Mr. Godwin is the founder of Global Virtual School which is based in Uganda and offering Online Secondary Education to students from all schools in Uganda. The school offers all subjects in both Sciences and Arts for O’level and A’level.
Global Virtual School is the first Ugandan school that adopts ClassIn. Back in May 2020, his online school began with only 6 students, but now the school scale has expanded to 30 teachers and 375 students. By January 2021, he expects to have 51 teachers and over 600 students. With such a big growth in number of teachers and students in half a year, it proves that ClassIn facilitates and supports the school to grow increasingly. It has demonstrated that ClassIn is a very effective teaching platform not only in developed countries but also in developing countries like Uganda.
Q: Why did you start Global Virtual School?
A: This January, my friend mentioned ‘you should start an online tutoring business since you like computers so much’. When local schools were locked down from 18th of March, I looked for an online teaching platform to continue giving support to my students while at home. This gave me an epiphany to start this online school to provide the ongoing lessons for my students.
Q: Why have you chosen ClassIn? Not any other online platforms?
A: In the very beginning, I googled to see any teaching platform and I tried with different tools like Google classroom, Electa live 8, Learner cube, WizIQ, Test Marker, and Schoology. I tried Zoom as well but it required high stable internet connection, so it was hard to avoid dropping out during the online class. One day when I searched through Google, somehow I connected with ClassIn. So I went ahead and signed up as a school but it seemed not very clear to learn. Luckily, Claire from ClassIn team reached and offered me a product demonstration.
After the demo, I knew this was what I needed for online teaching. It is a self-contained software with a virtual classroom, homework and test, grades management, student and teacher management, attendance tracker, learning reports, teaching reports, performance analysis, lesson recordings in the cloud drive, many interactive teaching tools to engage with students during the lesson and many others. There was no need for other third party applications.
In the first trial week, I used the free gifted 100 RMB to do the demonstration for students and parents. It was to prove that I had finally found this effective online teaching tool. I also used it to get students online for the tutorials. And little by little, I started to have more students on board.
Q: How ClassIn works well for your online School and what are the key features that helps your online school the most?
ClassIn has a built-in blackboard where teachers can write during the lesson.
ClassIn has many teaching tools which teachers can use to interact with the students in the lesson.
You can record and store all lessons. Both students and teachers revise and make up what they missed through the playbacks.
Teachers can assign assignments in form of offline tests, exams, homework and mark through ClassIn
ClassIn has a task management system where scores and grades obtained from students performances. After the assignments are processed and analysed, these are reported to the students and teacher automatically.
Q: How we can guide local schools or universities to go for digital learning? And what kind of support ClassIn can do from your perspective?
A: It is quiet hard for the local school to go online as the school that I am working, named St. Mary’s College Lugazi, did not choose to transfer their lessons online. They need to buy laptops and graphics drawing tablets for teachers and smart phones / tablets for students. Laptops here in Uganda will cost over 1 million in local currency plus monthly school fee are big challenges for them. The network here is poor. Not all parents can afford to buy gadgets and daily data expenses for their children. There is not enabling government policy to allow rolling out digital learning on a large scale. High costs of internet is also a major set back.
ClassIn can work with the government level in a way of getting in touch with the embassy or trying to get contacts with the key government members in the education sector. So making things easier to guide the local schools and universities to go for digital. Also, it would also be great if you can have the branch office to be set out here to have face to face communication with the local schools and supply the gadgets like tablets for the students.