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E-learning software market: no control, no censor

HCM City authorities have released a document allowing students to stay off school until the end of February because of Covid-19.

They also have proposed the government prolong the vacation period until the end of March. Schools have told students to study at home, with e-learning lessons.

 

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The HCM City Education and Training Department released a document on enhancing the use of Smartschool software and providing accounts to parents to guide students’ learning at home during the vacation period.

Smarthome is an e-learning software developed by Smartschool JSC. The company has committed to provide free accounts to the parents whose children are students of the schools that register to use the software.

Companies sell products they develop based on the materials in textbooks, rebuild the content and commercialize them. Once a company gets business license, this is understood that its content products have been censored.

The software comprises illustrated lectures, videos, materials, electronic materials and detailed instructions to organize learning activities of the subjects of history, geography and ethics - citizenship education.


The education and training department also introduced other software products provided by partners under the request of the department, such as the online learning social network VietStudy, which won a gold prize at the 2019 ASEAN ICT Awards (AICTA), and VNPT’s e-learning system. VNPT promised to provide free accounts on its e-learning system until July 2020.

An education expert commented that e-learning is a growing trend in the world and it needs to be developed as an orthodox teaching method, not just an alternative teaching method in the epidemic time.

However, the e-learning software products available in the market are not under control by state management agencies. There is no standard process to examine the content of the software.

Companies sell products they develop based on the materials in textbooks, rebuild the content and commercialize them. Once a company gets business license, this is understood that its content products have been censored.

This means that parents and students have to choose e-learning software based on their experience and understanding about software.

According to Nguyen Quoc Chinh, director of Testing and Training Quality Evaluation Center, it is very difficult to manage content and teaching materials, and even more difficult to assess which products are better and more suitable to learners.

There are still no official criteria to assess the products. In principle, parents and students should choose software with good images, suitable language learning materials and good pedagogical skills.

Tran Hoang Cam Tu, head of the E-learning Institute under Nguyen Tat Thanh University, thinks that local education and training departments should open a data store for free share and provide multimedia lecture samples for teachers’ reference.

Linh Ha 

 

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