Ever since the world got struck by the novel coronavirus, many things have changed dramatically and have become the new normal. Online Zoom meetings and virtual classrooms have replaced fundamental life aspects like going to work for adults and going to school for children.
According to the latest reports, the COVID-19 resulted in schools shutting down all across the world. Over a whopping, 1.2 billion children in 186 countries worldwide have gotten affected by schools closing due to the pandemic.
With such a sudden onset of a deadly disease and accepting changes to tackle it, shifting away from classrooms and shutting down schools was debated worldwide. But as people wondered, adopting online learning forums seemed to be the only logical way to continue schooling amidst the pandemic.
A virtual classroom is, by definition, a teaching and learning prospect forum where the student and teacher are present remotely. The class is conducted online instead of in-person, and learning resources are shared through the mutual means of the online setting.
As the students adapt to the new norm, let’s find out if virtual classrooms are truly the new face of technology for the current situation and also in the future.
Types of Virtual Classrooms
There are mainly two types of virtual classrooms. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Prerecorded – Through mediums like YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox
Given the rise of different video posting platforms, especially YouTube gave way to various types of content being created. YouTube became a universal stage set for people to showcase all kinds of talent they possess. From sharing mundane life experiences as vlogs or scripted content as web series, YouTube is the hub of all types of videos you can think of.
Naturally, even before the times had changed, students still looked up to YouTube for learning aid. Many teachers and intellectuals around the world have been posting lessons, chapters, and learning material about universal study topics to help students.
Since virtual classrooms and online teaching have become the only resource for students, teachers have started posting videos that cover all the course material. The proper class lessons that they would have included in the class had things been normal. Such tactics have given way to a type of virtual classrooms that are prerecorded and available for students to view whenever they need to.
Other video posting platforms like Vimeo and content sharing apps like Dropbox have also come in handy. Such platforms allow you to post and share prerecorded lessons for a limited number of students and not put it out there for the general public.
Live and Instructor-Led
Of course, the other type is the online classroom that is led by an instructor and is usually conducted live. Students are required to join-in on a set time like they would attend a real in-person class. The class is conducted mainly per usual circumstances except that the participants are present remotely.
The reason behind the increased popularity and adoption of such virtual classrooms has to be credited to Zoom. Although even before the pandemic, there was high growth toward education technology and adoption of live virtual sessions, given the estimated $350 billion by 2025.
But ever since COVID-19, there has been a significant surge in live classrooms and enhancing virtual tutoring and video conferencing tools like Zoom. Today, according to the recent Zoom app usage statistics, the forum is responsible for 90,000 schools across 20 countries worldwide.
Benefits of Virtual Classrooms
The following are some of the main benefits of virtual classrooms and the reasons it is regarded as the new face of technology.
More personalized learning
There is no denying that virtual classrooms offer a way better way of personalized learning than the in-person class. They provide an increased opportunity for slow learners to catch-up and better understand the lessons that otherwise feel challenging and difficult to understand.
Students can take a look at lessons whenever they want and especially to seek help while doing assignments. They even get the option of going back and forwarding if they feel something is of more or less importance.
Also, as through such means, there is no way a student will feel insecure projecting their weakness, it is positively impactful for their overall learning.
Easy for remote studies
One of the main reasons teachers, students, and parents are globally readily accepting virtual classrooms, is that it is hugely easy for remote studies. There is no requirement of reaching school premises on time, leaving early, worrying about the traffic and other consequence associated with actually going to a school.
Remote studies free you of such tensions and help you focus just on your studies and managing them in a rather unique, household environment. If you create a healthy environment in your house to study, remote studies can be hugely benefitting.
Accessible for everyone equally
Virtual classrooms are not like your one biased teacher who gives an extra lesson plan to their favorite students. Online live sessions and prerecorded video lessons are equally accessible to every student at the given time. There is no space for favoritism and class bias in such an environment.
Therefore, virtual classrooms provide an equal opportunity for all students to learn the same thing and succeed similarly without feeling left out. In such a case, you don’t even have to worry about having missed a class because you can go back to your current session.
The whole internet is at your fingertips
What better way to learn than to have the whole internet at your fingertips. You can use your phone, tablet, and laptop as per your will to further elaborate any chapter or lesson that requires more description and detail for your ease. You can take help from online study resources and use the internet as your library to study for exams and complete your assignments.
Having such freedom to use unlimited online resources can be liberating for the students. However, teachers often worry that students will exploit such resources to cheat and use in unlawful and unethical ways.
Affordable than traditional means of studying
Virtual classrooms are more affordable than traditional means of studying because you don’t require any extra investment to pay for your tuition fee at school, transportation, or pay-up for your student loan debt.
Comparatively, that is what makes virtual learning more affordable. You can study the same thing as a school would teach you and sometimes, even more, remain within the comfort of your home and with the same household expenses and bills without having to pay more over it.
All in all, there is little to no doubt that virtual classrooms will be actively adopted as the new means of studying even after COVID-19 finally finds a solution. It is the new face of technology with a great opportunity to expand and be widely accepted across the world.
Samantha Kaylee is currently working as an I.T Assistant at Dissertation Assistance, an excellent platform that offers cheap dissertation services. She works as a part-time tutor and conducts online classes for high-school students. She shares her experiences and opinions in this regard through her blogs.