Article Title

Students' Experiences of Using Interactive EdTech Tools

As virtual learning has risen in popularity, Parami University has adopted new online learning platforms such as Canvas LMS and different educational technology tools such as H5P and Padlet that support interactive teaching and learning experience for teachers and students. 

Some students are excited to talk about their experiences using the Canvas online learning platform, including favorite EdTech elements and E-resources at Parami in the past few weeks. 

Zin Khaing is from Mandalay, and she is taking two courses such as Everyday Probability and Statistics and Dragon Looks South: China and Southeast Asia, taught by Dr. Win Maw Hlaing Oo and Professor Zachary Abuza. Zin Khaing has prior experiences attending a few corporate courses provided at her company and language courses online.

"I think for all of us, Canvas is a very prestigious tool. In other online classes, the only online teaching platform they use is the Zoom app. They use email, Viber group, and messenger group to share documents and update class timetable changes. However, at Parami, the Canvas platform has a pre-reading list and discussion board, and each course section is being listed. I can see both courses I am attending in Canvas. It is very useful. It is definitely like you are studying for a foreign degree or accessing the student portal abroad. And there are online courses available like offered by Coursera, but still, there is no interaction like the Parami courses," said Zin Khaing.

 

 

Aung Si Kyaw from Rakhine State is a first-year student specialized in Commerce at the Yangon University of Economics. He is working as a Youth Volunteer at the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Program of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Aung Si Kyaw is attending two courses such as Community Development and Social entrepreneurship, taught by Dr. Mark Brown and Professor Ye Pyae Thu. 

"I want to thank Parami for providing us with E-resources and other materials. I had not used canvas before. So, I had some difficulties using it the first time, but the Parami team helped and explained whenever I requested help. The teachers from both of my classes use Canvas LMS almost every time. We can do nearly everything for our learning, like discussing with our classmates and teachers and reading articles uploaded by teachers. It is really helpful for me, " Aung Si Kyaw shared. 

 

Director of Academic Affairs at Parami University, Dr. Romina de Jong, shared that "at Parami, we define Edtech as the combined use of computer hardware, software, and educational theory and practice to improve teaching and facilitate learning. As the order of the combination of the words Educational and Technology suggests, education leads to technology; it is educational theory and practice that advises which technology we need, when, why, and how. As all our education has moved online, Parami has the unique opportunity to lead the way in high-quality online education for Myanmar students. " 

To improve digital learning and provide students and teachers with access to all available learning tools and E-resources at Parami University, Parami now has Google Workspace for Education to provide every faculty member and student with an email account associated with Parami.

"We were surprised that the Parami even created an email account for us and also to access the Canvas because it’s just two months. It is professional. Thanks to the Parami email account, I can access the New York Times and have a free subscription until December. With the Parami VPN, I can read articles and journals with free access. At Parami, you can experience tech tools that you have no access to at other online learning courses. You would have if you are at international schools, but Parami is more about higher education level," Zin Khaing added. 

Apart from presenting students with an interactive learning experience and access to world-class resources in a wide range of subject areas, Parami also offers optional classes every Friday called "Lunch Hour Session" for Parami students. These sessions are led by Eint Pyae Pyae Khin (Jessica), the Director of Admissions and Students Affairs of Parami, aiming to equip students with presentation skills, essay writing tips, and email etiquette. 

"Starting in June 2021 with our summer courses, Parami has introduced many IT tools to support the virtual learning experience of our students. We now have Canvas as our main learning platform; licensed Zoom application accounts for all faculty; Padlet accounts for all faculty and students. We have Facebook Workplace for faculty and staff; and Orbund for University Management System,” Jessica shared.

Both Zin Khaing and Aung Si Kyaw enjoy the "Lunch Hour Session." They described the session as a bonus class where they can learn many tools for presentation and tips for effective email writing, which they found helpful not only in learning but also in the workplace. The students expressed their appreciation to the Parami team for providing constant IT support throughout the course. 

With the advancement of the institution's information and communication infrastructure (ICT) tools and software, Parami aims to enhance the virtual learning environment and workflow across the institution. 

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