LearnCoach, a platform for online schooling, has launched virtual classrooms for secondary schools across the country to enable students to keep abreast of their NCEA studies.

"We've packaged over 100 online NCEA courses into a personalised platform for teachers, giving them everything they need to run classes directly through LearnCoach," he said, adding that the Covid-19 lockdown would have a massive impact on the young people of New Zealand who were trying to study.

"We wanted to find a way to help minimise the damage that is going to do," he said.

Due to the massive pressures already being faced due to Covid-19, LearnCoach would offer free subscriptions for teachers and students to the new online classroom during the pandemic.

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LearnCoach had already seen a major "uptick" in usage even before the government's decision to shut down all schools for a minimum four weeks, with more than 5000 new students joining the platform in March and taking extra online lessons daily. LearnCoach's new all-in-one online school platform had seen early support from a number of schools, teachers and students across the country.

To set up their virtual classroom, teachers pick any NCEA course, customise courses for their class, and monitor their students. Students are provided with a signup link to access their notes, exercises, online lessons and testing uploaded by their subject teacher.

"The students say it is phenomenal," said Russel Dunn, longtime LearnCoach user and deputy principal at Tamaki College.

"It's so important for teachers to manage their classes online. But it's a totally new way of teaching, and that's difficult for teachers who have been trained traditionally. For students, it's great they can learn at their own pace, speeding up repeating or rewinding their digital tutor. It means they never feel slow or silly taking more time to learn. When students have questions, the teacher is able to help."

For more information, or to register for access to the platform, go to www.LearnCoach.com