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How Distance Learning Shaped Agora’s New Flexible Classroom and Interactive Whiteboard  featured

How Distance Learning Shaped Agora’s New Flexible Classroom and Interactive Whiteboard 

By Author: Wyatt Oren In Business

Wyatt Oren helps developers integrate real-time engagement (RTE) into their platforms and create value for their users and customers. Before joining Agora, he co-founded the EdTech platform, Applejax as well as Barhero Inc.


Here we are, riding the tailwinds of a global pandemic back to normalcy. Schools are opening their doors, teachers are showing up to their classrooms, and for all intents and purposes, class is back in session. But let’s not forget the road we took to get here: One where teachers and students were snatched from regularity and forced to adopt a new medium—distance learning. At the time, both educators and students were forced into a situation that fundamentally tested their ability to adapt. With so much going on, it’s easy to forget how painful the process was on so many individuals.

As the pandemic begins to loosen its grip, let’s take a moment to pause and reflect on what we discovered about distance learning and how we at Agora ideated new education solutions to benefit the next generation of learners.

What we learned about distance learning

Well for starters, education is everchanging. Years ago, remote students were asked to mail in their homework correspondence, whereas today, they’re expected to have a home internet connection, a reliable device, and a home environment conducive to learning.

For a lot of students, learning from home can be a bit of an ordeal. First, they have to login to a device and download an app in order to access the live video stream. Then they have to find a quiet place in their homes to focus, often competing with parents or siblings for space. As a result, lots of students struggle to focus on the lesson plan and end up suffering from the new phenomenon, “Zoom Fatigue.”

As a student or educator, distance learning creates all sorts of pain points and friction between the distribution and digestion of knowledge. It’s no wonder so many struggled to comprehend lesson plans and subject matter. While these challenges were overwhelming throughout the pandemic, they helped us identify new solutions to improve the online learning experience.

Inspiration from recent learning challenges

This past year, schools and EdTech businesses were faced with a difficult set of choices. Do we purchase a one-size-fits-all video conferencing solution for our community? Do we build something ourselves? Do we have the technical resources to create what we need?

In times of crisis, change happens quickly. We navigated an influx of EdTech companies, schools, and educators coming to us with these types of questions and ultimately asking, “What do we do?”

At Agora, we feel privileged to be in a position to help provide answers to these challenging questions. We found that education providers don’t always have deep technical resources to build their own online learning platforms, but they still need customization and high-quality video/audio that can scale at an affordable price.

Ultimately, the questions and challenges that arose during the abrupt shift to remote learning enabled us to reimagine the online learning experience from the ground up. All while prioritizing student outcomes and making it easier for education providers to build and deploy customized learning platforms.

Flexible Classroom and Interactive Whiteboard

Based on this valuable feedback and input from customers and educators, we developed two new products aimed at elevating the real-time learning experience. Agora’s Flexible Classroom and Interactive Whiteboard allow education providers to easily build and deploy custom online learning applications with or without an experienced development team.

Flexible Classroom is the quick and easy way to deploy branded, customized online classrooms. It’s the industry’s first low-code solution enabling developers to create full-featured, branded virtual learning applications that can be deployed out of the box or customized with our APIs. This allows education providers to build custom learning applications without the need for robust technical resources and coding skills. These custom-built platforms allow educators to deliver more engaging courses via an online learning environment built to their specific needs. Flexible Classroom includes best-in-class interactive video, collaborative presentation tools, advanced classroom management, and real-time messaging, giving students the edge they need to succeed through online learning.

For those with technical resources who want to build an even greater customizable learning platform, the Interactive Whiteboard SDK allows you to add our advanced whiteboarding functionality to any application. From collaborative drawing and labels for each user to engaging courseware with animated content, our whiteboard brings the best parts of in-person learning to the online learning environment by allowing teachers and students to collaborate as if they were together in a classroom setting. To help strengthen study habits and mental cognition we added a recording feature so students can replay each session.

These groundbreaking new products for learning and collaboration allow you to build a customized virtual classroom with:

  • Complete set of whiteboard tools: A robust set of basic and advanced collaborative tools such as multiple brushes, erasers, undo/redo, selections, text formatting, laser pointer, and more.
  • Customizations: Add logos, colors, and official branding to create the ultimate unique experience. Change the shapes of buttons, add/remove whiteboard features, and make the learning experience more personal. 
  • Recording and playback: Measure student progress, save for later playback or share collaborative discussions.
  • Scalable to any size: Easily support one-to-one, small groups, or very large, collaborative lecture halls on any device. 
  • White labeling: Design your solution to easily deploy a custom branded interface to your end-users.
  • Participation management: Control access to the session, collaboration tools, and audio/video with the ability to see hand raises and reward students for performance.
  • Subject specific tools: from drawing and annotating to complex math features, we offer a full range of features for any subject. 
  • Security: Meets ISO and GDPR security and privacy standards

Empowering educators

As we continue to drive innovation for our partners in education, we’ll continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible. With our new Flexible Classroom and Interactive Whiteboard, our goal is to enable education providers to easily build learning environments specific to their students’ needs. These new education platforms will allow students to learn anywhere, from anyone, on any device. We support everything from one-on-one tutoring and small classrooms to massive virtual lecture halls.

At Agora, we strive to empower education providers with the tools and resources they need to be successful. To learn more about Agora’s online learning solutions, visit our Education page or contact us.

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