You can turn to their courses to learn about medicine, programming, mobile development, web development, data science, business, art, and more. All of these fields are so-called “evergreen” — which means that no matter what you pick, they will prove to be a great addition to your professional skillset.
Coursera, and all of the courses found on it, is free by itself. However, if you choose to pay for one of the specialized tracks, you gain perks such as the ability to earn a certificate. In this day and age, some recruiters believe in distance learning more than they do in great universities. Distance learning requires some patience and a lot of determination, so that alone proves you’re willing to go the extra mile to achieve our dreams.
edX: Online Courses by Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, IBM
Aiming high right from the start? Why don’t you aim the same way towards the best apps for distance learning? If you feel like it’s time to control your learning experience and improve it, learning from the industry giants is definitely a good call.
Using edX is especially recommended for those that take quality over quantity. With 2,000 courses, it might seem like this app is insignificant, but it really isn’t. This app, unlike any other, offers online courses prepared by specialists from Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, and IBM.
Thanks to the help of experts from the leading academic institutions, you are bound to receive top-tier knowledge whenever you sit down to learn. This has been tried and tested by over 20 million people who have already placed their trust in edX.
Some of the most popular courses on this platform include programming, computer science, data science, management, digital marketing, cybersecurity, and more. As it’s quite technology focused, we have to reassure you — there are also other courses on eDX that are certainly going to draw the attention of everyone.
If computers are not your strong suit, you will be happy to hear that eDX utilizes the skills of worldwide-class trainers. As such, you can also try this app if you want to learn about information technology, artificial technology, psychology, communication, and other potential issues.
With the competition now fiercer than ever, it’s important that you strive to be the best of the best. If you want to use your daily commute to learn a new skill, tune in to this channel within 24 hours!
Google Classroom is definitely a distance learning app, but it does stray from the concept of solo learning a little bit. A huge chunk of the app is centered around being around & present. The teachers have the option to contact their students, making it harder to squeeze the learning whenever you have a bit of time.
On the other hand, while Google Classroom is a free service for schools, non-profits, and singular users, it can keep up with paid services and then some. It’s a great tool for distance learning without sacrificing the feeling of being in touch with your classmates.
Google Classroom, unlike our previous recommendations, doesn’t provide any courses by itself. Instead, the app equips the teachers and the students with an extensive list of improvements to their daily life.
This mobile app makes organizing a breeze. It enhances communications without actually forcing the students to interact with their teachers in real-time. It also allows teachers to send unlimited announcements to their students. This includes things like class discussion, important assignments, and more. All of these things, rather than evaporating from your head, are stored safely until they can be sold.
Google Classroom also improves the organization of a class. Instead of using up endless sheets of paper, every student can access whatever the school had prepared for them. As a result, it’s one of the best apps for distance learning if you want to learn only from your own teachers.
Whether you already love distance learning or not, we hope that you can see the potential in these amazing platforms. As more and more things transfer over to the internet, there’s nothing stopping you from taking advantage of the technology, too.
Remember that the key to learning is to be consistent. Download one of our recommended apps and try it out for yourself today. The results are just around the corner!