Thursday, January 27, 2022
The new age virtual school

The new age virtual school

Ever since time, education has been closely linked to classroom-based learning. In this type of learning, the teacher is at the centre of learning and is solely responsible for imparting knowledge. However, this approach is slowly transitioning to student-centred learning, where students are at the forefront of education. As we all know, technology has transformed every aspect of our life, including the way we receive education. In student-centred learning, technology plays a vital role.

For years, technology-based learning has been associated with higher education and research-based study. In the current scenario, however, even the K–12 education is driven by technology. Educators and schools across the nation are keen on integrating virtual learning with their curriculum and pedagogy.

Virtual learning: An innovative approach to new-age education

Virtual learning, popularly known as e-learning or digital learning, revolves around technology-based solutions that help to create an online learning environment to deliver knowledge to students. Though teachers and students are physically or demographically separated, this method facilitates learning through the Internet. The deployment of virtual learning solutions can vary depending on the requirements and purpose. K–12 schools are now adopting various virtual learning solutions, such as live online classes, virtual classrooms, web conferencing, screen sharing, flipped learning, learning management systems and online assignments and assessments, to transform into smart schools. Not only does virtual learning benefit schools, but it also allows learners to develop 21st-century skills, besides imparting knowledge to them. This adaptability to virtual learning is vital in delivering a holistic educational experience.

Virtual learning: Taking education to the next level

K–12 education prepares a child to face the world outside the school and the challenges of adult life. Since our lives are dominated by technology and this dependency will continue to increase, it is essential to introduce the youth to technology in order to make them future-ready.

Listed below are the ways in which virtual learning is paving way for new-age education:

1. Modernises the classroom

In virtual learning, students need not follow any predefined timetable. Since virtual learning digitises everything, students can attend live lectures online and also record them to revisit the concepts later. Online classes coupled with e-books, audiovisual content, PDFs, etc. augment conceptual clarity and make students more confident. E-books and audiovisual content provide an interactive and engaging learning environment to students which help them develop an interest in the subject. This process of learning also enables teachers to become tech-savvy and provides them an opportunity to enhance their communication skills. In addition, this process helps them broaden their horizons and explore new ways of teaching and making content delivery more effective.

Another method of learning that has modernised the classroom is flipped learning, where students are assigned a topic prior to the class and they are required to research and gain a basic understanding of it. Virtual learning provides a space to research, discuss and share ideas about the topic. This helps students become more responsible for their learning and develops their communication, collaborative and decision-making skills.

2. Makes students future-ready

Introducing students to technology during K–12 education helps to foster a comprehensive understanding of various digital tools, which helps them attain digital fluency. The digital capability prepares them for the future by inculcating independent learning and self-management skills.

Since virtual learning requires students to take responsibility for their learning, it develops a sense of responsibility in them, which plays a significant role in their personal development. Additionally, digital learning tools create a conducive learning environment for students. When they are empowered to learn beyond the classroom through e-learning, they not only gain subject proficiency but also develop the necessary skills that make them future-ready. For instance, if the teacher assigns them a case study or project, students need to go beyond their textbooks and explore the Internet for more information. In the process of exploring and collating the content, students become confident and develop critical thinking and decision-making ability.

3. Promotes flexible and adaptive learning

As opposed to traditional classroom learning, virtual learning facilitates personalised and flexible learning. Firstly, it empowers students to learn at their own pace. For instance, students participating in sports or other activities need not worry about missing their classes. Through virtual learning, they can organise their schedule, visit the recorded lessons and learn at their convenience. Secondly, virtual learning can be adapted to gauge the weaknesses and strengths of each student. This can help the teachers identify the areas where an individual student needs support and work diligently to take remedial actions for it, without slowing down the entire class. This personalised form of learning can be highly effective.

All in all, it is essential for educators to realise the potential of technology in education and embrace the trend by supporting students with digital learning solutions combined with latest technological tools.

Written by Beas Dev Ralhan

The author is CEO & Co-Founder, Next Education India Pvt Ltd., India’s First K-12 education solution provider.

To view the original article, click here. 

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